Leading host Central of Pageland, 14-12 after one quarter and 17-16 early in the second, the North Central girls’ basketball team had hopes of closing the season with an upset win and their first Region 4-AA victory.
The hostesses had other plans as the Lady Eagles handed Mitch Lowder and company a 70-33 loss on Friday night.
The setback capped a 4-18 campaign for the Lady Knights who were 0-12 in conference play.
As had been the case in earlier games, NC got off to a strong start only to stumble.
"After breaking their press in the first quarter," Lowder said, "we allowed them to get the best of us in the second quarter."
Central led, 35-19, at halftime and carried a 57-25 advantage into the final stanza.
Sophomore forward Alexis Baker, who led the Lady Knights in scoring for the season while earning All-Region 4-AA accolades along the way, paced NC with 19 points on Friday. Sophomore guard Taylor Robinson was next with eight points while junior guard Nyasia Joe and sophomore center Caroline Dixon added four and two points, respectively.
The Lady Knights played with a roster which included one senior, a junior, along with three sophomores and a trio of freshmen. Lowder said he hopes the experience of this past season, along with some promising middle school players, will pay off for the program in the near future.
"Again we were very young with mostly sophomores and freshmen," he said. "We still played hard and we showed a lot of improvement since last year.
"The girls practiced and played hard all year long. Improvement with basic skills is a must for the off-season and to get bigger, faster, and stronger through a tough conditioning program."