Cardinals earn non-conference sweep at Warriors' expense
By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on December 20, 2006 1:47 PM
As the Eastern Wayne boys basketball team walked off the court, the frustration could be seen on every player and coach's face.
Another game, another close defeat -- this time at home to the Jacksonville Cardinals on Tuesday night, 68-64.
Jacksonville joined North Lenoir and Goldsboro as teams which were able to beat the Warriors in the final minutes.
"We have to learn how to win games together at the end," said Eastern Wayne coach Marvin Bowman whose team led by five with less than four minutes to play. "We have to learn to trust each other at the end of ballgames and that comes with gaining confidence in each other."
Lamar Davis carried the Warrior offense. Davis poured in a game-high 27 points and knocked down five three-pointers in the loss.
"(Lamar) shot the ball well," said Bowman. "He's capable of doing that on any given night."
Eastern Wayne had led the majority of the contest and even built a nine-point, second-quarter lead on three different occasions and led 36-30 at the half.
In the third quarter, the Cardinals took a 40-39 lead on a jumper from Jeremy Hearst, who scored 21 points to lead Jacksonville.
Davis then scored nine of his 12 straight points to regain the lead and push it to 48-41.
A 6-2 spurt by Jacksonville closed the gap at the end of the quarter to 50-47.
The final period saw a nip-and-tuck game with neither team able to grab a commanding advantage.
A free throw from Hearst gave Jacksonville a short-lived 55-54 lead with 4:55 to play. Eastern Wayne answered with a 6-0 run capped by a Davis steal and two free throws to take a five-point lead at 60-55 with 3:49 to go.
Eastern Wayne then went cold and Marcellas Perez's fourth three-pointer of the half tied the game at 60 with 2:13 to play.
"They hadn't made any outside shots up until the second half," Bowman said. "We never totally recovered from those."
Two shots from the line by Damien Williams gave Jacksonville a 62-60 lead they'd never relinquish.
A free throw from Darius Wilder, who scored nine points for the game, made it a one-point game with 1:20 to go for Eastern Wayne.
On Jacksonville's next possession, two straight offensive rebound baskets by Hearst and Williams sealed the victory for the Cardinals.
"They're really strong inside," said Bowman.
The loss dropped Eastern Wayne to 1-8, a record which does not illustrate how well the team has played as of late.
"Our kids played tough," Bowman said. "I'm still holding to the fact, when we get to conference play, we're going to get some wins."
The Eastern Wayne girls dealt with some of the same frustrations of missed opportunities, falling to Jacksonville 50-38.
"Jacksonville is a quality basketball team, senior oriented," said Eastern Wayne assistant coach Tony Parrish. "We knew it would be a tough game and the free throw line was a big difference."
Eastern Wayne shot just 5 of 19 from the foul line, missing the chance to knock off a very strong Cardinal team.
"A free throw is a free throw, you've got to make them," said Parrish.
Despite playing against the much bigger Cardinals, Eastern Wayne was able to slow down the Jacksonville inside attack with a strong man-to-man defense that limited Jacksonville to six third-quarter points.
In the quarter, Yasmine Washington and Zhanea Charles tallied all nine of the Warriors points as they pulled to within 35-29 after trailing by nine at the half.
"We challenge (Yasmine and Zhanea) during the week to step up and play harder," said Parrish. "We still need a leader at both ends of the court though."
The Warriors cut the deficit to four on a jumper by Brittani Billups, at 35-31 to open the final quarter, but Eastern Wayne would get no closer the rest of the night.
A 6-1 spurt, led by four points from Martha White, pushed the Jacksonville lead back to 41-32 with 4:48 remaining. Eastern Wayne though, still had its chances to a comeback.
Four straight turnovers by the Cardinals opened the door for the Warriors, who were able to cut the lead to five, but missed opportunities cost them the chance to get any closer.
"At the end of the game it's basketball IQ," said Parrish. "We come down and have a opportunity, but get a turnover or a missed layup. We're still missing easy baskets."
Washington led Eastern Wayne with a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds. Charles stepped up with seven points and nine rebounds for the Warriors who dropped to 3-6 on the season.
White scored a game-high 22 points for Jacksonville who improved to 9-1.
Jacksonville 14 16 17 21 -- 68
Eastern Wayne 19 17 14 14 -- 64
Jeremy Hearst 8 0 5-9 21, B.J. Middleton 8 0 0-0 16, Marcellas Perez 0 4 0-0 12, Damien Williams 4 0 3-3 11, Devin Humphrey 2 0 1-2 5, Lamar Perdue 0 0 2-4 2, Gary Word 0 0 1-2 1, Taja Williams 0 0 0-1 0. TOTALS -- 22 4 12-21 68.
EASTERN WAYNE (1-8)
Lamar Davis 4 5 4-4 27, Darryl Cowan 3 2 0-0 12, Darius Wilder 1 1 4-6 9, Darhan Zahill 0 1 2-2 5, Darren Bennett 2 0 0-0 4, Jamere Thomas 0 1 0-0 3, Jenieri Cyrus 1 0 0-0 2, Jonathan Hill 1 0 0-0 2. TOTALS -- 12 10 10-12 64.
Jacksonville 17 12 6 15 -- 50
Eastern Wayne 12 8 9 9 -- 38
Martha White 8 0 6-10 22, Brittany Mills 2 1 7-8 14, Carolyn Handy 3 0 2-2 8, Kim Weaver 1 0 0-0 2, Brooke Mills 1 0 0-0 2, Liza Flint 1 0 0-0 2. TOTALS -- 16 1 15-20 50.
EASTERN WAYNE (3-6)
Yasmine Washington 3 1 1-5 10, Brittani Billups 4 0 1-4 9, Zhanea Charles 4 0 3-10, Tiara McIntyre 1 1 0-0 5, Eboni Reid 2 0 0-0 4, Danielle Daniels 0 1 0-0 3. TOTALS -- 12 3 5-19 38.
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