02/01/12 — Late turnovers doom Southern Wayne boys

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Late turnovers doom Southern Wayne boys

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on February 1, 2012 1:48 PM

DUDLEY -- Eastern Wayne, for the second consecutive season, got the best of county archrival Southern Wayne on the hardwood.

The result will likely have a bigger impact on the Saints' chances to claim the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference title, too. The Warriors overcame a double-digit second half deficit and rallied for a 47-44 victory on Tuesday night.

"This was a big win for us because we have been in a little bit of a slump," Warriors head coach Marvin Bowman said. "We needed to come out and play well, and it seemed like everything just clicked in the third quarter."

Southern Wayne controlled the game in the first half as neither team found much footing on the offensive end of the floor. The Saints led 24-18 at intermission and extended the advantage to 30-20 in the opening minute of the third quarter.

Eastern Wayne responded and began to chip away at the margin as the momentum shifted late in the third quarter. Lee Atkinson, who had struggled to find his shot early, delivered back-to-back clutch 3-pointers that tied the game in the final minute of the quarter.

"Lee hit two big shots when we needed them," Bowman said. "We did a good job of setting screens which allowed him to get open."

Both teams struggled down the stretch, but an avalanche of turnovers in the fourth quarter helped the Warriors build a five-point lead with two minutes to play. Baskets by Chris Artis and Trey Allen cut the Warriors lead to 45-44 with 45 seconds remaining.

Javon Darden sank the front end of a one-and-one, but missed the second shot. Eastern Wayne forward Josiah Davis corralled the rebound and passed the ball to Atkinson, who was immediately fouled. Atkinson also made just one of two free throws.

With six seconds to play, Southern Wayne (15-5 overall, 7-2 ECC) caught a break when Trey Allen was fouled behind the 3-point line. Allen missed a chance to tie the game when he missed the first two foul shot attempts. Allen missed the third intentionally, in order to give his team a chance at a rebound.

The Warriors (8-11, 5-4) grabbed the ball and sealed the win.

"This had been coming for us for a while now," Southern Wayne head coach Russell Stephens said. "We have not been playing well offensively and our defense has been winning games for us. Tonight we did the same thing, gave up 47, but only scored 44."

Atkinson and Davis paced the Eastern Wayne offense with 14 points each. Tyrik Kornegay added nine points.

Jamiel Price emerged as the only Saint in double figures with 13 points.

Southern Wayne visits South Johnston on Friday night, while Eastern Wayne plays host to Charles B. Aycock.