PUMPKIN CENTER — North Lincoln guard Antaijah Easter scored 30 points and went 5-7 from the free throw line to lead the Lady Knights varsity girls basketball squad to a resounding 79-36 win in the team’s season opener on Tuesday against the Bunker Hill Lady Bears.
Easter pummeled the Bunker Hill defense, scoring three 3-pointers and using her height and speed to gain baskets for her team from the baseline.
The Lady Knights took a 20-4 lead out of the first quarter, effectively putting the game out of reach of the Lady Bears. North Lincoln point guard Sidney Russell (20 points, 5-9 free throws) drove down the court in the opening minutes of the game and laid in a basket to give the Lady Knights a 2-0 lead. Easter then stole the ball from a Bunker Hill opponent and was fouled on her layup but completed two free throws to put the Lady Knights ahead 4-0.
Bunker Hill got on the board less than a minute later with a field goal by sophomore Kayla Garrett, but North Lincoln continued its relentless offensive attack for the final six minutes of the first quarter.
Easter opened the second quarter for North Lincoln with some smooth footwork, weaving around a Bunker Hill defender for a layup. She gave the Lady Knights a 24-4 lead with a put-back, and Russell’s short jumper at the 4:37 mark gave the Lady Knights a 27-5 lead.
North Lincoln held a 41-7 advantage at the halftime break.
Bunker Hill matched its entire offensive output in the first half within the first four minutes after halftime, but North Lincoln scored 22 points in the third quarter to hold a 63-22 lead headed into the final frame.
North Lincoln forward Payton Bruce (16 points, 2-5 free throws) and guard Kayla Burchett (8 points, 2-4 free throws) aided Easter and Russell on offense.
The Lady Knights host the South Iredell Vikings today in nonconference play.