Cape Fear women open season with 71-51 win

Wilmington, NC - Cape Fear women's basketball won its opening game of the season, defeating Combine Academy 71-51. Sophomore Destiny Campbell lead the Sea Devils with 18 points, and four rebounds, while Desaree Green finished with a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds, along with three blocks.

Combine would jump out to an early 7-0 lead, with Cape Fear unable to generate any offense for the first two minutes. Following a timeout, they would settle down, scoring eight straight to take a one point lead. Combine would retake the lead soon after, and hold it until the Sea Devils would retake it, and would end the quarter leading 14-11. They outrebounded Combine 14-3.

Cape Fear found it easy to score inside, as 12 of the 14 first quarter points came from inside the paint. Sophomore Destiny Campbell led the team with six points and four rebounds.

The Sea Devils found it a bit easier to score in the early goings of the second quarter, scoring eight points in the first three and a half minutes to take a 22-16 lead.

Turnovers plagued the Sea Devils in the first quarter, and that would continue for much of the second. That said, their defense tightened up, forcing a number of turnovers that would lead to fast break opportunities. They also continued to dominate the boards.

Towards the end of the quarter, Cape Fear would take full control, jumping out to a 32-18 lead with just under two minutes remaining. They continued to force turnovers, and capitalized on the other end. They would head into halftime leading 34-20.

Campbell, TaKwana Bland, and Christina Caesar would each lead the team with six points. Cape Fear had 28 points in the paint, and outrebounded Combine 26-8.

The Sea Devils force three turnovers to start the second half, but would only capitalize off one. Still, momentum had clearly shifted in their favor. Points came easier, and they continued to dominate the boards.

They would hold a 42-27 lead midway through the third quarter, however, five straight points from Combine would force coach Drake to call timeout. From that point, both teams tightened up defensively, and points would be hard to come by. The Sea Devils maintained a double digit lead for much of the quarter, but with under a minute Combine would cut the lead to seven. However, a long two by freshman Ari Young as the time expired would give her team a 47-38 lead.

After shooting 52.9 percent in the 2nd quarter, Cape Fear shot just 33.3 in the 3rd, and were limited to just 13 points in the quarter.

However, they would start strong in the 4th quarter, extending their lead to a 53-40 lead. Their ball movement improved, and they were able to find Campbell and Desaree Green in the post much easier. Cape Fear would continue feeding the post, forcing Combine to sag into the paint. As a result, the Sea Devils were able to knock down their first 3-pointer of the night, courtesy of sophomore Nikia Wallace.

With three and a half minutes remaining, Cape Fear held a 68-46 lead. Combine would cut into the lead late in the game, but it would be far too late for any comeback, and Cape Fear would come away with the victory.

For the game, Cape Fear shot 46.3 percent from the field, while limiting Combine to just 25.8. They outscored Combine 48-22 in the paint, and scored 14 points off of Combine's 14 turnovers.

Afterwards, coach Drake pointing to taking care of the ball as a key for the victory. The Sea Devils were careless in the first half, but once they limited turnovers, the game changed. "Once we started doing that, points come easy for us," said Drake.

Asked about what she'd like to see from her team moving forward? "Just consistency. The game is now four quarters, so with that, we have to be consistent each and every quarter, so that's really important from here on out."

The win moves Cape Fear to 1-0 on the season. Their next game will be Saturday, October 12th, where they will travel to play South Georgia Tech. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.

Courtesy of Nick Denning