Vikings use 15-0 run to ground Hawks
Published in Sports on December 22, 2004 1:55 PM
KINSTON -- At Tuesday's pre-game walkthrough at Fairfield Recreation Center, Kinston coach Wells Gulledge told his team their game with archrival North Lenoir would be full of runs.
Man, was he ever right.
The Vikings immediately answered a 15-0 run by the Hawks with an 18-0 run of their own and downed favored North Lenoir 67-56.
The win quelled an attempt by the Hawks to pick up their first-ever win at Vikings Gym. Entering the game, North Lenoir had never won at Kinston, but after its easy 75-58 win in Wheat Swamp on Nov. 26, many thought this might be the season the Hawks would break the Kinston jinx.
Kinston seniors Darryl Jones and Teyon Marshall nixed that thought. Jones, the teamâs starting point guard who came off the bench Tuesday, had a game-high 23 points and also pulled down seven rebounds while Marshall hit all five free throws he attempted in the fourth quarter to finish with 13 points.
"We refused to lose tonight," Marshall said. "We couldn't have taken another loss to North Lenoir, especially in this building. We've beaten these guys forever and we weren't going to lose to them again this year."
North Lenoir senior guard Justin Dunn said he knew it would be hard to make history at Kinston.
"We knew we had to come with our 'A' game, but we came out a little slow," Dunn said. "Kinston just wanted it a little more than we did and they came out with a win. They took advantage of our mistakes."
The teams were tied 30-30 at halftime. The Vikings bolted to a 45-35 lead on a Felton Mason basket with 2:04 left in the third quarter.
But Dunn started a 15-0 North Lenoir run with a traditional three-point play. By the time the run ended on Dunn's layup with 6:25 left in the game, the Hawks had taken a 50-45 lead.
Kinston didn't give up, though.
With their leading scorer J'mell Walters playing only three minutes due to a "coach's decision," the Vikings started their 18-0 run on a traditional three-point play of their own by Marshall. After forcing a North Lenoir turnover, Jones buried a long 3-pointer to put Kinston ahead 51-50 with 5:20 left in the game, and the Vikings never trailed again.
Marshall and Jones scored seven points each, while K.K. Sherrod had all four of his points in the 18-0 run.
"At our walkthrough today at Fairfield, I told the kids I believed in them," Gulledge said. "But I also told them it would be a game of runs.
"Anytime two teams have such athleticism on the floor as we both have, the adrenaline is going to kick in and teams are going to have a run. They had theirs and we came back with ours."
Jamar Carraway added 12 points for the Vikings (3-5), who next play in a prestigious national basketball tournament in Dorman, S.C. next week.
"We were able to go to our bench a lot deeper tonight," Gulledge said. "The team played as hard as it could for 32 minutes tonight and I'm proud of them. This is a good basketball team and our record is no indication of how good this team can be."
North Lenoir was led by Dunn's 22 points. Emmanuel Rosber added 13 for the Hawks, who fell to 5-1.
Despite losing their first game of the year, North Lenoir coach Paul Dunn said his team had no reason to hang their head.
"This doesn't mean anything, but it would have been nice to go down in world history as the first North Lenoir team to win here," said Dunn, whose team plays at Wallace-Rose Hill on Thursday. "It had never happened in this building, but it's OK. We've got next year."
It could have been North Lenoir coach Wayne Floyd's fiery halftime speech, the players-only meeting that almost made the team late for the second half or the famous "32 Minutes of Hell" defense the Hawks employ.
Whatever it was, the Hawks forced 22 straight Kinston turnovers in the third quarter as they turned a three-point deficit into a runaway, and North Lenoir downed the Vikings 63-46.
North Lenoir trailed 24-23 at halftime to a Vikings team it had routed, 66-47, on Nov. 26 in Wheat Swamp. After Floyd's speech at halftime of Tuesday's game ("Yes, I raised my voice a few high notes," he said with a sly smile), the team stayed behind for a chat.
"We talked to each other and said we needed to step it up," said senior guard Chanee Lynch. "We knew it was our time."
Kinston's Courtney Smith hit a layup to give the Vikings a 26-23 lead seven seconds into the second half, but that would be the last field goal the team would hit until 6:59 remained in the game.
After Smith's bucket, though, the next 22 possessions for the Vikings ended in a turnover. By the time Krystal Suggs hit a basket with 6:59 left for Kinston, a 3-pointerâ the Hawks led 51-29.
"Our defense causes people to come out of their games," said Lynch, who had four steals and eight points in North Lenoirâs 28-1 run in the third quarter. "We had to show (Kinston) that we are still a good defensive team."
Floyd said, "We knew we weren't playing North Lenoir basketball, so they had to step it up and play better. I didn't know it was 22 straight turnovers, but I knew they were doing a great job. We took away what they were hurting us with in the first half."
Suggs, the smallest person on the court, scored 11 fourth-quarter points to help shave the North Lenoir lead to 14 points at 56-42, but the Hawks held on to improve to 7-1.
Shannon Plymouth followed her 38-point effort against Kinston on Nov. 26 with a 19-point game on Tuesday. Katie Maloney had 16 points and Lynch added 14 for the Hawks, who play at Wallace-Rose Hill on Thursday.
The Hawks forced 45 Kinston turnovers while committing 36 of their own.
Kinston was led by Suggsâ 13 points.
Vikings coach Charles Kittrell was complimentary of North Lenoir, but said he had reservations about their style of defensive play.
"I thought the game tonight was played very aggressively and I thought the most aggressive basketball team won the game," Kittrell said. "There's no doubt in my mind that North Lenoir has a very good program but I think I'd like to see the finesseness come back to the game.
"That's the way I teach my girls to play the game."
North Lenoir 13 17 13 13 -- 56
Kinston 10 20 15 22 -- 67
Brewer 5, Emmanuel Rosber 13, Justin Dunn 22, Edwards 5, Jones 7, Wiggins 4.
Foye 2, Sherrod 4, Teyon Marshall 13, Darryl Jones 23, Starkey 3, Jamar Carraway 12, Miller 7, Mason 3.
North Lenoir 10 13 28 12 -- 63
Kinston 7 17 3 19 -- 46
Rasberry 4, Shannon Plymouth 19, Chanee Lynch 14, Katie Maloney 16, Spruill 4, Miller 6.
Krystal Suggs 13, Smith 4, Rhodes 4, Bryant 7, Taylor 5, Fuller 6, Russell 3, McMahan 4.
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