Wayne Country Day falls
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on December 27, 2008 11:16 PM
Terry Jones threw just about every defense imaginable at Mount Zion on Saturday evening.
Jones, the second-year Wayne Country Day boys' basketball coach, had no strategy for the Warriors' height or their supply of talented depth on the bench.
Mount Zion placed four different scorers in double-figures, forced 26 Chargers' turnovers and outscored Wayne Country Day 42-30 in the second half to earn a 71-61 victory in the final game of the Charger Christmas Classic.
"I don't want to throw out any excuses but realistically (their height) was huge," Jones said. "They were loaded down there and they had a lot they could go to. My first five played a majority of that second half almost straight through. I have some guys that I can't get them off the floor but for so long."
The Chargers led 31-29 at the half but the Warriors opened the second half on a 10-2 run to claim a 39-33 advantage. Eric McKnight started the spurt with back-to-back dunks and Desmon Louis capped the outburst with layups on consecutive possessions.
Wayne Country Day (11-6) answered with a layup and a 3-pointer from Floronta Wynn to slice the deficit to 42-38. Reco McCarter's free throw's and Josh Gregory's 3 tied the game at 43-43 with just over three minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Mount Zion finished the quarter by scoring 10 of the final 12 points and led 53-45 heading into the fourth. The Chargers turned the ball over 15 times in the second half as the Warriors lead grew to 59-47 midway through the fourth quarter on Rasheed Laws' layup.
Mount Zion was relentless on the glass and consistently came down with rebounds that resulted in second-chance points on the offensive end and defensive boards created transition opportunities.
McKnight, a forward, led the Warriors with 12 points and Charles Blue added 11. Delvin McCarther and Desmon Lewis each contributed 10 points.
"They kind of kicked it into a high gear and we couldn't get to that high gear." Jones said. "It's one of those things with being in synch. We had opportunities where guys were making passes and they weren't on the same page. We were trying to do everything we could but we just couldn't get it all together."
Wynn, who surpassed the 1,000 point mark for his career in a 66-53 victory over Jireh Prep on Friday night, finished with a game-high 23 points. McCarter had 14 points, Gregory contributed 11 and Tim Hobbs pitched in 10.
Despite the loss, Jones knows his team won't face competition the caliber of Mount Zion on a nightly basis in the Coastal Plains Independent 1-A Conference. The experience gained from having played the Warriors could continue to serve as a learning experience.
"It's just one of those things that we're constantly learning and growing in," Jones said. "This makes us better. We also have some guys that are going to the next level and as good as Mount Zion is this is nothing compared to what they'll see. Sure, you prepare for the season, but you also prepare for long term down the road."
Wayne Country Day hosts Waccamaw at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 6.
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