HOPE MILLS — At the onset of the Scotland girls basketball team’s game against Jack Britt, it appeared the Scots would hold a decisive advantage in the paint.
With a frontcourt that included 6-foot-2 center Khasiya Sellers and 5-foot-11 Breanna Williams, Scotland featured more size than its counterparts from Hope Mills. The Scots fed the ball to Sellers early and the two-time Southeastern Conference performer living up that billing by tallying the first two baskets for the visitors.
That success was short-lived, however — the Buccaneers overcame a first-quarter deficit and never trailed after the second quarter en route to a 49-36 victory.
The loss put a stop to Scotland’s two-game winning steak, and Jack Britt’s win was its third in its past four games.
The Buccaneers thrived at scoring second-chance points and winning 50-50 balls throughout the contest while converting their opportunities at the charity stripe.
But they found themselves down early in the contest.
Scotland was extremely active in its 2-3 zone defense from the opening tip and forced multiple Jack Britt turnovers. The Buccaneers had a hard time finding any rhythm offensively as the Scots showcased alert hands in forcing multiple deflections.
Lauren Moore was the only Buccaneer who could find any flow, scoring the first seven points of the game for the home squad.
Sellers scored a pair of baskets and junior point guard ShanQaylia Stanton added four points of her own to give the Scots a 10-5 lead during the waning stages of the first quarter, but Jack Britt found life before the start of the second, scoring six straight points from the free throw line. Moore, Cierra Nixon and Aniya Williams all nailed free throw shots to put the Buccaneers on top 11-10 to end the first quarter.
Scotland regained the advantage when senior shooting guard Ashlyn Dial drilled a 3-pointer, but Jack Britt took right back, and for good, when Kalin Young rattled home a 3-pointer of her own. She was one of four different Buccaneers to score in the period as Jack Britt built a 20-17 lead heading into halftime.
Sellers picked up where she left off to open the second half, scoring six of Scotland’s seven points in the third quarter.
Moore also tallied six points for the Buccaneers, but had more help from her teammates. Sharina McLeod and Destiny Smith added a basket apiece, and Young hit two free throws. Moore hit a jumper in the paint with less than three seconds on the third quarter clock to extend the Jack Britt advantage to eight points, 32-24.
Scotland never threatened in the final period — the Buccaneers led by as many as 15 during the final eight minutes of action. Jack Britt hit 9-of-10 free throws in the fourth quarter and finished the game with 17 points from the charity stripe.
Moore paced both teams with 13 points, and McLeod added eight.
Sellers led Scotland with 12 points while Dial tacked on nine.
The Scots fell to 2-5 overall with the loss while the Buccaneers improved to 4-5.
Scotland will hit the hardwood tonight for its second game in as many days when it travels to South Carolina to battle rival Marlboro County.
Logan Martinez can be reached at 910-506-3170. Follow him on Twitter @L_Martinez13.