Shallotte Middle School girls win county basketball title

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

The Shallotte Middle School girls’ basketball team has won the Brunswick County regular-season and tournament championships.

The Lady Pirates won nine of 11 games against county rivals South Brunswick, Leland and Waccamaw and finished 13-3 overall, setting a school record for wins in a season.

“These young ladies did a great job this season, one of the most talented groups we have ever had at SMS,” said Shallotte coach Mark Jones.

“We had some exciting games. We played some great teams. The coaches, school, parents and community are very proud of them. This is a season I know that they will never forget. The county and tournament championship—incredible.”

Shallotte went 7-2 in county games during the regular season, finishing one game ahead of South Brunswick in the standings. Leland was third and Waccamaw fourth.

One of the biggest wins of the season for the Lady Pirates came Feb. 5 at Boiling Spring Lakes. They beat South Brunswick 27-26 in overtime with Alexus Stanley scoring the winning basket with 9 seconds remaining.

Shallotte clinched the regular-season championship two days later with a 26-11 victory against Leland. Jasmine Jackson scored 14 points in the win.

In the first round of the county tournament Feb. 11 at Leland Middle School, Shallotte beat Waccamaw 41-11. Nine players scored for the Lady Pirates, led by Jackson with eight points and Stanley with seven.

In the tournament championship game on Feb. 14, Shallotte came from behind to defeat South Brunswick 33-27.

The Lady Pirates outscored South 13-4 during the final three minutes. Jackson had 12 points, Bionca Shields had eight and Whitney McKeithan had six, including two clutch free throws in the final minute.

Eighth graders on the team were Jackson, Stanley, Shields, McKeithan, Leslie Johnson, J’Meisha Fullwood, Lakhandra Cox, Chasity Lewis, Kiana Reed, Cassie Matto, Aubriona Thomas and Lateasha Rankin.

Seventh graders included Kianna Pigott, Keya Miller, Brittany Vallerio and Brianna Hill.

Assistant coaches were Bridget Poe and Heather Nelson, and the team manager was Mary Britt Nelson.

For the season, Shallotte averaged 30.2 points per game and held opponents to 18.6.

Top individual scorers were Jackson, 10.6 points per game; Stanley, 6.0 ppg; Cox, 4.3 ppg; Shields, 4.2 ppg; Vallerio, 3.0; McKeithan, 2.8 ppg; and Johnson, 1.1 ppg.