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WAKE FOREST — After a 61-29 blowout at home Tuesday, Heritage’s girls basketball team swept Wake Forest in the regular season for the sixth year in a row.
Wake Forest only held the lead once — at 6-4 in the first quarter. After that, it was all Huskies.
“I thought the girls played hard for each other,” Heritage head coach Pat Kennedy said. “We talked about that before the game. The ball movement was great. Everyone chipped in. Basketball is fun that way. The girls took some good shots.”
Heritage ended the first quarter with a 12-6 lead. The Huskies pulled ahead 26-14 in the second period. Wake Forest chipped in one more basket to make the score 26-16 at halftime.
Heritage opened the third quarter with a 10-0 run to go up 36-16. The Huskies held the Cougars to only four points to take a 38-20 lead at the end of the period.
In the fourth quarter, Heritage opened a 14-0 run to make it a 52-20 lead. Wake Forest climbed back with nine more points, but the Huskies reigned victorious at 61-29.
“The girls had great communication on defense,” Kennedy said. “Every coach is looking for positive energy from their team. Tonight, the girls did it all themselves.”
Noelle Horton led the Huskies with 14 points. Her teammate Jada Douthit was right behind her at 12 points.
It was senior night for Heritage as it was its final home game of the regular season. Its only senior, Malia Poirrier, is out with a knee injury.
“Malia has been great all four years,” Kennedy said. “I wanted to coach her this year. She’ll rehab that knee injury and do really well at UNC-Pembroke.”
With the win, Heritage improved to 12-11 overall and 6-3 in NAC 6 conference play. If Knightdale loses to Corinth Holders Friday, the Huskies will finish the year second in the conference.
Either way, Heritage will make the 4A state playoffs for the fifth year in a row. Kennedy said in a team with no healthy seniors, gaining experience is going to be the key for a big postseason push.
“This whole year has been about learning how to play together,” Kennedy said. “We’re an inexperienced team. We need to get the experience of playing in different situations. Tonight, the girls did a great job of finding the open player and knocking the shot down.”
Heritage will play its final regular season game at Rolesville on Friday, Feb. 14, at 6 p.m.