Saints need overtime to top Tigers
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on November 30, 2011 1:48 PM
DUDLEY -- Southern Wayne squandered one opportunity to put away James Kenan.
The Saints weren't about to waste a second chance.
Jaylen Roberts' layup and Vernon Pemberton's two free throws sealed an 86-82 overtime win over the Tigers on Tuesday evening. Southern Wayne beat Kenan for the second time in a four-day period.
"I think our defense and our toughness allowed us to win that game along with some key free throw shooting down the stretch," Saints' head coach Russell Stephens said. "Playing these close games early shows our kids when you have 24 or 25 turnovers in a game, if we can turn the ball over 12 times that is 12 more shots we have and you can stretch a lead like that."
Kenan shot just 9 for 18 from the free throw line in overtime and failed to score a field goal in the extra session.
"From a statistical point of view those missed free throws hurt real bad," first-year Tigers' head coach Jeff Lane said. "A lot of times you can take a game and look at free throws and the opportunities we had, and winning and losing is so close. A lot of times it is the little things that usually lose a game.
"If we hit a couple more free throws we're right there."
Southern Wayne had an opportunity to win the game at the end of regulation, but Jamiel Price missed a pair of free throws with three seconds left that would have broken a 73-73 tie.
Price led the Saints (3-1 overall) with 36 points and nine rebounds. Roberts added 15 points and Ronnell Outlaw had 14 points. Andre Smith scored a team-high 26 points for Kenan. Jeremy Smith had 24 points, 17 of which came in the fourth quarter before he fouled out.
Southern Wayne opened the game on an 11-0 run and led by 12 points in the second quarter. The Tigers refused to quit and trimmed an eight-point halftime deficit to 50-47 entering the fourth quarter.
John Winston's layup gave Kenan (0-3) its first lead of the game at 55-53 early in the fourth quarter.
"Our kids fought and they didn't want to lose this game," Lane said. "They didn't lose this game, they got beat by a better team. I'm just very, very proud of my kids for the way they fought."
Southern Wayne visits East Duplin today, while the Tigers play host to East Duplin on Friday.