Eastern Wayne rallies past Wilson Hunt
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on February 4, 2009 1:46 PM
Trailing a league opponent by double digits on its home floor, Eastern Wayne couldn't be any closer to its comfort zone.
The Warriors overcame a 12-point first-half deficit and held on to defeat Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference foe Wilson Hunt 61-60 on Tuesday night. Just one week ago, Eastern Wayne rallied from 10 points down to knock off visiting Charles B. Aycock the Tuesday before.
"These kids just don't quit," said Eastern Wayne head coach Marvin Bowman. "We believe we can fight back. Earlier on we didn't know if we were capable, and now we know and they'll play through it. These guys are just starting to come together. "
Hunt led 47-41 after three periods and held a 53-48 advantage with just over five minutes to play.
Eastern Wayne (5-13 overall, 3-4 ECC) responded with a 9-0 run to take the lead for good. The spurt was fueled by ball pressure defensively and the ability to force turnovers.
"At that point I just wanted (us) to knock down a few shots," said Bowman. "We did a good job of getting up and down."
Jeneri Cyrus scored seven of his team-high 18 points during the outburst including two contested 3-pointers, with the final 3 giving Eastern Wayne a 57-53 advantage with just over 2 1/2 minutes to play.
"I knew we needed it," said Cyrus. "I just knew we really needed to come out with this win tonight. I've hit those 3's all the time in practice and I knew all I had to do was knock it down.
"We knew how good of a team we are ... we go hard in practice every day and we know we can pull these games out."
Hunt (8-10, 2-5) stayed within striking distance and Tyrell Vinson's free throws with 17 seconds remaining trimmed the deficit to 60-58. Hassan Best made one of two free throws for a 61-58 advantage with 14 seconds to play.
Instead of attempting a game-tying 3-pointer, Hunt's Vinson opted for a layup with less than a second to play.
Eastern Wayne was just 4 for 12 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter and 2 for 7 in the final 83 seconds of the ballgame.
Hunt opened the game with eight unanswered points and Vinson's layup extended the lead to 25-13 late in the first quarter. Vinson led all scorers with 19 points and Ahmad Young added 15.
Marvin Bowman Jr. scored nine points for Eastern Wayne, while Will White provided seven.
Eastern Wayne entertains Beddingfield on Friday.
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