Chapel Hill, NC – The Salisbury Hornets started slowly, but they erased a 13-point first quarter deficit to slide by Seaforth 48-39 and win the 2A Women’s Basketball State Championship for the second year in a row. Makayla Noble jump started the Hornet offense in the fourth quarter, scoring eight of her 15 points in the quarter on her way to earning the Kay Yow Most Valuable Player Award for the 2A Championship.
Seaforth came out hot, running off the first 13 points of the game to go up 13-0 with 1:44 to go in the first quarter. Gabby White and Peyton Collins combined to put up 13 of the Hawks 15 points in the opening frame. Haley Dalton finally got the Hornets on the board with a layup, 20 seconds after the Hornets fell behind 13, and they slowly started to claw their way out of the early hole.
Icesis Nwafor was a catalyst for the Hornets breaking out of the slow start, she hit one deep three late in the first quarter and then bombed home her first two threes of the second quarter to help the Hornets cut the lead to just two at the 5:16 mark of the second. Nwafor also helped defend White, one of the toughest draws on the Hawks roster, on her way to being named the Most Outstanding Player for the Hornets.
Kyla Bryant also had an outstanding game for Salisbury, handling point guard duties admirably with 14 points and four assists against just two turnovers. For Seaforth, White was the lone double-figure scorer, tossing in 15 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. White was selected as the Hawks Most Outstanding Player.
Seaforth wrapped their year at 27-4, champions of the Mid-Carolina 1A/2A. The team appeared in the State Championship Game for the first time in the school’s brief two-year history. The Hawks will return all players on the roster for next year.
Salisbury claimed the school’s sixth championship in Women’s Basketball. They won the Regional Title for the seventh time in school history. The Hornets finished the year 27-3, winning the Central Carolina 1A/2A and winning back-to-back State Championships for Coach Lakai Brice.
The NCHSAA is committed to promoting and highlighting outstanding sportsmanship and has partnered with North Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance to recognize one athlete from each team that has displayed the ideals of sportsmanship throughout the year. The 2023 NC Farm Bureau Sportsmanship Award winners for the 2A Women’s Basketball Championship were Hannah Ajayi from Seaforth and Icesis Nwafor from Salisbury.