Warriors survive Redskins' ambush
Published in Sports on February 25, 2004 1:57 PM
By OWEN A. HASSELL
Courtesy of Outer Banks Sentinel
MANTEO -- A lower seed and half-day trip didn't upset Eastern Wayne.
Getting out of school a few hours early and winning in the first round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A playoffs -- what's not to like?
The Warriors kept enough of an advantage against host Manteo Tuesday night to beat the Redskins 55-51 and move on in the postseason.
Next for Eastern Wayne, the No. 3 seed out of the Eastern Carolina Conference, is a game at Big Eight North champion Wilson Hunt Thursday night in the second round.
Another road game, but no bother.
"(We went from) being in a situation where we could've had a home court advantage, because we were No. 2 (in the ECC) before the tournament," Warriors coach Marvin Bowman said. "But they really look forward to getting out of school and really getting on the road, so that made my job a lot easier because they wanted to play at home, but they took it with a grain of salt."
And the Warriors threw it in the eyes of the Redskins, seeded second from the Northeastern Coastal Conference. They played a tenacious defense and showed exceptional quickness in transition.
Eastern Wayne forced 15 Manteo turnovers, putting the home team in a position to play zone in the second quarter to keep up the pace. After Shane O'Neal scored off a Spencer Meekins miss to give Manteo a 17-16 lead, the Warriors got to show off some outside shooting to keep its opponent honest.
With the count 20-17, Nate Walker drained two straight 3-pointers on successive possessions. A bucket at the buzzer by Chris Campbell, his lone two points of the night, gave Eastern Wayne the needed cushion, ahead 30-21.
"I think that softened up their zone a little bit because they had stepped out and they were planning to take away our outside shooters," Bowman said. "Plus we were having trouble penetrating against the two.
"Then when he (Walker) hit down a couple of shots, it made them have to second think that zone."
Walker ended the game with the top hand on the court, scoring 19 to lead the Warriors. The senior guard saw where his team had the edge in speed, and found ways to exploit it.
"We had to come out here and work hard like it was the first game of the season, and we got it done," Walker said. "We had a couple of guards and a big man that was beating them off the dribble. They couldn't stick with it."
But could only counter, and in this case -- as the mantra of Manteo all year -- by hitting beyond the arc. A 3-pointer by Redskins point guard Isaac Jacobson got it to a one-possession contest at 40-37.
Under the Warriors' rim, Derrick Joyner and Manteo's Aaron Farrow fought for possession. The bigger Joyner ripped it from Farrow's hands, scored and got fouled on the play.
"They're very quick and athletic and got their hands on a lot of balls," Manteo coach Bud Hendrix said. "Every shot we got was just about forced, we couldn't get any good looks, that I saw."
Manteo kept it a one-possession game on Woody Carver's 3-pointer with 41.2 seconds left. However, the Warriors relied on their second defense -- free throw shooting. They connected on 14-of-18 attempts, including a sterling 5-of-6 effort in the final minute.
"I knew we were quicker, but I also knew that they were strong and had some really good shooters, so we tried to use our strength, which was our quickness," Bowman said. "They did a good job getting off some shots on us. They can shoot, there's no doubt about it, I told our guys, 'Hey, you got to get a hand in their face.'"
2004 N.C. High School
Athletic Association Class 3-A
Sectional No. 1 playoffs
(at Manteo HS)
E. Wayne 12 18 8 17 -- 55
Manteo 7 14 11 19 -- 51
EASTERN WAYNE (17-7)
D. Rouse 1 0-0 2, J. Richardson 3 0-0 6, A. Kendrick 3 4-4 10, N. Walker 6 5-6 19, D. Joyner 5 2-4 12, C. Campbell 2 0-2 2, J. Virgil 0 2-2 2, T. Nelson 1 0-0 2, C. Bridges 0 0-0 0, L. Downes 0 0-0 0, M. Best 0 0-0 0, R. Carter 0 0-0 0, D. Ward 0 0-0 0, D. Atkinson 0 0-0 0. TOTALS -- 21 14-18 55.
J. Jacobson 3 0-0 7, C. Cahoon 1 0-0 2, R. Cleaver 1 5-6 7, A. Farrow 1 2-2 4, W. Carver 4 0-0 9, T. Winstead 5 2-2 15, S. O'Neal 1 0-0 2, J. Jackson 2 1-1 5. TOTALS -- 18 10-11 51.
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