BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS: Lady Vikings hold off Myers Park to reach third round


North Meck senior Taylor Dunn celebrates the victory over Myers Park Thursday, Feb. 24. /Doug Coats

CHARLOTTE – Myers Park had clawed its way back from a game-long deficit to take the lead mid-way through the fourth quarter, but North Meck’s Taylor Dunn had other plans.

The senior guard hit a 3-pointer followed by a layup to stem the tide, and later nailed game-sealing free throws to give the Lady Vikings a 61-55 win in the second round of the 4A playoffs. For Dunn, it was all about the big picture.

“I wanted to keep my composure, my mind on the game plan,” she said. “I had to make sure to always point at the basket, because when I get tired, I start shooting off. I just had to remember what the end goal was.”

It’s the second time in three years 12-seeded North has gone on the road to take down a 5-seed Mustangs squad. This year, Myers Park went undefeated to win the South Meck 4A.

“She was big for us tonight,” North coach Jennifer Baker said of Dunn. “She had ice in her veins, she hit a big 3, then iced her free throws. She did what a senior does to win.”

Neveah Farmer orchestrates the offense as North Meck closed out Myers Park Thursday. /Doug Coats

The Vikings (24-3) came out blazing to open the contest, knocking down jumpers and forcing Myers Park turnovers to get to a 9-3 lead. The Mustangs (21-7) only hit three shots in the first quarter, two of which were Reese Wilson 3s.

“We wanted to make sure we didn’t lose their shooters,” Baker said. “We knew they would play through their post, then you start sinking in and they kick it out.” 

Though North’s defense forced numerous turnovers and missed shots, Myers Park held an advantage on the offensive glass. At 6-foot-1 Anna Giannopoulou was effective grabbing rebounds and altering shots against a smaller Vikings squad. Baker was impressed with the play of MP sophomore Jerin Truesdale too.

In the second half, however, North was able to adjust down low. Baker countered by putting 5-8 Maliyah Pellum in the post in the second half.

“We put a couple more aggressive people in there,” she said. “We got apprehensive when we picked up some fouls. Maliyah came up with some huge rebounds. That changed the rebounding issue for us.”

In the first half, junior guard Dearia Page nailed jumpers whenever Myers Park creeped closer. And at the end of the first half, backcourt mate Neveah Farmer’s steals led to easy buckets to give North a 30-23 advantage.

The Vikings will travel to the south side again on Saturday, when they take on 4-seed Charlotte Catholic.

 

Other results: Girls

1A

(22) Starmount 66, (6) Langtree Charter 61

2A

(8) Lincoln Charter 63, (9) T.W Andrews 52

Up Next: at (1) Randleman

(2) Salisbury 67, (15) CSD 36

3A

(5) East Lincoln 58, (12) West Rowan 56

Up Next: at (4) North Davidson

4A

(8) Lake Norman 63, (9) Marvin Ridge 40

Up Next: at (1) Watauga

 

Boys

4A

(10) North Meck 56, (7) Alexander Central 42

(1) Weddington 70, (17) Mooresville 60

(19) Northern Guilford 73, (30) Hopewell 63

3A

(20) North Lincoln 66, (4) Freedom 52

Up Next: at (5) Greensboro Smith

(6) Enka 73, (11) East Lincoln 69

2A

(2) Lincoln Charter 86, (15) Walkertown 53

Up Next: vs. (7) Monroe

1A

(10) Christ the King 68, (26) Mtn. Island Charter 56

Up Next: at (2) Winston-Salem Prep

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