The East Burke Middle girls basketball team sewed up a second consecutive Foothills Athletic Conference regular-season championship in style on Monday, defeating second-place Table Rock on the road, 33-27.
It was the Lady Raiders’ 23rd straight FAC win spanning parts of the last three seasons. With two more victories, EB (10-0 FAC) can nail down its fourth perfect regular season in the last six years.
“It has taken a lot of hard work, blood, sweat and tears as they say,” said EB coach Nancy Kelly. “But what a great season so far. These girls practice every day, and a lot put extra time in on their own on weekends. The girls have been together for a while, and it’s a good group with no issues.
“It’s also a tribute to our dedicated assistant coaches (Steve Moore, Jennifer Davis) and our administration, which has backed us.”
The Raiders were led Monday by post Kamiah Lawing’s team highs of 14 points and 15 rebounds with one steal. Braelyn Stilwell added eight points, seven rebounds, three steals and two assists, Ally Moore supplied six points, two rebounds and an assist and Kassie Turner grabbed seven rebounds.
No individual statistics were available for Table Rock (6-3 FAC), which suffered a second straight loss.
EB hosts Heritage on Thursday and ends the season Jan. 23 at East McDowell, who slipped a half-game ahead of TR into second place after Monday’s games.
W. McDowell 43, Liberty 32
The host Lady Knights (3-7 FAC) fell short Monday in a close battle with the Spartans. Liberty was led in scoring by Jenaya Johnson (13 points, eight rebounds, three steals). Ava Whisnant added six points, four blocked shots and three rebounds. Liberty visits Walter Johnson on Thursday.
E. McDowell 44, Heritage 27
The Lady Eagles (2-7 FAC) lost Monday at home despite Jenna Abernathy’s team-high 16 points. Heritage’s Ivie Carrol added four points, Rylee Woody had three and Taylor Holder and Abbey Humphries scored two each.
Table Rock 59, East Burke 36
For the first time since suffering their only loss last month, the Falcons (8-1 FAC) climbed back into a first-place tie with idle Walter Johnson thanks to Monday’s home triumph.
Table Rock started slowly but finally settled in after leading just 26-25 at halftime, paced by Eli Tillery (13 points), Gabe Ferguson (10) and Jackson Denton (eight). TR next visits West McDowell on Thursday.
Barger Shook scored a team-high 12 points for the Raiders (1-9 FAC), who also got eight from Jacob Dellinger and six from Levi Coble.
Liberty 42, W. McDowell 26
The Knights (8-2 FAC) remained a half-game out of first place with Monday’s home win. Jake Perry scored 17 points and tacked on three steals for Liberty, Nathan Waters added 10 points and Bryson Handley finished with four points and six rebounds. On defense, the Knights were led by Desmond Sexton, Haidyn Hartman, Noah Goodman and Braxton Reinhardt.
E. McDowell 61, Heritage 30
The host Eagles (0-9 FAC) remained winless Monday despite Tate Jensen’s nine points, Jacob Mull’s eight and Malachi Silver’s five.
East Burke 54, Table Rock 53
The Raiders (5-5 FAC) won a nailbiter Monday in Icard as Brady Bostain defeated the Falcons’ Wesley Guy in the final match to clinch the win. EB also gained wins via Grayson Phillips, Lincoln Pierce, Sam Huffman, Connor Mobley, Joshua Hess, Patrick Hernandez, Chris Moore and Deegan Moore.
TR (6-3 FAC) remains in second place, though West McDowell clinched at least a share of the league title with the Falcon setback. TR winners included Xander Vue, Trenton Walker, Canyon Lance, Alejandro Campos, Will Grigg, Nate Lindsay, Hunter Smith, Gavin Sweeney and Blaze Cobb.
W. McDowell 90, Liberty 15
The Knights (6-4 FAC) picked up their lone wins Monday in Marion from Luke Parker, Burke Wilson and Brandon Monroy.
E. McDowell 51, Heritage 48
The Eagles (3-6 FAC) dropped a close one Monday on the road. Heritage’s Logan McGee, Mason Beck, Colton Lukomski, Isaiah Eller, Chase Davis and Vicente Michelle all won via pin, and Avie Helton and Davie Yang picked up forfeit wins.
Jonah Severt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.