02/22/05 — N. Lenoir romps in Class 2-A opening round

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N. Lenoir romps in Class 2-A opening round

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on February 22, 2005 1:57 PM

LAGRANGE - One early lead and one tie.

That's as close as Eastern Alamance got to North Lenoir in round one of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 2-A men's basketball playoffs. The Hawks sent the Eagles flying back to Mebane smarting from a 81-57 shellacking.

Coach John Moon could only sit, watch, and dream about his 2004 team. His roster listed JamesOn Curry, now a freshman at Oklahoma State, who averaged more than 40 points per game. Monday evening, he brought a youth-laden team to Wooten Gymnasium and paid the price.

"We averaged 57 points a game all season and that's where we ended up tonight," said Moon.

North Lenoir outrebounded its guests 25-14, shot 14 more free throws, and committed four less personal fouls.

"All we did was give them more scoring opportunities, while not creating any for ourselves," said Moon.

Center Hunter Collins gave the Eagles their only lead, 4-3, then tied the score at 8-8 at 4:46 of the first quarter. After that, the Eagles watched the Hawks control the game on both ends of the court.

Early in the second quarter, North Lenoir served notice that it would not be satisfied with a seven point lead. E.J. Brown came off the bench and set up two Justin Dunn dunks, putting his club up 31-20 at 4:44. Brown scored all six of his points in the quarter.

Before leaving in the third quarter with a sprained ankle, Dunn's free throw moved the lead to 47-26. He was high scorer on the night with 22 points. The Hawks enjoyed their biggest lead -- 77-50 -- on Chris Poole's free throw. First-year head coach Paul Dunn III cleared his bench late in the fourth quarter.

"We executed our game plan to a 'T'. Russell Rouse, Omar Jones, and Sam Edwards the job rebounding because they boxed out," he said. "Our guards, Adrian Brewer, Eddie Cox, Brown, and Emmanuel Rosber kept the pressure on. They never let up, because they were always fresh."

North Lenoir (22-5) continues play Wednesday at Warren County, the Northern Carolina Conference runner-up. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

"Everyone will be well rested and ready to go," Dunn said. "We plan to play three times this week, and not lose any time soon."