By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on December 2, 2010 1:47 PM
Lee Atkinson continues to prove the transition to varsity basketball doesn't have to last very long.
The sophomore guard scored 23 of his 25 points in the second half of Eastern Wayne's 58-52, non-conference victory over Wilson Fike on Wednesday night.
Atkinson struggled to find his stroke in the first half but never got discouraged. In just his third varsity game, Atkinson knocked down five 3-pointers in the second half.
"My teammates have a lot of confidence in me," said Atkinson. "They just tell me to keep shooting. I'm not afraid to take a shot and miss because they still have confidence in me. I don't really try to think about it too much. I just come out and play my game."
Atkinson has scored in double figures in each of his first three varsity contests. He's averaging 21 points a game and has scored 48 points in the Warriors' last two outings.
"Lee is relaxed because he understands his role on this basketball team," said Warriors' head coach Marvin Bowman. "I think more than anything else that's the key. He has an excellent follow through on his shot and excellent court awareness."
Atkinson's layup and 3-pointer were part of a 9-0 run that gave Eastern Wayne the lead for good at 35-28 late in the third quarter. His 3 with fewer than two minutes to play stretched the lead to 52-44.
The Warriors forced 18 turnovers which allowed point guard Lamar Best to create scoring opportunities in transition. Best finished with 21 points. Brandon Williams pulled down eight rebounds.
"That was very important," said Bowman. "We're not as big as some of the teams we play. We have to make up for that with quickness. We were able to take advantage of some of those opportunities."
T.J. Hinnant led Fike with 15 points.
After losing 60-53 to Goldsboro in overtime a week ago, Eastern Wayne has showed signs of developing some early chemistry with victories on consecutive nights.
"The last two games have been really important," said Atkinson. "We're trying find ourselves as a team. We did good coming back and playing together as a team."
The Warriors (2-1) travel to Spring Creek on Tuesday.