Southeast Raleigh girls’ basketball stops Clayton

CorrespondentDecember 8, 2012 

Clayton's Taisha Murphy (14) tries to dribble the ball up court against Southeast Raleigh's Amara Bell (3) during the Southeast Raleigh and Clayton Basketball game in Clayton, N.C. on Friday, December 7, 2012. Southeast Raleigh won the game 47-35.

CHRIS RODIER — newsobserver.com

— Southeast Raleigh came into its Greater Neuse River 4A opener at Clayton with revenge on its mind.

After all, the Comets had dealt the three-time defending champion Bulldogs their only conference loss here last season.

But Friday was Southeast’s night.

Taiyana Hill poured in four 3-pointers before the break for all of her 12 points, finishing as the game’s only player in double figures and leading the Bulldogs to a 47-35 girls’ basketball victory.

Southeast is 6-0 on the season, while Clayton fell to 6-1.

“The effort was good,” Southeast coach Nicole Meyers said. “But our execution kind of ebbed and flowed as the game went on. We just should have done a better job taking care of the basketball. Clayton runs that 1-2-2 press, and we messed ourselves up by not having enough focus.

“Our 3-point shooting has been a strength – we’re averaging about five threes a game and that’s something we’re relying on heavily this year.”

Amara Bell and Alexus Hicks – who hit the other 3-pointer - added eight points each for the Bulldogs.

Jenna Harris had nine points while Ashley Murphy and Taisha Murphy added seven apiece for Clayton.

“We wanted to get up and down the floor against them,” Clayton coach Marlon Lee said. “We were just trying to force too much too early and we took some bad shots.

“We won the second half 19-16 because we played man-to-man and kept them from making 3-pointers. Our young guards did a good job wearing them down. We’re just going to have to do a better job next time.”

Southeast led 14-9 after the first quarter, then broke the game open in the second.

The Bulldogs led 18-16 after Clayton’s Vanessa Pitts hit a pair of free throws with 3:09 left in the half. Southeast responded with 12 straight points, including Hill’s final 3-pointer of the half at the buzzer.

“I’ve been working on my outside shot a lot and it’s getting better,” Hill said. “This is a good win for us and I think it will help our confidence.

“We just need to pick up our defense. But we’re getting better.”

The Bulldogs’ biggest lead was 38-18 on an Amber Richardson layup with 3:29 left in the third.

“We played well, but we let them back in the game and we shouldn’t have let that happen,” Bell said. “This was the only conference game we lost last year, and we returning players reminded the newcomers of that. We tried to come out with good focus.”

Southeast led 45-27 following a pair of Tiffany McCarter free throws with 5:38 to go. The Comets scored the next eight points ending in a Pitts free throw with 1:27 left, but Hicks’ two free throws 13 seconds later ended the streak.

“We played hard and won the second half,” Harris said. “We’ve just got to bring better execution in the first half. I think we’re playing well. We’ve just got to play smarter and work together better.”

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