Kinston's comeback falls short against Farmville Central in Eastern Regionals
Kinston’s Samantha Lee drives through the Farmville Central defense during Saturday’s Eastern Regional Finals match. Photo by William ‘Bud’ Hardy / Neuse News
GREENVILLE | For the second straight year, Kinston's season ended at Minges Coliseum.
The Vikings fell to Farmville Central 76-56 Saturday in the NCHSAA 2A Eastern Regional Finals. The Jaguars (27-0) took their first lead with 3:01 in the first and never looked back, securing their first state championship birth since winning it all in 2006.
Kinston (25-6) did make a furious fourth-quarter rally, but fell short as its 20-game win streak was snapped.
“I’m real proud of my team,” Farmville Central coach Hollis Harper said. “They played hard the whole year, they never gave up. Kinston’s a great team — we withstood the storm and won the game.”
Kinston started strong with a Michyla Dove 3-pointer and Anzaryia Cobb basket inside, but Farmville Central responded with a 3-point barrage. The Jaguars went 4 of 8 from beyond the arc and closed the quarter on a 15-3 run to go up 21-12. The Vikings held the Jaguars without a field goal for 4:33 in the second, but couldn't get closer than six. Farmville Central canned 7 of 10 shots on the way to a 37-23 halftime advantage.
The Jaguars kept the pressure up, extending the lead to 62-39 on a Rashya Speight basket with 6:55 to play before the Vikings made a rally. Taliyah Jones was a catalyst, scoring 10 of her team-high 15 points during a 17-0 run to turn the tide. When Samantha Lee hit a free throw with 3:19 remaining, Kinston trailed 62-56.
Unfortunately, the Vikings couldn’t get closer as Amiya Joyner’s basket on the other end started a game-ending 14-0 run for the Jaguars.
Kinston coach Christopher Bradshaw said despite the loss, he was proud of a great season for the Vikings, including their second straight Eastern Regional finals.
“From Day 1, they didn’t have any quit in them,” Bradshaw said. “A lot of times, it’s hard to come back from a (large) deficit, but they fought to the point it was six. That’s just a testament of who they are, their character and trying to make sure they do it right way.”
FARMVILLE CENTRAL 76, KINSTON 56
K 12 11 13 20 — 56
FC 21 16 19 20 — 76
KINSTON — Taliyah Jones 15, Sheriece Jones 11, Anzaryia Cobb 11, Michyla Dove 10, Lee 5, Powell 3, Rivers 1
FARMVILLE CENTRAL — Jordan Joyner 23, Rashya Speight 20, Ja’shyran Carmon 15, A. Joyner 8, Willoughby 4, Shepard 3, Denham 2, Foskey 1
Three-pointers: K — S. Jones 2, Dove 2. FC — Speight 3, J. Joyner, Shepard.