01/15/06 — Kinston boys top SW in two-day, ECC battle

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Kinston boys top SW in two-day, ECC battle

Published in Sports on January 15, 2006 2:23 AM


Courtesy Kinston Free Press

KINSTON -- Very seldom does a team have a chance to redeem itself in the same game. But, when that game ends 24 hours after it started, that opportunity certainly presents itself.

Kinston improved mightily from the free throw line and used excellent efforts from Quinton Coples and Miguel Starkey to down Southern Wayne, 81-77 in Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference action at Viking Gym.

Friday's game was halted with 1:52 remaining in the third quarter. The Vikings had only connected on four of 15 free throws and were holding a tenuous 52-50 lead. The game was postponed to Saturday because of wet conditions on the Viking Gym floor due to unseasonably warm weather.

The Vikings -- who practiced free throws Saturday afternoon before the resumption of the game -- hit 12-of-15 from the charity stripe over the balance of the game to beat the Saints (12-2 overall, 2-1).

The biggest turnaround from Friday to Saturday was performed by Coples, Kinston's 6-8 sophomore center. On Friday, he missed all six free throws he attempted; on Saturday, Coples connected on four of five and finished with a team-high 22 points.

But Coples wasn't the only one who improved from the line. Starkey, who had hit only one of two free throws on Friday, hit four of five on Saturday. Senior guard K.K. Sherrod hit both free throws he attempted and sophomore Termaine Miller hit one of two free throws.

"Good teams make their free throws and that's what (Kinston) did tonight," Southern Wayne coach Mike Connelley said.

The Saints took their last lead of the game at 69-68 with 3:26 remaining when Justin Bellamy converted a traditional three-point play. On Kinston's next possession, Starkey had an offensive rebound of a Coples miss and netted two free throws for a 70-69 lead the Vikings wouldn't relinquish.

Coples (five points), Starkey (four) and Sherrod (two) combined to score the remainder of Kinston's points -- six of which came from the free throw line.

The final three minutes weren't without some excellent defense by the Vikings (13-4, 3-0). Miller had two steals in that span, Calvin Scott had one and sophomore guard Bo Ingram drew a charge that helped Kinston open a 79-70 lead with less than a minute remaining.

The postponement of the game -- which was finished in front of approximately 1,000 fans -- was something neither Gulledge nor the veteran Connelly had ever experienced.

"This was a very unique situation," Gulledge said. "It was the first time I've ever heard of a conference game being played this way. You hate to see anyone lose a game like this."

Gulledge sought advice from his college coach, Mount Olive's Bill Clingan, and then decided to forgo watching video and focused on the free throws and shot charts.

Connelley, who has been in coaching for 30 years, had his team shoot free throws at the high school in Dudley before shooting around a bit in Viking Gym.

"I told my team that I didn't know what to do," Connelley said. "We thought about it a lot and tried to come up with the best plan. I thought we had a good plan, but it sure didn't look like we had it."

DeLawn Armwood had 24 points, while Antonio Davis contributed 16 and Bellamy added 10 for the Saints.

Coples' 22 points -- 14 of which came on Saturday -- and 15 rebounds led the Vikings. Starkey had 21 points (10 on Saturday), while Sherrod (12 points) and Felton Mason (10) were hit double digits in scoring for Kinston.

Southern Wayne travels to Charles B. Aycock next Friday.

So. Wayne 19 18 16 24 -- 77

Kinston 17 21 18 25 -- 81

SOUTHERN WAYNE (12-2, 2-1)

DeLawn Armwood 24, Antonio Davis 16, Justin Bellamy 14, Derek Garris 9, Akeem Royal 7, Austin Hood 5, Kendrick Thompson 2.

KINSTON (13-4, 3-0)

Quinton Coples 22, Miguel Starkey 21, K.K. Sherrod 12, Felton Mason 10, T. Miller 6, Wynn 4, Hines 2, J. Miller 2, S. Sherrod 2.