02/22/05 — Warriors' playoff road ends in Wilson

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Warriors' playoff road ends in Wilson

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on February 22, 2005 2:00 PM

WILSON - As both Eastern Wayne and Wilson Beddingfield's men's basketball teams played solid defense through the first period, it became apparent early on that one offensive run may be enough to propel either squad into the second round of the Class 3-A N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs.

Keyed by the inside work of Alfred Artis and Everette Brown, the Bruins outscored the more-experienced Warriors 20-5 in the second period on their way to a 50-34 win at home in the first round on Monday.

Artis (13 points, 10 rebounds) and Brown (11 points and 10 rebounds) led Beddingfield as it outrebounded its future Eastern Carolina Conference foe 47-20.

"With Alfred Artis, Everette Brown and Larry Jones we can compete very strongly when our strength is rebounding. We've got to be a very good rebounding and defensive team," Bruins coach Charles Howard said. "With only two kids who have playoff experience (Brown and Aaron King). I told them, 'every team we play from here on out are good teams.'"

Chris Campbell paced Eastern Wayne in his final game with 11 points, nine rebounds and five blocks, but the senior center didn't have the support to hold off the hungry Bruins (13-11).

"Our outside shots weren't falling. They did a good job of keeping us from penetrating," 11-year Eastern Wayne coach Marvin Bowman said. "We scored a few times off of our press, but it wasn't enough tonight. We've got one guy underneath, and he can't do it all.

"You've got to box out a team like this that is strong and athletic."

The point total proved to be a season-low on the year for Eastern Wayne, which concluded the season on a three-game slide after winning five in a row.

The Warriors, the No. 5 seed from the ECC, went up 13-7 early in the second period, but the Bruins went on to win the turnover battle 6-0, while guards Dustin Murray and Mike Anderson came alive offensively with two field goals each. Antwon Bynum's put-back near the horn before intermission gave Beddingfield a 27-16 margin going into the break. Eastern Wayne (10-14) came out of halftime with more intensity on both ends.

The Warriors forced seven turnovers as senior catalysts Justin Richardson, Adrian Kendrick and Campbell helped get Eastern Wayne within six after three. The trio combined for 54 percent of their team's offensive output in their finales. The gap closed to 36-32 early in the fourth period on a stick-back by Campbell, but Murray quickly answered with a 3-pointer from the left corner on the Bruin's next possession. Beginning with Murray's shot from behind the arc, Beddingfield outscored the Warriors 14-2 in the final six minutes.

"We only wanted to give them one shot and keep Campbell off the boards inside," Howard said. "We wanted to be aggressive in the zone with Richardson and Kendrick. Sometimes we lost them, but I thought we did a good job contesting shots.

"I knew they (Eastern Wayne) would make a run in the third."

Eastern Wayne has been eliminated from the playoffs on the road by a future, ECC foe for the second straight year. The Warriors fell to Wilson Hunt by one point in the second round in 2004.

The Bruins (Big Eight North No. 2) travel to face Jacksonville on Wednesday.

"We did a better job in the second half, but we let it slip away from us in the end, Bowman said. "Our kids got in a rush and wanted to do it all too fast. You've got to gradually get back in a ball game like that."

Campbell, Kendrick, Richardson, Donald Atkinson, Adrienne Battle, Donald Rouse and Darren Ward all played in their final games for the Blue and Gold.