RALEIGH — Southeast Raleigh took on a tough non-conference challenge in girls basketball Monday night, but the Bulldogs shrugged it off without a lot of trouble.
Greensboro Dudley had nice runs in the first and third quarters, but junior post Amber Richardson scored 21 points to lead a trio in double figures as the Bulldogs blew past the Panthers 57-39.
Southeast (6-0), the four-time defending champions of the Greater Neuse River 4A Conference, won for the 35th time in its last 36 games. Dudley, a member of the Metro 4A, fell to 2-2.
It was the schools first meeting at least since Coach Nicole Meyers took over the program eight seasons ago.
Senior guard Alexis Hicks added 16 points for Southeast, while junior Jade Phillips chipped in 13.
Six college scouts were at Mondays game, and Meyers said she thought that was the most ever for a Southeast home game. Richardson has already committed to N.C. State.
I think we played hard, Meyers said. We knew they would play hard and pressure us, and they were just as athletic as we were and a little bigger. They were the best team weve played so far. But our effort was definitely there.
We settled down after the first quarter, played the defense weve been playing all year. We held them to one shot and looked for transition baskets.
Kara Straite had 11 points and Essence Abraham 10 for Dudley, which had seniors Makala Rouse (signed with Campbell) held to four points and Kennedy Currie (signed with High Point) three.
We played the best we could against them, Dudley coach Frank McNeil said. Southeast is a really disciplined team that does the fundamentals well. We wanted a tough schedule early. The tougher the schedule the better. I dont feel like an easy schedule prepares you for the playoffs.
Southeast led 25-13 at halftime.
Dudley kept the Bulldogs off-balance in the first quarter, taking an 11-7 lead at the first break as Southeast struggled with the 2-3 zone.
Richardson scored the first five points before the Panthers responded with a 9-0 run.
It was good competition for us for later on in the season, Richardson said. Dudley was intense on defense, and their guards were able to get to the basket.
I think tonight we learned that we need to play entire games, not just one half or one quarter. Weve just got to keep our intensity up the entire game.
But the rest of the half was all Southeast, as the Panthers scored just two points in the second quarter when Victoria Harrisons 17-footer with 56 seconds showing broke their scoring drought of 8:41.
We all played defense together and we were all on the same page, Hicks said. Everybody contributed, including our bench. We just played good Southeast Raleigh basketball. We did a lot of talking tonight and a good job helping the helper.
Dudley cut the gap to just 30-27 on a Currie 3-pointer with 2:54 left in the third, but the Bulldogs responded with eight straight points to get their working margin back.
We picked it up in the second half, Phillips said. I think we could have been better defensively. But the most important thing was that we got the Dub.
Southeast will host brand-new Rolesville High in its GNRC debut on Friday night.