10/28/05 — Trojans hold annual Green-White games

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Trojans hold annual Green-White games

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on October 28, 2005 2:14 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- The Mount Olive men's and women's basketball teams gave their fans a first look at their 2005-06 squads during the annual Green and White games on Thursday night at Kornegay Arena.

The Lady Trojans, picked to finish sixth in the Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference this season, got the evening started with one 20-minute half of play, followed by a 15-minute half -- with the players competing for the same teams for both halves under the instruction of head coach Wendy Lawrence and assistant Brandy Smith.

Maurice Horton and Elijah Rouse

News-Argus/Bobby Williams

Mount Olive's Maurice Horton, above, goes to the hoop as Elijah Rouse watches.

Led by 14 points by forward Teneal Boone, Mount Olive's only senior, and nine points by sophomore guard Ashley Jones, the White team claimed a 44-41 win. Post players Sierra Medeiros (sophomore) and Ebony Green (junior) led the Green team with 16 and 15 points, respectively.

"We feel pretty good about everybody's effort. We saw some good play out of some different individuals," Lawrence said. "Tonight, we basically decided to have the teams equally distributed. There was no designation of first and second string tonight. We're not even sure at this point who that will be."

The Trojans men's squad, the preseason selection to claim the CVAC title and defending Division II East Regional champion, took the floor for two, 15-minute halves with coach Bill Clingan and his staff electing to mix the teams up differently for each half.

"We've gone through about two weeks of practice. For the guys to get out there, get on the court with officials and to make it as much of a game situation is important to us," Clingan said. "This is especially good for the new kids. We wanted our two red shirts to play with both teams, and we wanted everybody to get a chance to mix it up and look at combinations."

Game 1 of the men's contest went to the Green squad 28-25 as senior guard Maurice Horton and red-shirted Brandon Streeter led a balanced effort with six points each. Senior guards Melvin Creddle (13 points) and Goldsboro High graduate Victor Young (nine points) paced the White team.

Game 2 saw both the Green and White team turn in a much more fluid outing with less turnovers and improved shooting -- showing flashes of the 2004-2005 team that finished 29-5 and advanced all the way to the Division II Elite Eight.

Elijah Rouse led the White team with 11 points, while Young contributed nine more to finish the scrimmage with 18 points overall. Junior guard Elton Coffield, a preseason All-American Honorable Mention and preseason CVAC Player of the Year, caught fire in Game 2 with 14 points. Streeter, a forward from Jacksonville White Oak, posted eight points.

"We've got a lot of hype and a target on our back. I'm just trying to be a leader on the court," Young said. "This atmosphere gives us a lot of chemistry, plus it gets the crowd involved. We're going to need the crowd when Barton and Pfeiffer come to town."

The Mount Olive men return four starters and five regular players with three senior guards in Creddle, Young and Horton.

Clingan was overall pleased with the play of his returning players and how the veterans mixed with a solid corps of five newcomers, including sophomore transfer Paulius Dziugelis, the first European-born athlete to play for the Trojans.

"Our style of play is not often conducive to the European style, because we get out and press," Clingan said. "A lot of Europeans don't have that in their game, but Paulius is athletic. He'll fit into our style, but he must learn that style first."

Lawrence was equally pleased with the early chemistry as her squad has seven freshmen, six of which are guards.

"Out of 16, we've got nine players who are new to our program. Tonight gives them the opportunity to understand our system in a game situation," Lawrence said. "It will give us a good assessment of the direction we need to go. We brought in a lot of guards, because we feel like you can never have too many guards."

Several of the new faces will likely be familiar to fans of Class 1-A Carolina Conference hoops as Lakisha McFadden (North Johnston) and Meaghan Vanderhorst (Farmville Central) are now part of Lawrence's program. Spring Creek graduate Yolander Latham will redshirt this season.

The Lady Trojans finished 12-16 overall and 9-11 in the CVAC last season and open up their season on Nov. 18 against Converse College at the USC-Aiken Tournament.

After exhibition games at Division I opponents UNC-Wilmington (Nov. 5) and N.C. State (Nov. 11), Mount Olive's men will host the 40th Pickle Classic Nov. 18-19 with the Trojans battling Chowan College on Nov. 18 at 6 p.m.