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Eastside, Thomas Walker girls to meet for Cumberland crown

Kevin Mays • Feb 14, 2019 at 12:30 AM

WISE — The top seeds advanced to Friday’s Cumberland District girls basketball tournament championship by taking big semifinal wins Wednesday.

Top-seeded Eastside (17-6) and second-seeded Thomas Walker (17-6) will face each other at 7:30 p.m. at Virginia-Wise’s Prior Convocation Center in the tournament championship game.

Eastside advanced to the title game with a 57-27 semifinal win over Rye Cove (8-16), while Thomas Walker beat Twin Springs (12-12) by a 55-38 margin at Virginia-Wise.

LADY SPARTANS PULL AWAY

Eastside overcame a sluggish start to take a victory over Rye Cove.

The Lady Spartans led 11-7 after the first quarter before outscoring Rye Cove 15-7 in the second period to build a 26-14 halftime advantage.

The two teams swapped baskets in the third quarter before Eastside put the game away in the fourth by outscoring Rye Cove 18-3 in the stanza.

Anna Whited and Izzy Stevens led Eastside scorers with 12 points apiece, while Reiley McCoy finished with 10. Carrie Boyd finished with nine rebounds for the Lady Spartans.

Grace Rhoton finished with nine points and nine rebounds for Rye Cove, while Kaleigh Sloan had 11 rebounds and Katy Roller pulled down 10 rebounds.

QUICK START LEADS TO SUCCESS FOR TW

In Wednesday’s other Cumberland semifinal game, Thomas Walker freshman Lakin Burke had one of her best games of the season to lead the Lady Pioneers to their win over Twin Springs.

Burke finished with 24 points and nine rebounds.

“She’s a special player. Lakin works hard. She’s been working hard since she was a little girl. She’s put in the time and she’s a gym rat and it’s paying off for her now,” Thomas Walker coach Jonathan Lovelace said of Burke’s effort.

“I thought we played great as a team,” Burke said. “We ran our offense well and played great defense.”

Playing on the larger floor at Virginia-Wise, Burke said she had to make adjustments to her shooting.

“I had to figure out my shot a little bit because definitely these rims are different from what we have,” said Burke. “I drove more and tried to drive through the zone, and I thought that helped a lot throughout the game.”

GETTING DEFENSIVE

Thomas Walker jumped ahead early and led the contest for most of the game.

Lovelace said his team’s defense was the key to the Lady Pioneers’ play on the other end of the floor.

“We pride ourselves on defense. I tell them we’re going to work hard on the defensive end and rest on the other end,” the coach said.

SCORING TOTALS

Talyn Dibrell scored nine points and pulled down 10 rebounds for the Lady Pioneers, while Tenley Jackson finished with nine points.

Twin Springs was led by the nine-point performance of Lauren Duncan.

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