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'What's better than 10-0?' Lady Vipers undefeated season continues

Jan. 22—DURHAM — "Shut up and play!" Shiela Gill yelled at her team in the first quarter, drawing chuckles from a small Durham crowd Friday night. But the Lady Vipers did just that. After winning 10 straight games, the Vance County Vipers soundly defeated the DSA Bulldogs 53-26.

"Y'all moving like turtles! If you're tired, let me know," said Gill from her bench, still not satisfied with her team's effort level early on, noting they were a little flat coming off the long bus ride.

"We have to get back in our groove, and hopefully they get their confidence back against Granville," said Gill.

DSA was facing steep odds, last in their conference entering the contest as heavy underdogs against an undefeated Vance County team. With only six players suited up for DSA, The Vipers full-court press squeezed any remaining life out of the Bulldog's offense.

In the first quarter, the Bulldogs slipped on the center court decal which had to be taped back down to the floor after the misstep.

The Bulldogs were plagued with travel calls, early on. Bulldog's head coach Ronald McDaniel was still talking to the referee on the next possession after his team's ballhandler was called for an off-hand offensive foul. Even at home, it seemed like their team was not going to get a friendly whistle.

Another blocking call as Sarah Baldwin drove to the rim. Then, NaZyia Vandergrift (13.4 PPG) knocked down two straight three-pointers from the left wing.

DSA finally got to the line but after a nice shot from DaShunti Hunter, the Vipers were up by 12. Another travel committed by DSA and another missed jumpshot twice gave the ball back to Vance County and the Vipers' defense was rolling. Sarah "Bird" Faucette missed a gimmie at the rim.

After some hesitation, one official called a charge on Vance County in what could have been a makeup call for the lopsided officiating in the first quarter. Another called charge on the next possession drew a reaction from Gill on the bench, who was also frustrated with her team's inability to hit their layups.

Another Vandergrift three just missed, and on the next time down, Baldwin misplaced a bounce pass to her in transition. Gill sent in Kanayla Jones to replace Clara "Bird" Faucette as their low post player.

Late in the half, a blocking foul sent DSA freshman Faith Yon (13.3 PPG) flying through the air, yet she still managed to drain the wild running shot for an and-one. 21-11, timeout Vipers.

A questionable no-call on a Vipers' missed layup, and then a beyond-questionable miss of a travel on DSA senior Genesis Daniels, that Gill was all over, pointing to the pivot foot of Daniels that came up off the floor. The buzzer sounded on a 24-11 first half.

McDaniel begged his team to box out and not reach on defense, as Baldwin cleaned up a Vandergrift missed three. Still firing away, Vandergrift hit another three from the right corner.

The Bulldogs were held scoreless for nearly the entire third quarter. Their offense stalled at 11 points for over seven minutes, but Faucette, who didn't move — or jump — was called for the shooting foul late in the quarter as Kayle Mumford barreled into her chest and was stopped in her tracks. With more than doubling their opponent's points, Vance County coasted to their 11th victory in a row.

The Vipers will travel to Granville County to play Central Granville before returning home Wednesday to play the Panthers again in a back-to-back.

"We're trying to win the next one," said assistant coach Pierre Perry.

"What's better than 11-0? 12-0," said Gill.