02/18/11 — Top-seeded Saints dispatch Aycock

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Top-seeded Saints dispatch Aycock

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 18, 2011 1:47 PM

DUDLEY -- Been there.

Done that.

Got the T-shirt.

Charles B. Aycock couldn't avoid a repeat of its season-ending meeting with Southern Wayne on Thursday evening. Early turnovers, poor shooting and an in-your-face defense led to a 68-30 loss against the Saints in semifinal-round play of the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference boys' basketball tournament.

Regular-season co-champions Southern Wayne (19-4 overall) and Triton face each other today at 7:30 p.m. in Pikeville. The victor secures the No. 1 seed for the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs.

"It was reminiscent of the first game we played here," said Golden Falcons head coach Steve Moats. "We turned it over too much, they got an early lead and we didn't shoot well."

The Golden Falcons (7-16) missed their first six shots from the floor and committed seven turnovers, which led to seven points for the Saints. Southern Wayne led 16-2 after eight minutes of action.

"I thought our defense all night was tremendous," said Southern Wayne coach Russell Stephens, whose team forced 30 turnovers. "We did a good job of boxing out and rebounding the ball. We got out in transition like we wanted to, but when we got in the halfcourt set, we weren't patient enough against that zone.

"I wasn't happy with our shot selection."

Stephens described the short offensive period as "new jack city" as his team constantly launched off-the-mark shots from 3-point range. Aycock managed to pull within 20-11 during that stretch, which forced Stephens to burn a timeout.

The Saints took a 25-13 lead into halftime and opened the third quarter with an 8-0 run. The Golden Falcons, the 2010 ECC tournament champions, could provide no answer.

"The second half, we came out and I think our pressure on top of them playing early in the week got to them early in the second half," said Stephens. "We got out in transition, which we like to do and we were able to extend to a comfortable lead."

Delfawn Worrells led three Saints in double figures with 15 points. Trey Allen and Tony Smith contributed 11 points apiece.

Brandon Winford paced Aycock's offense with 11 points. No other player reached double figures for the Golden Falcons, who concluded the season with a 6-5 worksheet since Jan. 1.

"To start off (1-11) and to turn it around, shows a lot of character from these guys," said Moats. "I'm really proud of that. It's always tough when you lose the last one."