A loss to Eastern Guilford may be just what the Eastern Alamance girls basketball team needed to help it complete what coach Tim Krotish calls a rebuilding year.
The Eagles suffered just their third loss of the season Tuesday as a young Eastern Guilford squad secured a 57-52 win at home.The contest snapped an 11-game winning streak by the Eagles (17-3, 7-1), who still lead the Mid-State 2-A Conference.
Eastern Guilford's Erica Maynard scored 12 of her game-high 20 points in the fourth quarter as the Wildcats (8-13, 6-3) pulled ahead with a 13-0 run.
Maynard scored 10 points and notched three steals during the pivotal surge which came early in the fourth quarter.
``I knew this day would come,' Krotish said. ``We talked earlier in the year that complacency would be our biggest enemy. We knew there were some teams out there that we couldn't slip up against, and we knew Southern and Eastern Guilford were two of the teams that would give us trouble. ... This is a little setback for us, but sometimes, a little adversity is what a team needs. I would much rather have this loss now than later.'
During the 11-game winning streak - which dated back to Jan. 6 - the Eagles' average margin of victory was 25 points.
Early in Tuesday's game, complacency seemed good enough to drop Eastern Guilford, which starts five sophomores.
The Eagles led by eight in the second quarter and held a six-point lead early in the fourth period. But the Wildcats came back thanks to Maynard, Jere Crisp (14 points) and Bonita Hodges (10 points).
``I'm proud of our girls for holding together against a very good team,' Eastern Guilford coach Larry Tucker said. ``I'm sure Eastern Alamance has the conference championship wrapped up, but we want to finish the season strong, and this was a big step in accomplishing that goal.'
Krotish said his team's 17-3 record has been a pleasant surprise. He lost seven players to graduation last year and entered this year with just three returnees.
One of those three was Mandy Bynum, who entered Tuesday's game averaging 21.7 points per contest. The Wildcats held her to 17 points, as she hit just four of her 11 free-throw attempts.
``She's the best player in the area, and one of the best in the state,' Krotish said of Bynum. ``She didn't show it tonight, but when she is on, noone can stop her.'
In boys action Tuesday, Eastern Guilford needed a 27-5 run in the second half to fight off upset-minded Eastern Alamance 58-52.
Wildcat Terrence Holt led all scorers with 24 points, most coming on layups.
Jon Robertson led Eastern Alamance with 16 points.