02/24/09 — Nash Central too much for Eastern Wayne

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Nash Central too much for Eastern Wayne

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 24, 2009 1:47 PM

NASHVILLE -- Nash Central guard Dominique Holloway darted through the Eastern Wayne defense and seemed destined for an uncontested layup.

Six-foot-10 center Colton Butler stepped out from underneath the basket, stuck out a big paw and stuffed Holloway's shot. Butler blocked the ball with such force that it bounced high off the floor and dropped through the net.

The strange third-quarter play ignited the Bulldogs' offense and helped lead to a 62-43 victory in the opening round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A playoffs Monday evening.

"That third quarter ... a coincidental shot that goes into the basket," said Eastern Wayne head coach Marvin Bowman as he shook his head in disbelief. "Little things like that can cause kids to get back on their heels (defensively) and it got them (Nash Central) going."

Holloway finished with 19 points for the Bulldogs, the NEW 6 Conference tournament runners-up. Guard Trey Sumler reached double figures for the 23rd time this season with a game-high 23 points.

Ten Warriors scratched in the scoring column, led by Jeneri Cyrus' 11-point effort. Marvin Bowman Jr. contributed nine points, while Cody Kirkham dropped in six. Cyrus, Bowman Jr. and Stacey Edwards pulled down six rebounds apiece.

"I'm not sure how serious they took Eastern Wayne," said Nash Central head coach Mike Mosley. "I'm real glad we won, but you always want your team to play better. They played well enough to win."

Nash Central nearly claimed a double-digit advantage in the opening half, but Eastern Wayne (6-17 overall) pulled within striking distance before halftime. The Warriors trimmed the Bulldogs' advantage to one point on back-to-back baskets from Cyrus and Bowman Jr.

Sumler drained two free throws to put the Dogs ahead 25-22 at intermission.

Full-court pressure defense and Holloway's unusual basket fueled Nash Central's fire early in the third quarter. Mosley's team reeled off six straight points and built a 36-24 lead before Bowman asked the officials for a 30-second timeout.

"They turned it up notch, which is what you're supposed to do and I've tried to get my guys to understand that," said Bowman. "They went to another level and we didn't. They started pressing a little bit more and when they scored, I think our guys got a little bit rushed (offensively).

"When you rush, that's when you make mistakes."

The Warriors converted just one of their first seven possessions of the quarter and eventually fell behind by as many as 16 points.

Bowman Jr. canned a 3-pointer off Lamar Best's assist to open the final period, but Eastern Wayne could get no closer.

"It was a game of spurts and I was hoping that we would get a run late, but never got it," said coach Bowman.