NW Guilford hands SE Raleigh first loss in title game
Posted March 11
Raleigh, N.C. — Northwest Guilford snapped Southeast Raleigh’s 32-game unbeaten streak Saturday afternoon to claim the N.C. High School Athletic Association girls basketball state championship Saturday afternoon at Reynolds Coliseum.
Southeast Raleigh had possession in the waning moments after forcing a Vikings turnover with three seconds to play, but senior Tamia Hicks missed a shot as time expired that would’ve sent the game to overtime.
The Lady Bulldogs have finished runner-up in the 4A state game three of the last four seasons. Southeast Raleigh last won the state title in 1999.
“This was a tough one for us," said Southeast Raleigh head coach Nicole Meyers. "We weren’t able to do some of the things that we are typically able to do as far as pushing the ball in transition and getting some easy baskets.
"One thing that I appreciated from my group was the fight that they had, even in the midst of adversity.”
Northwest Guilford sophomore Elizabeth Kitley – named the game’s most valuable player – tallied 15 points and tallied 10 rebounds for the game’s lone double-double.
Viking sophomore Cayla King led all scorers with 16 points and finished 11 of 12 from the free throw line. King was named the West’s most outstanding player Saturday afternoon.
The Bulldogs and Vikings were knotted after the first quarter, combining for 14 points. Southeast Raleigh scored 14 points itself in the second quarter to take a 21-16 lead in to halftime.
Hicks led all scorers with 11 points in the first half, but she was held to only one basket in the final 16 minutes of play.
Like Hicks, the entire Southeast Raleigh squad struggled to carry its momentum, scoring only 13 points in the entire second half.
“I think we kind of strayed away from the game plan," Meyers said. "We did not attack like we did in the second quarter, but we were able to get them in foul trouble. For some reason we decided to be more passive.”
Kitley took over in the third for Northwest Guilford, scoring seven of the team’s nine points and five rebounds in the quarter.
King finished the job for the Vikings, going 6 for 6 from the free throw line and adding nine points in the final eight minutes of play.
Hicks led the Bulldogs with 13 points and was named the East Champion Most Outstanding Player. Along with Hicks, junior Jada McMillian also finished in double figures with 12 points.
“It would’ve meant a lot to me for us to come out with a ‘W,’ but I’m still happy and proud of what we did do this season,” Hicks said. “I wish we could have finished.”
Southeast Raleigh suffered its first loss since March 2, 2016 against Millbrook in the fourth round of the state playoffs.
“We are 32-1. I mean, we won 32 games; it’s unfortunate that we lost the last one, but we won 32 games," Meyers said. "We have a lot to be grateful for and thankful for.
"It was a great season. We didn’t get our ultimate goal, but we reached a lot of goals this season.”