02/08/09 — No. 2-ranked Kinston upends Southern Wayne boys

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No. 2-ranked Kinston upends Southern Wayne boys

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on February 8, 2009 2:00 AM

KINSTON -- Billed as the battle for supremacy in Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference play, defending state boys' basketball champion Kinston made a statement against Southern Wayne on Friday evening.

The No. 2-ranked Vikings jumped ahead early and cruised to a 64-51 victory. Kinston (19-3 overall) seized sole possession of the ECC lead at 7-1 and swept the regular-season series against the Saints.

"I thought our guys did a good job of making plays in transition and getting to the basket," said Vikings head coach Wells Gulledge. "We were able to swing the ball from one side to the other and attack the seams."

Southern Wayne (16-6, 6-2) matched Kinston's physical play and stayed within striking distance with timely shooting. The Vikings led 12-8 after eight minutes of action.

Each team's offense found its respective rhythm in the second quarter. Kinston raced to a nine-point lead before Javaris McMillan's deep 3-pointer closed the gap to six points at halftime.

"I felt like we had some good momentum going our way at halftime," said Saints head coach Russell Stephens. "Javaris' basket was big. We were only down six and I really thought we were in good position."

Forward Victor Holloway sparked Kinston with a 10-3 run in the third period. Holloway finished with a double-double -- 17 points, 18 rebounds.

"Victor was huge ... had a great all-around game," said Gulledge. "I thought he did a good job the last time we played Southern Wayne. He just didn't finish around the basket ... tonight he did it all."

Marquez Jones complemented Holloway with a 13-point effort, while Josh Benoit contributed 12 points. UNC recruit Reggie Bullock added four points and five rebounds in limited minutes.

Raiford paced the Saints with 18 points. McMillan and Justin Artis posted eight points apiece.

One week remains in regular-season play.

"I told our guys in the locker room, anything can happen," said Stephens. "We have to go out and take care of our business, and see how things work out. Right now we are in second place and we have to make sure that we at least stay there."

The Saints visit Wilson Hunt on Tuesday.