Eastern Wayne eases past ECC foe Cleveland
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on December 15, 2010 1:47 PM
As the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference schedule begins to heat up, Eastern Wayne appears to be finding its stride.
The Warriors built a 19-point fourth quarter lead and held on for a 57-52 victory over league newcomer Cleveland on Tuesday night in New Hope.
Eastern Wayne sophomore guard Lee Atkinson scored 14 of his game-high 19 points in the second half to go with seven rebounds. Trey Hill and Lamar Best each added 10 points.
After struggling to find his shooting touch in the first half, Atkinson heated up in the third quarter. His 3-pointer sparked a 10-2 run that pushed the Warriors in front 31-16. Eastern Wayne forced seven third-quarter turnovers, which led to transition points.
"I thought Lee knocked down a couple of big shots for us," said Warriors' head coach Marvin Bowman. "We were able to get a couple of steals and putbacks and that was big for us. We stepped it up a little bit."
Hill went to work early in the fourth quarter and scored eight of his 10 points during the final period. Chris Andrews' jump shot extended the lead to 55-36.
With the Warriors' starters resting on the bench, the Rams battled back. Jesse Olmstead's free throws with fewer than two minutes to play trimmed the deficit to 55-45. Olmstead's 3-pointer at the buzzer left Eastern Wayne with a 5-point victory.
"I decided to let our second group finish the game," said Bowman. "I felt like we were still in control. If I wanted to I could have put a couple of starters back in."
Jeremiah David led Cleveland with 14 points.
The Warriors (5-2 overall, 2-0 ECC) have won five of their last six games and are starting to develop chemistry as players get a grasp on their individual roles and responsibilities.
"We've still got a long way to go," said Bowman. "I think we're beginning to understand our roles, and we're beginning to move a little better without the basketball and do the little things."