Warriors go down: Fike's Atkinson too hot to stop
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on December 21, 2008 2:00 AM
Eastern Wayne's Cody Kirkham (33) shoots from the key as Wilson Fike's Devin Jackson tries to block from behind during their non-conference game Friday evening in New Hope.
Wilson Fike star Jeremy Atkinson came as good as advertised as the Golden Demons defeated Eastern Wayne 87-51 on Friday evening in New Hope.
Atkinson delivered 27 points and grabbed nine boards in the non-conference showdown.
"He is a really tough player, maybe one of the best in the eastern part of the state," said Warriors head coach Marvin Bowman. "He can shoot from the outside, he can drive and he can play big and score underneath."
The Warriors kept pace throughout the first half behind a rebounding advantage and some timely shooting by Cody Kirkham. His bucket pulled Eastern Wayne within six points in the closing seconds of the opening quarter.
The Demons extended their lead in the second eight minutes as Atkinson began to heat up from beyond the arc. A four-point play by Atkinson ignited the visiting crowd and pushed Fike's lead to 14 before the intermission.
"I thought we did a pretty good job in the first half of keeping ourselves in it," said Bowman. "They shot the lights out."
Atkinson and teammate Jerrell Williams crushed the Warriors' comeback hopes in the third quarter.
Four consecutive fruitless Eastern Wayne possessions and a pair of baskets by Williams shifted the momentum to the Demon bench. Ahead 50-33, Fike head coach George Drawhorn decided to go for the knockout punch and turned up the defensive heat.
The Demons picked up the pace and forced three consecutive turnovers. Fike led 65-35 midway through the period.
"That's one thing we have not been doing well this season. We have been starting the third quarter too slowly," said Drawhorn. "Tonight we did a better job of forcing the tempo and turning defense into offense."
The two teams' second units soaked up a majority of the fourth quarter minutes with the game well in hand. Fike had 12 players score in the game, while 11 different Warriors finished with points on the stat sheet.
Eastern Wayne (2-7 overall) was paced by Kirkham's 12 points. Jeniri Cyrus added eight points, while Stacey Edwards chipped in seven points off the bench.
Williams and Darrus Parker complemented Atkinson's effort with 18 and 14 points, respectively. Fike exited 5-1 overall.
"Jeremy is a great player, but we make sure that he knows our wins our a team effort," said Drawhorn. "Tonight we shot the ball well... we might not shoot like that the rest of the season, but tonight everyone was on."
Eastern Wayne continues play Monday at Jones Senior.
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