After Maliah Banks of Harnett Central hit her third 3-pointer in the first four minutes of the first quarter on Thursday night, host Eastern Guilford, trailing 11-5, called timeout.
The Wildcats more than regrouped in the second round contest of the NCHSAA 3-A girls basketball playoffs.
Eastern Guilford (24-3) went on a 28-1 run before Banks made another three.
The Lady Wildcats advanced with an 82-42 victory despite 28 points by Banks, a senior guard.
Central finished the season 21-5 as Eastern Guilford had another late run, outscoring the Lady Trojans 18-2 in the fourth quarter.
Central was called for eight fouls and Eastern Guilford was called for one in the early stages.
The second quarter they really put us in a deficit and we were down by 17 (40-23) at half time,” said Central coach Chelsey Cabe. “We started the third quarter again strong and made some big shots with amazing defense, cutting the lead to 12.
“After that, Eastern went on another big run and we were down (64-40) going into the fourth. I tried to stay with a little modified man and zone for the first minute of the fourth, but with that deficit you have to play full court man and try to create chaos and turnovers to score quick baskets.
“I went with a four-guard lineup and one post to try a little to contain their big girl. It worked for a couple of possessions, but eventually they just started beating us off the ball and down the lane shooting lay ups and dishing off.
“That is where the large lead that they finished the game with came from. They are a great ball team. We worked hard against them and made them work hard, too, but we came up short.”
The Lady Trojans won a share of the regular-season championship in the Tri-County Six Conference.
“We have had an amazing season of lots of success and I could not be more proud of everything my girls have accomplished,” Coach Cabe said. “They are an amazing group of girls who have worked so hard to earn everything.”