CHAPEL HILL – Jainaya Jones and the Pamlico County Hurricanes would not be denied in their third-straight trip to the State Basketball Championship Game, as Jones scored 39 points on her way to Kay Yow Most Valuable Player honors and a 62-55 victory over East Surry.
Pamlico trailed for the majority of the game, with East Surry holding the lead for the first three quarters. Elle Sutphin led the way for the Cardinals as the junior scored 13 points and grabbred 16 rebounds despite facing box-and-one and triangle-and-two defenses all day from the Hurricanes. Sutphin was named the Most Outstanding Performer for the Cardinals.
Dasia Lambert and Morgan Smith were the beneficiaries of the open shots created off the Hurricanes’ double-teams of Sutphin. Lambert tossed in 15 points while Smith scored 11 on three of six from beyond the arc.
It was a 7-0 run by Pamlico County in the early portion of the fourth quarter that shoved the Hurricanes to the lead, 51-47 with 4:30 to go. Zion Davis and Jones combined for the seven point swing, with Jones scoring a pair of layups consecutively, the final of the two she was fouled on and converted the three-point play.
East Surry stole the lead back briefly at the 2:58 mark as Grace Cook and then Dasia Lambert nailed pairs of free throws. However, the Hurricanes responded immediately with Jones hitting a three followed by Mirachell Maher tossing in a layup off a feed from Jones to go back up three 56-53. Maher finished the game with 14 points and 9 rebounds, on her way to being named Pamlico County’s Most Outstanding Player.
East Surry finished the year 27-3, 10-0 as champions of the Northwest 1A Conference. The Cardinals won the Western Regional Championship for the second time in program history. They made their first trip back to the State Championship game since they won in 2001.
Pamlico County wrapped up the year 29-2. They were 12-0 as champions of the Coastal Plains 1A Conference. The Hurricanes won the Eastern Regional finals for the third-straight year and third time in program history, winning the school’s first State Championship in Women’s Basketball.