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Lady Spartans beat Pioneers, maintain Cumberland reign

Kevin Mays • Feb 12, 2020 at 2:31 AM

EWING — The Eastside’s Lady Spartans are still the queens of Cumberland District basketball, and they left no doubt about it Tuesday.

The Lady Spartans broke open a close game in the second quarter and closed it out with an exclamation-point performance in the final period of a 65-48 win over Thomas Walker at Skeen Court.

The Lady Spartans (17-3, 9-0) clinched their fourth straight regular-season district crown, and the win was the 37th in their past 38 regular-season district games.

“Carrie Boyd and Kaylee Yates have been a part of all four (Cumberland championships),” Eastside coach Barry Ruff said. “That’s something not a whole lot of people can say.

“Four in a row says a lot.”

See Sammy Belcher’s 📸📸 from Tuesday

For Yates, being a part of a four-peat for the regular-season crown was something she’s had on her bucket list.

“It’s something that we’ve been looking forward to. The whole team,” the senior said. “Coach Ruff asked us if we wanted to be part of a four-peat team and I was like, yes, we do.”

Yates led the Lady Spartans with 21 points, and Anna Whited added 18.

The Lady Spartans travel to Rye Cove to close out regular-season and Cumberland District play Friday, but Ruff said it was good to get the win and take the weight off the back of his team as far as clinching the title and the No. 1 seed for the Region 1D tournament in a couple of weeks.

TWO BIG RUNS

Eastside led 16-15 after a tightly contested opening period.

A 9-1 run over the final 3:56 of the second quarter put the Lady Spartans up 34-23 at halftime.

The advantage was good enough to hold serve in the third quarter.

Thomas Walker (18-3, 7-2) outscored Eastside 14-12 in the third quarter to cut its deficit to nine, 46-37, but the Lady Spartans put the game out of reach by opening the fourth on a 13-0 run.

Eastside led 59-37 with 3:36 remaining to play.

“We knew we had to withstand some pressure,” Ruff said. “Coming down here (the Lady Pioneers) play so well and they’re well coached. They’re a good team and we knew it was going to be a dog fight.”

Thomas Walker got 16 points from Lakin Burke, and Talyn Dibrell added 11.

SPARTANS CLINCH SHARE

In the boys’ game, Eastside took a 74-55 win over Thomas Walker to clinch at least a share of the Cumberland regular-season title.

The Spartans (11-8, 8-1) can win the district title outright Friday if they pull out a road victory over Rye Cove.

Ethan Powers led four Eastside players in double-figure scoring with 18 points. Eli McCoy added 16 and Grayson Whited and Connor Blevins finished with 11 each.

Thomas Walker (0-21, 0-9) got a game-high 26 points from Caleb Yeary and 11 from Jaron Warf.

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