North Clayton (12-14 overall) defeated Spalding for the third time this year and advances in the tournament to play Division A No. 1 seed Woodland-Stockbridge (24-1) today at 8:30 p.m. at Woodland High in a state-qualifying game. Spalding’s season ends with a 12-13 record.
The game started slow as North Clayton only led 8-6 after the first quarter. Despite the loss of Lady Jags senior guard Grenishia Daniel to a knee injury late in the first, Spalding went on a 7-0 run in the second quarter to take its first lead of the game at 13-8 with 2:55 left in the period. But Spalding missed Daniel’s intensity on defense and North Clayton went on a 9-2 run to take a 17-15 lead at halftime.
The Lady Eagles blew the game open in the third. Shun Gayden was the catalyst for North Clayton, sinking three of four 3-pointers in the period, leading NC on a 13-4 run to lead 30-19 with 4:43 left in the third. The Lady Eagles took their biggest lead of the game, 36-21, with 1:22 left before Spalding went on a 6-0 run to cut the NC lead to 38-27 heading into the fourth quarter.
Desiree Corbin scored a basket and Shaquoria Reid sank a free throw to get Spalding within 8 at 38-30 early in the fourth, but NC’s Alejandra Anderson sank a trey to give them a 41-30 lead at 6:49 remaining in the game and that started the blowout. The Lady Eagles went on a 9-2 run to lead 50-32 halfway through the fourth and coast from there. Spalding got within 12 at 50-38 with 1:40 left but that was as close as it would get.
“We were hurting without Grenishia; she brings it on defense,” said Lady Jags head coach Chad Hubbard.
Anderson and Gayden led NC with 14 points each and Raquel Adams chipped in 10. Twandalette Cotton scored 13 points and Corbin added 10 points and 11 rebounds for Spalding.
Hubbard said he wanted to thank the following for their support of Lady Jags basketball this season: Rob Massey of Subway on Wilson Road; Patricia Sullivan of Grace Paradise Baptist Church; Robby and Sabrina Milner of United Christian Fellowship Church; Mr. Bear and Ms. Paige of Little Nicci’s Pizza and Wings; Brian Miller; Jeff and Stephanie Freeman of Arve’s; Nick Davis, Dale Wiggins and Derrell Jeffocat of Spalding High and the Lady Jags coaching staff.