Laney girls knock off league-leading Hoggard; Ashley, Topsail cruise

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Efficiency from the field and a good defensive game plan by Laney aided the Bucs’ best effort of the season in a 42-36 victory over league-leading Hoggard on Friday night.

Laney moved to 4-2 in conference and grabbed their 10th win of the year. Meanwhile, the Vikings saw their seven-game win streak snapped, falling to 5-1 in league play and 14-4 overall.

Jayda Malone, left, helped Laney grab a big conference win on Friday. Photo courtesy- Rodney Williams
Jayda Malone, left, helped Laney grab a big conference win on Friday. Photo courtesy- Rodney Williams

“It’s a huge win,” said Laney Coach Sherri Tynes. “Our girls executed tonight. We fought and scrapped. We got some greats looks, shot with composure, had our feet underneath us and found a way.”

Jayda Malone sank two treys and knocked down some big baskets for the Bucs to lead all scorers with 15 points. Lexi Melville chipped in with 12 points and Baley Edwards added 10 to put three Laney players in double figures.

Despite 25 offensive rebounds, Hoggard shot just 19.6 percent and 3 of 23 from behind to arc. Emma Haywood had a team-high 11 points, but fouled out of the game early in the fourth quarter as the Vikings had a limited bench with a pair of role players (Alani Fisher/Caitlyn Brannin) out because of injuries.

Classmate Aleah Thompson was also forced from the game late in the final frame after she picked up her fifth foul. The senior finished with eight points and 11 rebounds.

“We would have liked to have gotten some more defensive rebounds after playing such solid defense, but they have some height down low,” Tynes added. “We shot the ball real well tonight. Jayda had some good minutes and I told them just now really everyone on the team contributed to this win, from game planning coming into the game to execution.”

Melville scored seven of her 12 points in the opening eight minutes of the game and drained back-to-back field goals – one a three-pointer – to give Laney an 11-6 lead after the first quarter.

The sophomore guard was sidelined for the entire second period after she picked up her second foul, but Anna Porcelli, Kristie Langley and Cass Hames picked up the slack to get the Bucs into the second half with a two-point advantage.

Baley Edwards.
Baley Edwards.

“We didn’t put up a lot of offense in that second quarter, but neither did they,” said Tynes. “We had some girls come off the bench and our defense kept us in the game.”

Offensive play picked up after the break as Malone used glass to sink the first of two treys in the game to keep Laney in front, 20-16. Malone scored 10 points in the third period, including her second three-pointer off an assist from Edwards to close the frame up by four.

Edwards gave the Bucs its largest lead to that point at 33-26 early in the fourth quarter with her only basket from beyond the arc, but an offensive rebound and put back by Keeley Britt and pair of free throws from Blair Barefoot cut the lead to three at the midway point of the period.

With Laney back in front by six, Boone drained a three-ball to keep it a one-possession game, but an assist from Porcelli to Melville made it 39-33 in favor of the home side. Edwards knocked down a couple of free throws with under 90 seconds remaining to secure the win.

“We’ve been getting good looks all year and for whatever reason they haven’t always went down,” said Tynes. “We had great composure on both ends tonight and this is the type of game that can help us snowball, especially with our confidence to knock down shots.”

Ashley 44    West Brunswick 29

Carly Baron had 10 points for Ashley in a 44-29 victory over West Brunswick on Friday.

The Screaming Eagles led by four headed into the second quarter and took an 18-9 at the break. The lead ballooned to double figures during the second half as Angel Smith chipped in with nine points.

Ashley improved to 4-2 in conference and 7-8 overall.

Topsail 48    South Brunswick 34

Dominique Bryant had a game-high 16 points to lead Topsail past South Brunswick 48-34 on Friday night.

Lauren Caveness added eight and Brandy Williams finished with seven points. The Pirates are now 2-4 in league play and 11-5 on the year.

Northside 55    North Brunswick 36