Lady Blue Devils' Andrews leads 4th quarter run for 61-39 win over North Lincoln on Tuesday

Lady Blue Devils’ senior guard Maggie Andrews (14) scored 11 of her 17 total points in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s home win over North Lincoln. (O-N-E photo by Michelle Thompson)Lady Blue Devils’ sophomore forward Kennedie Noble (24) obtained 11 of her 19 total points in the first quarter of the 61-39 home victory over North Lincoln on Feb. 9. Noble scored the team’s first 9 points in the opening quarter. (O-N-E photo by Michelle Thompson)
Marcus Smith
Sports Editor

Coming off of a big win over then South Fork 2A Conference third-place holder Lake Norman Charter (7-4) on Friday, Feb. 5, the Lady Blue Devils returned home for a match-up with another team of Lady Knights.

Clinging to an 11-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, Maiden pushed ahead to its largest lead of the night in the win, 61-39, led by senior guards Maggie Andrews and Lainee Hentschel.

Andrews – who scored a career-high 35 points in the win over Lake Norman Charter – finished this contest on Tuesday with 17 points (11 of which came in the final period). While, Hentschel corralled 16 points, nine assists, six rebounds and three steals.

Nevertheless, it would be sophomore forward Kennedie Noble who opened the contest up on fire for the Lady Blue Devils as she garnered 11 of her 19 total points in the first quarter. Hentschel dished out three assists to Noble in the period.

After North Lincoln's Haley Klein scored the first point on either side via a foul shot, 1-0, Noble countered with an And-1 finish on the assist by Hentschel.

Noble pushed her team out in front 9-3 on a fastbreak finish assisted again by Hentschel. She earned the team's first nine points in this contest.

Lady Knights' senior guard Ashlyn White had an answer, however, as she connected on her first of five triples on the night to bring her team within three, 9-6, with 4:10 left in the opening frame. Point guard Ayanna Gaddy assisted on the play.

White then nailed another triple about one minute later to tie things at 9-all. The Lady Blue Devils responded with consecutive baskets (the first on senior forward/center Marley Mingus' putback and the next on a steal and inside finish by Hentschel) to lead, 13-9, with about two minutes left to play.

Following Noble's two-pointer, the Lady Knights closed out the first scoring the final three points (a free-throw by White followed by a drive to the rim by White), trailing 15-12.

Mingus (who finished with seven points, 13 rebounds, six assists and a block) scored the first basket on either side after a three minute stalemate for both clubs. Mingus' jumper on the left side gave Maiden a 17-12 advantage with 4:40 left to play in the half.

Klein (who obtained 13 points, six boards and a steal) connected on consecutive baskets for North Lincoln, first on an assist by junior Addie Reid and then on a jumper in the middle of the lane assisted by senior Sadie Hallman. The Lady Knights trailed by only one, 17-16, with 2:20 remaining in the half.

Nevertheless, the Lady Blue Devils were able to maintain the lead and close out the frame with a 24-16 lead. The final shot came via an Andrews' jumper within 16 feet.

In the third quarter, Andrews scored the first basket on a layup to make it a double-digit lead, 26-16, with about seven minutes left.

However, White led her team from this deficit and cut the lead down to just two at one point. On a fastbreak, the ball was kicked out to the right side for an open White shot, bringing the lead to just 26-19. After Maiden responded with two points, North Lincoln countered with a 7-0 run.

Hallman collected a steal and then assisted Klein on a layup to trail, 28-23, with 5:28 left in the third. White then pulled up like Steph Curry on a dribble pull-up on the corner right side to trail, 28-26, with about 3:30 left to go.

Despite this run, the Lady Blue Devils were able to convert on some good looks including a steal to an assist by senior Nina Boulany (two assists in the frame) which led to a Hentschel 3-pointer followed by a Mingus finish assisted by Boulany.

Hentschel then followed with a solid up-and-under finish at the rim. Following these exchanges, Maiden took a 39-28 lead into the final frame.

It was far from over early on for North Lincoln in the fourth quarter as White scored seven of the team's 11 points in the period, and she finished with a game-high 22 points. She earned a steal and finish to cut the lead to 39-32 with about seven minutes remaining.

Noble responded with a putback layup off of her own miss before White retaliated with a fastbreak score down the left side, 41-34, with 5:50 left to play. Hentschel then obtained an And-1, although she missed the foul shot, on an Andrews assist to put Maiden ahead by 10, 44-34 with about five minutes left.

Klein then hit a hook shot assisted by Reid to cut the lead to 44-36. However, Andrews went into another gear for Maiden in final few minutes of this contest as she led her squad on a 17-5 run to close out the game.

Ahead, 54-39, Andrews converted an And-1 before Mingus assisted her on back-to-back outlet passes on fastbreaks, pushing in front, 61-39, with about 1:30 remaining.

Even though the game seemed in question, Hentschel kept her head up and squared up on a North Lincoln drive to the rim and drew the charge with 36.8 seconds left in the action. The Lady Knights couldn't respond, and it was over.

With only three games left to play in the regular season, the Lady Blue Devils (5-6) are currently on a three-game win streak. Its next match-up is on the road against East Lincoln (8-3) on Friday night.