Aniylah Bryant and NyAsian Blango combined for 37 points for Havelock
HAVELOCK - The Havelock girls' basketball team continued its momentum Tuesday.
The Rams opened the NCHSAA 3A playoffs with a 61-48 win over Northwood, a victory that came four days after Havelock defeated Jacksonville in the Coastal Conference tournament final.
"It wasn't the best possible performance, but pretty good and certainly good enough to win," coach Anna Spear said.
Junior guards Aniylah Bryant and NyAsian Blango scored 22 and 15 points respectively to lead the Rams.
However, another junior guard, Lanaveah Fisher, also made her presence known by putting in 11 points - all in the second half - including three 3-pointers.
"LaLa (Fisher) was huge for us," Spear said. "She was playing in her first game back from a broken finger and she did a great job."
Fisher said she was just happy to be back out on the court with her teammates.
"I always work on my shot and I think we're all playing with a lot of confidence right now," she said.
Spear was cognizant of her team's intangibles as well Tuesday.
"I was really pleased with the effort tonight and our defense was good again,"Spear.
Defense was a big key in Havelock establishing a 30-17 halftime lead.
The Rams forced 27 turnovers in the game and were able to take advantage of long rebounds that led to transition points in the first half.
"Transition is always a big part of what we want to do," Bryant said. "We stayed in our rotations really well on D and pressured the ball."
The visitors from Pittsboro had their best quarter in the final one, scoring 20 points but the hole was already dug too deep.
Emily Nettles was the only Charger in double-figures with 10 points.
Havelock moves on to face the No. 7 seed East Wake in round two Thursday night.
"Tonight was tougher than a typical first-round game and that's good," Spear said. "We have to just keep it going and be ready Thursday."
Northwood 10; 7; 11; 20; 48
Havelock 12; 18; 15; 16; 61
Havelock (61) - Aniylah Bryant 22, NyAsia Blango 15, Lanaveah Fisher 11, Alanna Williams 7, Isidre DeJesus 3, Nseya Harden 3.
Northwood (48) - Emily Nettles 10, Chandler Adams 6, Jyreah Smith 6, Natalie Womble 6, Rae McClarty 5, Trinity Ross 5, Jaela Harris 4, Courtney Wolfe 4, Molly Bruso 2.
Rebounds - Havelock 23 (Bryant 7), Northwood 28 (Nettles 9). Turnovers - Havelock 16, Northwood 27. Free-throw shooting - Havelock 10-11, Northwood 11-15.
Jordan Honeycutt can be reached at 252-635-5670 or at firstname.lastname@example.org