Harnett Central’s varsity girls basketball team celebrated its Senior Night on Friday with a 47-18 rout over visiting Tri-County Six 3-A Conference opponent Lee County.
“They came out strong,” said Harnett Central coach Chelsey Cabe. “I think that’s been one of the biggest things since we’ve come back from quarantine was we just haven’t been able to start out very strong and the third quarter has been our saving grace in some games, playing really well. So, tonight I was happy to see us have two strong quarters to start out with. I’m just preaching consistency. If we could just put that fourth quarter together with three others, we’ll be a good ball team.”
Senior Lya Molyneaux had 15 points and senior Syniah McMiller had 12 points to pace the Trojans (7-2, 5-2 TCSC).
“(Molyneaux) was getting herself open, knocking down shots, taking the ball in the open floor and bringing it up, ball fakes and penetrating to the middle,” Cabe said. “Everything you want to see actually happen and develop in a senior player for you. I was super proud and excited to see that. (McMiller) was very steady and she even made some aggressive moves to the basket. But what I love to see is whenever that competitiveness kicks in and when there’s a loose ball and Syniah is the only one with a chance to get back and you see that extra gear kicking in.”
Brittany Mills had eight points. Shay Ward had six points. Keke Snead, Ivanna Jones and Jamia Harrington had two points apiece.
Senior Julianna Gray had eight points to lead the Yellow Jackets (2-7, 2-6).
Prior to the game, Harnett Central recognized six senior girls basketball players: Brittany Mills, Lya Molyneaux, Shynice Raines, Angel McNeill, Jamia Harrington and Syniah McMiller, as well as senior cheerleader Madison Truelove and senior mascot Lincoln Ihler.
“My six seniors, I feel like, have really matured over their four years,” Cabe said. “They respect me and they give me all they’ve got. I can’t say enough good things about them and the amount of dedication that I’ve gotten from them. Effort. Hard work. Willingness to do whatever it is that I ask them. That’s all you can ask for as a coach.”
Central dominated the first three quarters, outscoring Lee County 16-2 in the first quarter, 11-0 in the second and 16-5 in the third. Lee had too small a rally in the fourth quarter, outscoring Central 11-4.
There was no varsity boys game, because Harnett Central’s varsity boys are in quarantine due to a positive COVID-19 test. With one week left in the regular season, that brings the season to an end for Central’s varsity boys.
Harnett Central has three conference games remaining in the regular season: at Union Pines (9-0, 7-0) on Monday, at Southern Lee (1-8, 1-7) on Wednesday and at home against Harnett County rival Triton (10-1, 7-1) on Friday. The Trojans need to win all three to have a chance at the conference title and a spot in the NCHSAA 3-A state playoffs.
“Big games,” Cabe said. “Just trying to focus on Monday so we can take Tuesday to focus on Wednesday. We’ve got to play four consistent quarters, we’ve got to minimize turnovers and we can’t get beat back on defense. If we do the small things like taking care of the basketball, ball fakes, rip-throughs, if we can do those things and make them play our game, then we can be successful.”