RALEIGH — Enloe played its best basketball of the year Friday, using a game-changing second quarter effort to top Knightdale, 53-35.
The style of play the Eagles showed was something coach Pina Baker-Hunt had been waiting to see from her team.
This was the first time in our season that weve come out with a lot of intensity, she said. Other games weve picked it up in the second half, but I thought we came out strong tonight.
The game began with each side struggling to control the ball, as the teams combined for 12 first-quarter turnovers. The Eagles were able to settle things down in the second, picking up the defensive pressure and crashing the boards.
Tied at 12 points apiece after the first period, Enloe (2-5) turned rebounds and Knightdale turnovers into a 19-2 second quarter run, putting the Knights in a hole they couldnt overcome.
We talked about the second quarter at halftime and I think our girls responded, but I think that run was pretty much the ball game at that point, said Knightdale coach Anthony Byrd.
I think that kind of set the tone.
Knightdale (2-5) brought its defense out to a full court press in the second half, giving Enloe a little trouble at times, but the Knights were unable to capitalize on steals and struggled to regain much footing.
The press also gave way to easy baskets Enloe or resulted in fouls when the press was broken, allowing the Eagles to widen the point margin and avenge a five-point loss at Knightdale a week earlier.
Enloe showed a balanced scoring attack with five players scoring nine or more points in the win. Freshman Brianna Less led all scores with 12 points while senior Vidula Reddy and Candice Jones added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The game was a step in the right direction for a young Enloe team that includes three freshmen, a sophomore and just two seniors.
Theres just no replacement for experience, Baker-Hunt said. It wasnt pretty near the end, but we were able to sustain that intensity and thats what we wanted to do.