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Thomas helps Lady Knights overcome Warriors

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KNIGHTDALE — Diamond Thomas sparkled as the jewel in the crown of a Knightdale High girls basketball 56-35 victory vs. archrival East Wake at home Dec. 18.

Though she produced her game-best 29 points in just two quarters (16 in the first, 13 in the third), the guard’s pair of outpourings both secured then strengthened a start-to-finish lead.

Thomas accounted for her squad’s initial 16 points en route to a 10-point early advantage, during which she drew five fouls single-handedly against the Warriors (now 4-5).

East Wake suffered nine turnovers the opening eight minutes, 29 over the course of the entire contest. That combined with its 4-of-23 first-half shooting doomed the visitors’ upset plans.

Knightdale (8-2) rallied behind Thomas’ individual excellence in distinct spurts. A 29-10 intermission lead spread to a 30-point margin more than midway through the third stanza.

Backcourt partners Jaden Davis (10 points, four steals) and J’kiyah Kelley (five points, eight assists, seven steals and six rebounds) suffocated the Warriors defensively while exhausting them offensively.

A’Lelia Sanders (four points, four rebounds) and A’Coyia Sanders (four points, five rebounds) added a twin killer Knight effort in the post.

The Warriors only won battle came across the boards. They grabbed a 53-29 rebounding advantage. Senior center Kelis Carmon (14 points, 12 rebounds) posted another double-double on the season despite sitting the whole second stanza.

In her absence, Ze’Asia Gupton (four points, 10 rebounds) took over the glass-cleaning duties. Guard Sierra Razor (10 rebounds, six assists) also gobbled up loose balls, while Makayla Ricks (10 points) provided the extra scoring punch lacked during a 12-of-55 (22 percent) shooting effort.

Knightdale feasted at the free-throw line, as well. Its 10-of-13 eclipsed East Wake’s 4-of-18 accuracy at the charity stripe.

Knightdale will play at Athens Drive Jan. 3 at 6:30 p.m. East Wake will have a rematch with Knightdale at home Jan. 7 at 6:30 p.m.