Hot-shooting Southern Wayne dumps Bears
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on December 28, 2007 3:25 PM
KINSTON -- Knowing Southern Wayne has the potential to be much better than its 2-7 record indicates, first-year men's basketball coach Russell Stephens challenged his team Thursday evening.
"Before we went out there tonight, I told our guys, 'there's all kinds of high school Christmas tournaments going on, and this is yours. You make it what you want to,'" Stephens said before tip off against New Bern. "I told them, 'this tournament can resurrect your season.'"
Southern Wayne responded with one of its better offensive performances of the season. The Saints knocked down eight 3-pointers, shot 11 for 13 at the free throw line and held off the Bears 57-47 in the 7th annual Holiday Classic at Lenoir Community College.
The Saints face Stevens Prep in the semifinals tonight at 7.
Seemingly shooting without a conscience against New Bern's zone defense, the Saints drained four 3-pointers in the first quarter including three from senior John Hart. Southern Wayne closed the quarter on an 11-2 run and led 18-8 after eight minutes.
"We've been going through shooting woes this season, but we came out tonight and hit some shots early, and let our offense be our defense," Stephens said. "We haven't seen much zone this year, but when we see one we're glad to see it."
Hart finished with 13 of his game-high 18 points in the first half.
Meanwhile, life on the offensive end was a constant struggle for the Bears, who were frequently limited to one shot and committed 11 first-half turnovers.
Hart's layup capped a 7-0 spurt, which pushed the lead to 25-8. The Saints led 33-22 at intermission.
New Bern was held to just seven third-quarter points and trailed 50-36 with just over three minutes remaining before mounting a late charge.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from Nathan Healy and Trevor Dunnell, and Ty Pack's layup were part of an 11-1 run that cut the deficit to 50-44. However, the Saints responded to outscore the Bears 7-3 down the stretch, including going 5 for 6 from the free throw line.
"We know that teams have runs in them and New Bern ... we certainly know that they can score points," Stephens said. "A couple of times we got careless with the basketball, but we were able to regroup. We've just got to make sure when we go on the court we're all on the same page."
Justin Artis and Dwight Smith each added nine points, Kendrick Thompson had seven. James Jones and Desmond Raiford each scored six.
Healy led New Bern with 16 points.
New Bern 8 14 7 18 -- 47
Southern Wayne 18 15 14 10 -- 57
Trevor Dunnell 0 2 0-0 6, Nathan Healy 5 2 0-0 16, Ty Pack 3 0 2-2 8, Cour Lawless 1 0 0-0 2, Andrew Stortz 1 0 3-3 5, Dustin Mason 0 0 2-2 2, Phillip Healy 0 0 2-2 2, Kendrick Henderson 1 0 4-4 6. TOTALS -- 10 4 13-13 47.
SOUTHERN WAYNE (3-7)
Justin Artis 1 1 4-4 9, James Jones 0 1 3-3 6, Woody Woodard 1 0 0-0 2, Dwight Smith 0 3 0-0 9, Kendrick Thompson 3 0 1-2 7, John Hart 3 3 3-4 18, Desmond Raiford 3 0 0-0 6. TOTALS -- 11 8 11-13 57.
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