01/28/07 — Prep hoops: Eastern Wayne sweeps Southern Wayne

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Prep hoops: Eastern Wayne sweeps Southern Wayne

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 28, 2007 2:08 AM

DUDLEY -- Don't quit playing.

During every stoppage in action, Eastern Wayne men's basketball coach Marvin Bowman offered that advice. And his players, eager to avenge a loss to their archrival, listened.

The Warriors kept their poise and executed their transition offense to perfection during a three-minute stretch in the fourth quarter. They converted seven consecutive possessions and quickly watched a single-digit advantage balloon to 20 points. They coasted to a 69-57 victory from that point.

Eastern Wayne (5-11 overall) picked up its second road win in Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference play, and evened its league ledger at 3-3. Southern Wayne, meanwhile, fell to 8-10 overall and 2-4 against ECC opposition.

"I told them we weren't going to quit playing just because we've got a lead," said Bowman. "We're not trying to milk the clock. When we can run, let's run. When we can't, we'll run our (halfcourt) offense.

"Tonight, they did a great job of listening."

Southern Wayne head coach Russell Royal said the outcome resulted from the Saints' Thursday afternoon practice. The coaching staff put the balls on the rack and disciplined the team with running drills due to its lack of focus and intensity.

"I almost predicted this to happen and that's not to take anything away from Eastern Wayne," said Royal. "Shots not falling, defensive assignments missed ... you can't come in on game day and turn it (intensity) on like a light switch.

"They have to understand how much preparation it takes to play a game every night."

The evenly-matched teams toiled through a taxing first half that included missed shots underneath the basket, and numerous turnovers. Adam Harrell's 3-pointer from the right corner forged a 23-23 deadlock, but the Warriors walked into the locker room with a 29-28 advantage.

Eastern Wayne found its rhythm offensively, while Southern Wayne's offense turned as frigid as the near-freezing temperatures outside the sweltering gymnasium in the second half. The Saints converted just five field goals in 20-plus possessions during a 13-minute stretch, which allowed the Warriors to gain a working margin.

"Our form wasn't there, our technique wasn't there ... nothing," said Royal.

D.J. Cowan's 17-footer gave Eastern Wayne its first double-digit lead late in the third quarter. Another Cowan jumper, this time a 3-pointer off Lamar Davis' assist, put the Warriors in front by 14 nearly two minutes into the final period.

The Saints never recovered.

One of five Warriors to score in the last quarter, Darren Bennett (15 points) knocked down four uncontested layups in transition. Royal's team looked tired and frustrated as it labored to get downcourt and defend the basket.

"We finished well," said Bowman. "Our rebounding and our turnover ratio was better in the second half. I think that was a big difference."

Cowan pumped in 13 points, while Darius Wilder scored 12 and Davis tallied 10 for the Warriors. Orlando Davis emerged the Saints' top scorer with 15 points, followed by Harrell and Jon Hart with nine apiece.

Yasmine Washington is getting used to head coach Brent Holland's halftime speech, which almost sounds like a broken record. Holland constantly encourages Washington to "step up, step up, step up."

She did Friday night.

With her frontcourt mate Brittani Billups in foul trouble, Washington provided 11 third-quarter points and helped the Warriors pull away for a 58-51 victory. Eastern Wayne (7-9 overall) completed the regular-season sweep of its archrival and remained tied for second with Wilson Hunt at 4-2 in ECC play.

Washington's offensive surge stopped what had been a game-changing 20-4 run by the Saints. Southern Wayne, after Billups picked up her third foul, turned a nine-point deficit into a 25-23 lead at halftime.

"Brittani has to learn she can't block everything in the gym and she's got to play smarter because we need her on the floor," said Holland. "The other girls held their own ... took it upon themselves to step up."

Washington buried two 3-pointers and Danielle Daniels added a trey to spark the Warriors' comeback effort. The Saints stayed within striking distance at 42-39 until Daniels connected on an NBA-range bomb that began a game-clinching 9-2 run.

The shot nearly drew Holland's fury until it swished the net.

"It's one of those 'oh no, what are you ... good shot," said a grinning Holland. "The difference in the second half was they were not afraid to make a mistake. We got humbled Tuesday night and we knew we had to work. Every time we step on the floor, it's a grind."

Washington converted a conventional three-point play on the next possession. The Warriors maintained their advantage and benefited from the Saints' inability to hit free throws with the clock stopped. Southern Wayne missed five free throws in the second half and 12 overall.

Eastern Wayne shot a season-best 14 of 18 at the charity stripe.

"We jumped right on them in the third quarter and they hit two 3-pointers back-to-back ... we didn't get a girl on them defensively ... a lapse," said Saints head coach Chuck Crumpler. "Then we missed our free throws."

Billups collected a game-high 24 points, including an 8 of 8 effort at the free throw line. Washington finished with 20.

Shakoria Clark, bothered by the Warriors' diamond-and-one defense in the fourth quarter, led the Saints with 15 points. Lynneshia Leonard added 10, while Kayla Powell and Clarice Sherard combined for 15 points.

Boys game

E. Wayne 13 16 16 24 -- 69

So. Wayne 14 14 8 21 -- 57

EASTERN WAYNE (5-11, 3-3)

Lamar Davis 2 2 0-0 10, D.J. Cowan 5 1 0-0 13, Jeneiri Cyrus 3 0 3-4 9, Darren Bennett 7 0 1-2 15, Darian Cahill 1 0 3-3 5, Darius Wilder 3 2 0-0 12, William White 1 0 0-2 2, Orlando Midgette 1 0 1-2 3. TOTALS -- 23 5 8-13 69.

SOUTHERN WAYNE (8-10, 2-4)

Paris Armwood 1 1 1-2 6, Anthony Vick 1 0 0-0 2, Jon Hart 3 1 0-1 9, Antonio Howard 1 0 0-0 2, Dwight Smith 1 0 0-0 2, Adam Harrell 0 3 0-0 9, Kendrick Thompson 4 0 0-1 8, Orlando Davis 5 1 2-2 15, Kelvin Flow 1 0 2-3 4. TOTALS -- 17 6 5-9 57.

Girls game

E. Wayne 9 14 18 17 -- 58

So. Wayne 9 16 12 14 -- 51

EASTERN WAYNE (7-9, 4-2)

Noelle Kelly 2 0 0-0 4, Lindsey Frederick 1 0 0-0 2, Yasmine Washington 5 2 4-5 20, Eboni Reid 0 0 1-3 1, Danielle Daniels 0 2 0-0 6, Tiara McIntyre 0 0 1-2 1, Brittani Billups 8 0 8-8 24. TOTALS -- 16 4 14-18 58.

SOUTHERN WAYNE (7-11, 0-6)

Kiera Ingram 1 0 0-1 2, Shakoria Clark 2 2 5-6 15, Brianna Lofton 3 1 0-2 9, Lynneshia Leonard 4 0 2-4 10, Kayla Powell 4 0 1-6 9, Clarice Sherard 2 0 2-3 6. TOTALS -- 16 3 10-22 51.