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WENDELL — The Corinth Holders girls basketball team suffered its fourth setback in the 4-A Northern Athletic Conference with a 55-38 loss to Knightdale at home on Friday night.
“I think that we’re still figuring a couple things out,” head coach Shannon Lee said after the 17-point loss. “I think we’ve worked a lot this week with effort and trying to really be able to handle good defensive teams. Our conference leads with their defense, so we’re learning how to handle that and still be able to run our offense and dictate what we want to do.”
Its defensive efforts became the undercurrent of victory for Knightdale. While limiting the offensive opportunities of the Pirates (7-10, 0-4), junior guard Diamond Thomas exploded for 25 points to pace the Knights offensively. Thomas, who scored 14 points in the first half and finished 11-for-11 from the free throw line, was a challenge to contain all game long.
“She’s a great player and great players are going to score. We definitely tried to keep her contained and limit her touches,” Lee said. “We tried different people and that’s a good player. We will continue to work on that and how to contain her, but you know, for us it’s just a matter of our defensive intensity, just playing really good defense on her, and making her work for her points.”
Knightdale scored the first four points of the game and led the rest of the way from there. Thomas got going quickly and by the end of the first quarter, her team had nearly reached a double-digit lead over the Pirates. By the midway point of the second quarter, a 13-0 run put the Knights way ahead going into halftime — up 17 with another half to build on.
Throughout periods of the game, including the run that created a daunting deficit for Corinth Holders in the second half, the Pirates’ offense struggled to find a rhythm.
In the second half, though, senior Deonna Adams was determined to improve the offensive output and took over what was ultimately an unsuccessful run at coming back in the game.
After leading Corinth Holders with seven of its 16 points in the first half, Adams turned her game up a notch to finish with 19 points by game’s end or half her team’s points.
In the third quarter alone, Adams scored eight of 10 points for the Pirates — solidifying the only quarter when Corinth Holders outscored Knightdale.
In the final quarter, the relative progress of the Pirates stalled out when the offense did. It took nearly three minutes before the first basket came, a jumper for Knightdale, leaving less time for Corinth Holders to continue to chip at the deficit.
Then Knightdale went on a 7-0 run that briefly pushed the lead into the 20s and closing out what was a dominant victory.
The good news for Corinth Holders, which has lost four of its last five games, is that the areas for concern are within the team’s control.
“Tonight, we worked for a lot of our points and ended up giving them some easier ones later on, so some of the things are fixable mistakes for us to work on and be better for the next one,” Lee said.
Thomas 25, Davis 12, Sanders 11, Foster 2, McGuire 1, Taylor 4.
Corinth Holders (38)
Adams 19, Gallons 2, Byrd 2, Ramsey 7, Culbertson 4, Innocent 2, Archambault 2.
Score by quarters:
Knightdale 16 17 8 14 — 55
Corinth Holders 7 9 10 12 — 38