Early dunk awakens No. 6 WCDS
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 14, 2009 1:46 PM
An opponent dunk on Wayne Country Day's court?
The idea seemed absurd until Faith Christian-Rocky Mount senior Tim Watson threw down a two-handed slam -- between two defenders -- midway through the opening quarter Tuesday evening.
"It woke us up," said WCDS head coach Terry Jones. "(Watson) is a quality player ... a workhorse and every coach's dream. We (always) emphasize getting off to a better start (early) and we did that reasonably well."
Watson pumped his fist toward the Patriots' fans and raced downcourt after his rim-rocking shot.
The Chargers took over from there.
Wayne Country Day unleashed a 15-4 run and claimed a 65-51 victory in a battle of top-10 teams in the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A ranks. The Chargers, rated No. 6 in the latest poll, improved to 14-7 overall and the Patriots, who entered the game at No. 8, exited 13-4 in all games and 1-1 against CPIC opposition this season.
Faith Christian opened the game in a triangle-and-two defense, which bothered Jones' team for most of the first period.
"We just stressed movement, get the ball rolling, screen and help one another out," said Jones. "If it meant certain players needed to sacrifice for the sake of the team tonight, that's what we needed to do."
After Watson's dunk tied the game at 8-8, the Chargers tallied 15 of the next 19 points. Underclassmen Brandon McCarter and Hil Tanner, who were called from the JV to dress out, combined for eight points during that stretch.
Stoan Stewart's bucket off Tanner's assist capped the surge.
"Like I told the guys, this was the game we needed in all honesty," said Jones. "We have some guys who we just had to pull up off JV to increase our numbers. They have the potential to go on court and be an intricate part of what we're doing.
"(Brandon) McCarter, (Hil) Tanner and (Stoan) Stewart came off the bench to give us some big-time minutes and we rode that wave."
Wayne Country Day carried a 12-point lead into halftime, but watched it dwindle to four points in the second half. Watson, who led all scorers with 22 points, converted baskets underneath and Jordan Marshall buried a 3-pointer to make it 41-37.
Tanner followed with the two biggest shots of the night.
After a Chargers' timeout, Tanner snuck to the right corner and drilled a 3-pointer off Rashid Williams' inbounds pass. One possession later, the same combination worked again for another 3-pointer.
Jones' team had breathing room, 47-37, after three periods.
"Tonight Hil was one of our secret weapons," said Jones. "He's such a hard worker and works on his game so much. I feel like he can be a good assistance to this team once he begins to believe that he can."
Wayne Country Day kept its 10-point advantage throughout the final period and drained eight free throws to thwart any comeback hopes. The Chargers didn't commit a turnover the final 10 minutes of the contest after committing nine in the opening half.
Tim Hobbs led four Chargers in double figures with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Reco McCarter contributed 11 points, while Tanner and Josh Gregory finished with 10 points apiece. Brandon McCarter supplied eight points and six rebounds.
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