12/17/08 — Saints' depth wears down Spring Creek

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Saints' depth wears down Spring Creek

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on December 17, 2008 1:46 PM

SEVEN SPRINGS --A seemingly endless supply of talented depth, the ability to score in bunches and an entire team committed to playing defense.

Second-year Southern Wayne head coach Russell Stephens must of felt like he was watching every coach's dream as his Saints overwhelmed non-conference foe Spring Creek 84-46 on Tuesday night.

Southern Wayne had 13 different players score and placed just two players in double figures as Khari Faison and Brandon Anderson each finished with 11 points. Javaris McMillan, Khalil Artis and Ramsey Turner provided eight points apiece.

"Our strength is definitely in our numbers and I think that proved to be a fact tonight," said Stephens. "I think we wore them down a little bit. It was just a great team effort tonight. We don't have a primary scorer that's giving us 20 points a night.

"So, when we can get guys to chip in two, or four or five points and we can use 12 (players) that's a big plus for us."

The Saints (6-4 overall) opened the game with seven unanswered points, five of which came from Anderson. The Gators got to within 7-3 on Anthony Green's 3-pointer, but got no closer and trailed 15-7 after the first quarter.

With the depth necessary to play up-tempo basketball, Southern Wayne suffocated Spring Creek (2-6) with relentless full-court pressure. As a result, the Saints forced turnovers which resulted into transition layups and points in bunches.

After 3-pointers from Chris Davis and Khalil Artis extended the margin to double digits, Southern Wayne closed the first half on an 18-6 run that led to a 43-21 halftime advantage. The run was part of a 28-point second quarter outburst in which Stephens got significant contributions from his bench. Nine different players scratched in the scoring column.

"We knew their primary scorers and we really picked it up defensively," said Stephens. "Our guys knew tonight that if you weren't stepping up and playing defense that you weren't going to be playing. So, that was good to see."

Despite the lopsided defeat first-year Gators head coach Taylor Jones saw plenty of positives to build on with conference play beginning in early January. Melvin Deveaux scored a game-high 12 points and Green had seven.

"We've made a lot of progression," said Jones. "I think maybe this knocked us back a little bit. We've been getting better each week and I'm getting some guys healthy. We've got some talent that get us into conference play and we can be can successful in conference play.

"Our biggest thing is we just have to execute."

The Saints host Jones Senior tonight and Spring Creek returns to action on Dec. 29 against Durham Hillside in the Saints Christmas Classic at Southern Wayne.