High School Sports

Fresh off a new SEC offer, Sania Wells leads East Central past Vancleave

Vancleave's Khadeejah Franklin stumbles as she dribbles against East Central's Sania Wells during the first half of their game at East Central gym in Hurley on Friday, Dec. 15, 2017.
Vancleave's Khadeejah Franklin stumbles as she dribbles against East Central's Sania Wells during the first half of their game at East Central gym in Hurley on Friday, Dec. 15, 2017. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com

Two days after picking up an LSU scholarship offer, Sania Wells led the way again as East Central rolled to a 50-24 victory over rival Vancleave Friday night.

Wells, who is averaging 30 points a contest, scored a game high of 25 points as East Central (11-4, 1-0) picked up the win in the Region 8-4A opener for both squads.

East Central led 6-2 at the 3:16 mark of the first quarter and that was a close as Vancleave would get for the remainder of the game. Wells, a junior guard, scored first nine points of the game for the Lady Hornets.

East Central closed out the first half on 8-3 run to take a 30-14 lead at the half.

The Lady Hornets managed only 3 points in the third quarter, but Vancleave never got the big run it needed to get back in the game.

After scoring just 1 point in the third quarter, Wells scored 7 in the fourth.

“I just take it as it goes,” Wells said. “If my shot’s not falling I drive in and try to dish the ball to my teammates. Hopefully their shots are falling. I know mine wasn’t falling in the third quarter.”

Alexis Laughlin was the only other East Central player to score in double figures with 12 points.

Jalanta Bilbo led Vancleave (6-5, 0-1) with 7 points.

East Central’s 11-4 mark is impressive considering three of the losses came against St. Martin and star senior center Daphane White, a Mississippi State signee

“Last year, we didn’t play as tough teams at the beginning,” Wells said. “This year, playing St. Martin three times and going against Daphane White, that’s making us a lot better.”

Wells picked up the LSU offer on Wednesday, adding to a list of scholarship offers that also includes Auburn, Boston University, Southern Miss, South Alabama and Louisiana Tech.

Coaches from Auburn and Boston University were both on hand to watch Friday night’s contest.

Vancleave boys 48, East Central 47: Senior guard John Knight hit a running layup as time expired in overtime to hand the Bulldogs a dramatic 48-47 win over the Hornets Friday night.

Knight was mobbed by his Vancleave teammates as the Bulldogs celebrated the victory in the Region 8-4A opener.

"I got the ball, just went fast down the court and just tried to get a shot off before the buzzer went off," he said.

Knight, who also hit a 3-pointer with 16.6 left in overtime to give Vancleave a 46-45 lead, had to have his shoulder popped back in place earlier in the game, but still managed to score a game high of 19 points

"I don't really feel it in the game. All my adrenaline was pumping," Knight said.

It was a frantic finish with Gavin Tanner hitting a layup for East Central with 6.5 seconds left in overtime to give the Hornets the advantage the 47-46 lead, but Knight quickly erased that deficit.

Tanner led East Central (4-6, 0-1) with 17 points and Elijah Newsome pitched in 10.

Junior Tyler Martin added 11 points for Vancleave and Avery Moody had 10.

"It was a hard fought ballgame," Vancleave coach Robert Johnson said. "Anytime you're playing your rival in the region opener, you've got to continue to play tough."

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