Lady Cardinals fall in MVAC semifinals

By Kristian Russell -
Alexis Pardue had seven points for the Lady Cardinals. - Kristian Russell | The Tribune

BOONVILLE — After taking down Starmount in the opening round of the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference tournament, the East Wilkes Lady Cardinals travelled to Boonville to take on Alleghany in the semifinals. East Wilkes put up an early lead over the Trojans, but a second-half run gave Alleghany all the momentum it needed to take a 51-34 win over the Cardinals.

Coming into the game, East Wilkes was holding on to the number-two seed while Alleghany was third seeded. East Wilkes started off the game in high fashion as it put up 16 points and held Alleghany to just one point. Alleghany scored its first point early in the quarter, and the Cardinals played defense to the best of their ability to hold off on another Trojan basket. On offense, Lakyn Mathis knocked down a three-pointer to extend the Cardinals lead 5-1.

From there, the Cardinals put up shot after shot. Leah Nance put up a three-point basket from well beyond the arc, which was followed up with a basket by Alexis Pardue. Before the quarter was over, Pardue put up another basket and Lauren Rakes put up two baskets.

With a 16-1 score, East Wilkes was sitting pretty going into the second quarter. Alleghany was able to put up eight points, but the Cardinals still had an 18-9 lead. Going into halftime, it looked like the Cardinals had all of the momentum, but things took a turn in the third and fourth quarters. Alleghany came out of the locker room with a renewed game plan as it outscored East Wilkes 42-16.

Alleghany took a two-point lead in the third quarter, but East Wilkes was able to take the lead back as Nance drained another three-point shot. The third quarter ended with East Wilkes holding on to a 30-28 lead over Alleghany.

In the final quarter, Alleghany flipped the script as it put up 23 points and held East Wilkes to just four. The points came as Mathis put up a free-throw early in the quarter, and Nance put up a three-point shot. Nance’s shot was the only field goal scored in the fourth quarter by the Cardinals. Alleghany put up free throws and shots when it mattered, as the Trojans took the win over East Wilkes.

The Lady Cardinals will take part in the 1A NCHSAA Playoffs which start this week. East Wilkes has a first-round bye.

East Wilkes stats:

12-43 FGM-A, 6-16 3PM-A, 4-11 FTM-A, 12 PIP, 34 points.

L. Nance – 9 points and 2 rebounds

L. Mathis – 9 points and 6 rebounds

A. Pardue – 7 points and 5 rebounds

L. Johnson – 5 points and 2 rebounds

L. Rakes – 4 points and 3 rebounds

Alexis Pardue had seven points for the Lady Cardinals. Pardue had seven points for the Lady Cardinals. Kristian Russell | The Tribune

By Kristian Russell