Southeast Raleigh got off to a slow start in its girls’ basketball season opener on Monday night. But the Bulldogs, last season’s state runner-up, were able to shake off the early season jitters and defeat Holly Springs, 51-37.
“I think we were caught on our heels initially,” Southeast Raleigh coach Nicole Meyers said. “It definitely showed us that we have a ways to go. We have six new people and we’re just trying to find our roles within the team.”
Southeast Raleigh (1-0) lost five seniors from last year’s team that fell short in the state championship game against Myers Park. However, the Bulldogs do not believe in rebuilding.
“We knew that a lot of people would think that this would be a down year but that’s not our belief. We don’t rebuild, we reload,” Meyers explained. “That’s our mentality. The faces change, but our mentality has never changed.”
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Two key returners from last season are Jada McMillian and Kia Abrams. McMillian led Monday’s win with 11 points, while Abrams added 10. McMillian also grabbed eight rebounds and had three steals on the night.
The Bulldogs found themselves down 4-0 before they turned up the defensive pressure. After forcing a few turnovers and nailing two timely three-pointers, they took the lead and never looked back.
Southeast Raleigh made all four of the game’s three-pointers on the night, all coming in the first half from (Lucas, Partin, Davis, Sutton).
Brianna Tate was the go-to girl for Holly Springs (0-1). Tate was the only Golden Hawk to reach double figures, notching a game-high 20 points. Teammate Caila Spruill did the dirty work for Holly Springs, leading the contest with nine boards.
Southeast Raleigh will play at Conley High on Wednesday and host Enloe on Friday night.
The Bulldogs will take the season-opening victory and try to build on it, as they only have one thing on their minds.
“State championship,” Meyers exclaimed. “We’ve made to the state championship game twice in a row. Our goal is to make it there and win.”