CARY — Green Hope and Southeast Raleigh’s girls’ basketball teams were in an unusual spot after Tuesday’s nonconference showdown. One lost, the other won, but yet both were happy with how their teams came back.
For Southeast Raleigh, it prided itself on how it was able to withstand a late rally on the road to come away with a 50-42 victory in a place where only one road team has won since the beginning of the 2009 season.
And for Green Hope, it took comfort in how it didn’t give up after trailing by 18 after the first quarter. At the time, the 22-4 Southeast lead going into the second quarter seemed insurmountable, but Green Hope led 37-36 at the start of the fourth quarter.
But Bulldogs (2-0) point guard Alexus Hicks hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put Southeast up for good.
“We showed some mental toughness,” Southeast coach Nicole Sampson said. “To have that shown this early in the season gives me high hopes.”
Hicks finished with a game-high 15 points and team-highs in rebounds (nine), steals (four) and assists (five).
“Alexus Hicks is probably one of the most underrated point guards in the area. She has tremendous skill, and I think she had a point to prove tonight,” Sampson said. “She hasn’t been getting a lot of attention, and I think she wanted to show folks she was a clutch basketball player worthy of attention.”
The Falcons (0-1) were playing their first game as a unit in the post-Kristen Gaffney era. Green Hope struggled to find offensive rhythm without Wake County’s now-graduated leader in points, but shot 14-of-24 from the field as it went from down 18 to up by one.
However, Green Hope’s comeback was stunted for good when Ashley Williams (12 points, four rebounds, five assists) fouled out with 3:13 remaining.
“I was very proud of the way we fought back. We’ve got a lot of work to do, but if we fight the way we fought in the second and third quarter, we’ll be OK,” Green Hope coach Mike Robinson said. “We found ourselves a bit tonight.”
Falcons forward Cassidey Sowards had a tema-high 13 points. Her four rebounds tied with Williams, Maggie Auslander and Lauren Midgette for tops on the team. Auslander added four steals, while Midgette had four assists.
Southeast’s Kaleisha Moore had 10 points and four rebounds.
“We’ve had some valuable additions this year, and they have brought a different dynamic to our team than in years past,” Sampson said. “We’ve got the same intensity, but we’re trying to score more this year.”
Blake: 919-460-2606 or twitter.com/JMBpreps