02/16/11 — Eastern Wayne ousts South Johnston

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Eastern Wayne ousts South Johnston

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on February 16, 2011 1:47 PM

Slow, patient and deliberate.

Eastern Wayne methodically ran its offense and limited South Johnston's possessions in a 51-41 win in the first round of the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference boys' basketball tournament Tuesday night.

The third-seeded Warriors took their time on offense, made precise passes and slowed the pace of the game. Tyrick Kornegay's three-point-play and layup gave Eastern Wayne a 14-5 lead after the first quarter.

"We wanted to take care of the ball," said Warriors' coach Marvin Bowman. "Once we got a little cushion, we wanted run our offense and convert. We just wanted to try to do the things that we're going to need to do down the stretch against other teams."

Eastern Wayne forced 15 first-half turnovers and held the Trojans to just one 3-pointer in the first half. South Johnston knocked down five 3's in the first half and led 30-24 at halftime in its previous visit to New Hope during the regular season.

This time, the Trojans trailed 25-13 at the break and finished the game with 24 turnovers.

"I thought we were excellent on the defensive end," said Bowman. "This time around, we knew their shooters and we were able to get to their shooters a lot sooner. Our pace offensively put tremendous pressure on them to make shots on every possession."

Brandon Williams' layup and Lee Atkinson's 3-pointer quickly extended the Warriors' advantage to 30-13 early in the third quarter. Byron Thompson's layup pushed the margin to 37-20.

Atkinson led Eastern Wayne with 15 points and Thompson finished with 12 off the bench. Javon Darden added eight points.

"That was huge being able to get those guys in off the bench and get them in a rhythm," said Bowman. "I know we're going to need them down the stretch."

South Johnston (5-20 overall) closed the game on a 13-2 run and was led by D.J. Collins, who scored 15 points.

Eastern Wayne (14-8) visits regular-season, co-champion Triton on Thursday night in the ECC semifinals. The second-seeded Hawks swept the Warriors during the regular season.

"I welcome the opportunity and I think our kids do too," said Bowman. "They're an up-tempo type of team. They like to press. We're probably going to have to speed up a little bit, but that's because of the way they play. We have to take advantage of their defense because they gamble a lot."