The last time Southeast Raleigh experience a defeat, it was against Leesville Road on Jan. 11.
The last time the Pride dropped a game it was against the Bulldogs on Feb. 8. Something had to give in the rubber match between the two teams in the Cap-7 tournament finals. Southeast Raleigh rode the back of forward Anya Poole and captured the league title with a 60-47 win at Broughton’s Holliday Gym.
“We knew coming into this game that this was for all the marbles,” Southeast Raleigh head coach Nicole Meyers said. “We’ve had some tough contest against Leesville, but we knew that this game meant a lot and I think we approached the game that way.”
Poole led all scorers with 19 points and the Bulldogs never trailed, leading from wire-to-wire.
The Pride (21-4) pulled to within two in the second quarter, but Southeast Raleigh got going and never looked back, extending their winning streak to 12 games. Leesville Road knocked off the Pride, 79-76, in overtime during the first meeting. The Bulldogs (26-5) got revenge earlier this month with a 15-point win at home, but saved their best for last with the Cap-7 title on the line.
After a slow start to the second quarter, the Bulldogs kicked it into high gear. The Pride came out the gates and outscored Southeast Raleigh 6-2 at the 5:04 mark, making it a two-point game (15-13). After a timeout, the Bulldogs went on a 6-0 run to gain some separation. Leesville Road didn’t do themselves any favors turning the ball over twice and going 0-3 from the field on five straight possessions.
“We knew that we had to set the done, we set the tone with our defense,” Meyers said. “Then on offense we knew we had to attack them. We knew their bench wasn’t as deep as our bench so if we attacked we would get good things tonight.”
Southeast Raleigh led 13-7 at the break, and the lead jumped to as many as 13 after a layup from Poole.
In the opening quarter the Bulldogs jumped out to a 6-0 lead and Leesville first basket didn’t come until the 3:39 mark and Southeast took a convincing 32-21 lead at halftime. The Pride pulled to within eight to start the third quarter, thanks to the Bulldogs missing their first six shots from the field, but Poole’s three-point play ended their scoring drought, pushing the lead to 11. Southeast Raleigh would lead by double-digits the rest of the way. Leesville pulled to within nine (58-47), but the Bulldogs iced the game from the line the rest of the way.
Jamia Hazell added 10 for the Bulldogs. Nia Young led Leesville Road with 21. Lucy Leen added 11.
Meyers likes where her team is heading into the postseason. She does realize, however, that the team will need to refocus as they head into the NCHSAA playoffs. She’ll give them a day off to celebrate the Cap-7 crown, then it’s right back to work.
“They have a coach that will bring them right back down,” Meyers said. “That’s never been a problem. Monday we are right back at it.”