01/24/09 — Saints down Golden Falcons

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Saints down Golden Falcons

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on January 24, 2009 11:14 PM

DUDLEY -- Winter weather canceled practices and games for both Southern Wayne and Charles B. Aycock this week.

The lack of court time showed in both offenses, but the Saints claimed a hard-fought 49-46 victory in Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference play Friday evening.

The teams combined for just 45 points in a physical first half.

"When you haven't had any practices, you have to fall back on the fundamentals," said Golden Falcons head coach David West. "I though both teams did a good job with the basics, but they did a better job rebounding."

Trailing 23-22 at halftime, Southern Wayne took advantage of back-to-back second-chance opportunities and grabbed the lead less than one minute into the third quarter.

Not to be outdone, Golden Falcon forward Brandon Winford kept his team close with a timely basket and some stingy interior defense.

The Saints clung to a 38-36 advantage after three periods.

Southern Wayne (12-5 overall, 2-1 ECC) led by as many as six points in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, but a basket by Tyheim Pitt and a deep 3-pointer from Molonza Hayes pulled Aycock within one. After a failed offensive trip by both teams, Javaris McMillan sank one of two free throws and upped the Saints' lead to 43-41.

James Jones buried two foul shots one minute later and was followed by two hits at the charity stripe by Justin Artis. Winford pulled the Falcons within one possession at 47-44 with a pair of foul shots with just 14 seconds remaining.

Jones preserved the Saints' victory with two free throws six seconds later.

"We put James in the game because he can change the tempo with his defense," said Saints head coach Russell Stephens. "Tonight he was big on both ends. He was the only guy on the team that was perfect from the line and all of those came late."

Pitt hit a jump shot with less than a second to play, but the Saints put the ball in play and ran out the clock.

On the night, the Golden Falcons (11-6 overall, 0-3 ECC) were paced by Winford's double-double -- 12 points, 10 rebounds. Khendra Reid added 11 points in the loss.

McMillan paced Southern Wayne with a double-double -- 19 points, 11 rebounds. Desmond Raiford added eight points and five boards.

"We commended Javaris at halftime for his offense, but we also talked up the guards for finding him when he was hot," said Stephens. "Any time we have one guy go for 19 points, that's a big night."

Both teams face tough road tests next week. Charles. B. Aycock will travel to Eastern Wayne, Kinston and Wilson Beddingfield, respectively. Southern Wayne will be the guest of Beddingfield, Hunt and Eastern Wayne.

"One of the guys in the locker room said next week is going to be like an NBA schedule," said West. "In a way he was right. Three straight games on the road in a five-day span is tough."