Monday, March 11, 2013

North Meck looks to learn from loss

North Mecklenburg's girls' basketball team fell to Porter Ridge 67-46 in the N.C. High School Athletic Association's 4A western regional semifinals Friday night.

The Lady Vikings were outscored 14-4 in the opening four minutes of the game and couldn't crawl out of the hole. The I-Meck 4A regular-season champions finished their year 26-4.

"It doesn't diminish what we accomplished this year and the fact that we made that big turnaround from the year before and since I got there," said fourth-year North Meck coach Jennifer Baker.

Junior Destiny Barrino and sophomore reserve Jaydah Hayden led North Meck in scoring against the Pirates, tallying 14 points each.

Although the Vikings lose four seniors, Kelly Beasley, Jasmine Bullock, Jasmine Cash and Kelsey Ellison, Baker hopes the rest of her team learns from the program's first trip to regionals since 2008.

"You're dealing with a lot of kids who had never been here before. ... Now they know what it feels like," she said. "Hopefully, when they're presented with the challenge again, they'll step up and knock their opponent down."

With Barrino, whose 12 points per game led the team, slated to return alongside with fellow junior Brianna Jones and other young players, Baker hopes her team can carry this year's success onward.

"Our future looks bright," she said.