Ice-cold shooting dooms PisgahKinston takes home first ever state title, beats Black Bears by 11
CHAPEL HILL — A 17-for-57 (29.8 percent) shooting performance undermined the Pisgah varsity girls basketball team’s effort at the NCHSAA Class 2-A Championship game in the Dean Dome Saturday afternoon.
The Black Bears (1-for-9 in three-pointers) never found their footing on offense while Kinston did in the fourth quarter to defeat Pisgah, 51-40, and win the school’s first ever state girls basketball championship.
“I couldn’t be more proud of a group of girls, women that have mature and exceeded exceptions,” said Pisgah Head Coach Brandon Holloway. “We just had our best season in 24 years We just lost to a better team. Kinston is very talented they are the first team that has out rebounded (38-33) us in the tournament.
“I think defensively, both teams were evenly matched and you have to win the little battles and they won those and made the big shots when they needed them. We were not able to get our shots to go down when we needed them and a lot of that was due to Kinston’s defense and their pressure.
“But right now, I am proud of our girls to have the opportunity to have a chance going into the four quarter. We had a chance and we just came up short.”
The Kinston Vikings finished with a 27-4 record, while Pisgah, which couldn’t duplicate the feats of the 1989 state championship team, ended its season with a 26-7 record.
Despite the sluggish offense by both squads, Pisgah managed to jump out to a 9-4 lead after the first quarter.
But Kinston decided to pound the ball inside to its 6-foot-1 center Lydia Rivers, who scored six of the 11 points, and charged back into the game and sliced the Black Bears’ lead to one point, 16-15, by the halftime break.
During the second quarter, senior Taylor Galyean, who finished with five points, two steals and four rebounds, drained from the left wing Pisgah’s only trey in the game.
By the end of the third quarter, Kinston held a 28-27 lead.
But in the final eight minutes, the Vikings, not the Black Bears finally found their stroke and that dampened Pisgah’s hopes.
With 5:48 left in the game and trailing by two, 33-31, after a Sheridan Pressley jumper, Kinston went on a 14-3 run, which was sparked by three-pointers by Monique Lofton’s and Jada Faison.
When the run ended, the Vikings’s led, 47-34, with 2:10 left.
Thanks to finding its stroke in the fourth quarter, Kinston finished 42.2 (19-for-42) percent from the floor, 4-for-11 from beyond the arc, but was only 9-of-19 from at the foul line.
Pisgah, however, was only 5-of-8 from the charity stripe.
For her strong performance with 13 points, nine blocks, nine rebounds, Rivers was named the most outstanding player of the state 2-A championship game.
Pisgah’s most valuable player was freshman Brooklyn Allen, who finished with 13 points, four rebounds and three steals.
Allen (4-for-15 from the floor) was also named the regional finals’ most outstanding player.
Pressley (6-for-15 from the floor) finished with 13 points and four rebounds. Juniors Mariah Lewis scored seven points and pulled down eight rebounds, while Emily Rhea scored two points.