01/05/05 — So. Wayne boys escape in overtime

View Archive

So. Wayne boys escape in overtime

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on January 5, 2005 1:57 PM

Southern Wayne's men's basketball team seems to have put a disappointing 1-2 showing at the White Oak Christmas Tournament behind them.

The Saints jumped back into conference play, picking up where they left off in 2004 with a 71-67 overtime win over county rival Eastern Wayne in New Hope. The win improved Southern Wayne (8-5 overall) to 6-0 in the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference. Eastern Wayne (4-7 overall) fell to 3-3 in the ECC.

"The conference games are what matters. We are excited about being 6-0," Southern Wayne coach Mike Connelly said. "We haven't looked ahead at all. We just try to battle each came through."

The county battles continue Friday as the Saints host Goldsboro and the Warriors travel to Charles B. Aycock.

Akeem Royal paced three Saints in double figures with 24 points, including five 3-pointers. Royal's fifth 3 gave his team a 66-63 lead in overtime as he eventually added 2-of-2 from the line to push the margin to five in the waning seconds. As a team, Southern Wayne knocked down 10 from behind the arc.

Delawn Armwood scored 16 for the Saints, including 11 in the second half, while teammate Justin Bellamy chipped in 10 points off the bench.

"I thought we shot poorly, but we rebounded well and we were tenacious," Connelly said. "We can't over-power anybody, because we are too young and too weak. We are trying to learn how to be a great, man-to-man defensive team.

"In spots we look great, in spots we look terrible."

Justin Richardson (32 points) and Chris Campbell (12 points) accounted for 66 percent of the Warriors' scoring output. The combo also combined to shoot 19-of-23 from the free-throw stripe. Campbell fouled out with 1:32 left in the fourth, but the Warriors kept pace with the Saints without their center on the floor for the rest of regulation.

The Warriors managed just one field goal in overtime in a game that went back-and-forth during most of regulation.

"We missed an opportunity on our first lay-up of overtime and I thought that set the tone," Eastern Wayne coach Marvin Bowman said. "I probably should have got Adrian (Kendrick) in there earlier, but I noticed he was moving gingerly on his leg. Maybe if he would have been there, we would have had a little more stability in overtime."

In a tightly contested women's game, the Warriors' Yasmine Washington drained 2-of-2 at the free-throw line with 13 seconds left to put her team up by three as Eastern Wayne went on to a 45-40 win over the Saints.

Washington led all scorers with 16 points, while teammate Sierra King added 11. Dionne Dotson and Shelonda Smith paced Southern Wayne (3-7, 2-4) with seven points each in a game mired in turnovers by both teams.

Eastern Wayne (5-6, 4-2) committed 30 as the Saints had 28 miscues.

"We are extremely happy to get the win tonight," Warrior coach Brent Holland said. "Southern Wayne played us really good defensively. Turnovers are going to happen. I've heard high praises for coach (Sally) Combs, and her girls came in and didn't quit."

The Saint boys led 49-48 after three periods and the game remained just as close in the final period with a handful of ties and lead-changes. Royal put his team in front 63-61 with 40 seconds left, before Richardson quickly answered with 2-of-2 at the line.

The Saints moved the clock down to 8.4 seconds, then took a timeout to set up their final play. At the buzzer, Royal's three from the left corner rimmed out -- sending the game into overtime.

Royal and Terriel Troublefield dropped in one basket each in overtime to put the Saints up 68-65 with 1:30 left in the extra period. The Warriors missed on their next possession as Southern Wayne pulled down the rebound and worked the clock all the way down to 14 seconds, forcing Eastern Wayne to foul.

Royal made 2-of-2 before Derek Garris dropped in 1-of-2 to help seal the nail-biting, win. Darren Ward posted the only basket in overtime for the Warriors.

It looked as if Eastern Wayne's women would pull away from their county rivals when Natasha Wiley's jumper gave the Warriors a 34-24 advantage with 6:10 left in the fourth. Capped by a basket underneath by Dimiri Blount, the Saints went on a 12-2 run in a four-minute span to tie the game.

The Warriors weathered the storm as King and Washington made clutch baskets down the stretch. The duo combined for 11 of the Warriors' 15 points in the fourth.

Saint coach Sally Combs was pleased with her team's effort in coming all the way back, but believes the team must take better care of their possessions.

"I was pleased with the effort, but we've got to take care of the sloppy passes and box out better," Combs said. "I'm seeing positives, plusses and growth, but we've got to take care of some of the sloppiness."