12/17/08 — New confidence: Warrior boys collect second straight victory

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New confidence: Warrior boys collect second straight victory

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on December 17, 2008 1:46 PM

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Eastern Wayne's Colton Butler (55) shoots for two as North Lenoir's Da'Rico Jones (30) defends during their non-conference game Tuesday evening in New Hope. The Warriors claimed their second straight win in a 24-hour span.

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Eastern Wayne's Jeniri Cyrus (21) shoots from inside the key as North Lenoir's Da'Rico Jones (30) stretches to defend the shot on Tuesday evening.

Call it new found confidence.

The Eastern Wayne varsity boys' basketball team picked up its second victory in a 24-hour span, defeating North Lenoir 79-69 on Tuesday evening. After an 0-6 start, the Warriors have avenged two regular-season losses.

"We got a win (Monday) night and the guys came out ready to build on that tonight," said Warriors head coach Marvin Bowman, whose team upended Wilmington Laney on Monday. "We played some good teams early in the year, and we beat a good team tonight."

Eastern Wayne jumped out to a 18-13 lead in the opening period. A big reason for the first quarter success was strong perimeter defense that limited Hawk guards Chris McPhail and Joe Whitfield to three total points.

"We didn't really key on (McPhail), but we certainly knew where he was," said Bowman. "I thought our guys played hard on the defensive end, and they turned that into offense."

The Warriors led 34-28 at halftime.

In the third quarter, Jeniri Cyrus took over.

The talented forward made a back-to-back baskets in the opening minute of the second half and ignited a 9-2 run by Eastern Wayne. In a five-minute span, Cyrus scored seven points and pulled down four rebounds.

"Jeniri was great tonight and the best part of his game was that he was quiet ... focused," said Bowman. "He shot the ball well and created his own opportunities."

McPhail awoke in the final eight minutes, erupting for nine points, but by that time the Warriors (2-6 overall) had the game in hand. Colton Butler delivered the exclamation point with a thunderous two-hand dunk as the clock ticked under two minutes.

"Our big guys did a good job battling and rebounding," said Bowman. "I was really pleased with both Colton and Marvin Bowman Jr."

For the game, the Warriors were paced by Cyrus' double-double of 24 points and 11 rebounds. Cody Kirkham added 11 points, while Lamar Best and Will White chipped in 10 points apiece. Butler and Bowman each scored eight points and grabbed six boards.

North Lenoir (4-3) was paced by Juel Bizzell's double-double effort -- 17 points, 12 rebounds. McPhail finished with 14 points. Marquez Powell dropped in 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds.

Eastern Wayne entertains Wilson Fike on Friday night.

"We have some experience, having played three games in five days already once this season," said Bowman. "But Fike is a very good team and we will have to play our best. Thankfully all three of these games have been at home."