CHAPEL HILL — It would have been a storybook ending to a pair of careers that were only missing the perfect conclusions.
Instead, it was the fourth straight year that ended with a stinging defeat — an emotional loss so freshly imprinted on the mind that it would be impossible to accept its finality.
East Davidson lost 68-65 to North Pitt in the NCHSAA 2-A girls’ basketball state championship game Saturday afternoon in the Dean E. Smith Center, and the final buzzer brought a screeching halt to the high school basketball careers of seniors Bayley Plummer and Madi Hallman.
Plummer and Hallman have spent the last four seasons as the pillars of East Davidson’s success, both four-year starters who have led the Golden Eagles to 101 wins since the beginning of the 2012-2013 season.
Plummer, a 6-foot-2 forward who will play basketball at Appalachian State next season, finished her high school career with 1,967 points, 1,745 rebounds and a NCHSAA record of 890 blocked shots. In her time at East Davidson, Plummer averaged 16.7 points, 14.8 rebounds and 7.5 blocks per game.
Hallman has been the Golden Eagles’ starting point guard for the last four seasons, ending her career with 1,410 points, 610 assists and 580 steals.
The Catawba commit led the team in steals each of the last four years, while leading the team in assists during her final three seasons.
Coach Don Corry, who just completed his fifth year, said he considered himself lucky being able to coach both Plummer and Hallman the last four years.
In their final game, Hallman scored 19 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out four assists and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2-A West Regional, while Plummer added 19 points, 14 rebounds, three steals, two blocks and two assists.
Corry called coaching the duo “a privilege.”
“Our girls have had a tremendous year this year, and when you look back at these two — their four-year careers — they won over 100 ballgames,” Corry said of Hallman and Plummer. “So they have had a tremendous, tremendous career at East Davidson and we are going to miss them.”
There is no denying Corry’s claim the duo will be missed next season and for many years to come, even if all that was seen after Saturday’s game were the slumped shoulders and teary eyes of two high school seniors who fell just short of their final goal.
Eventually the finality will set in, however, and both Plummer and Hallman will realize they each had a career worthy of a well-told story, no matter the ending.