02/10/12 — North Lenoir rallies knocks off Eastern Wayne

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North Lenoir rallies knocks off Eastern Wayne

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on February 10, 2012 1:48 PM

Eastern Wayne left the door cracked.

North Lenoir kicked it down.

Braxton Davis sank two free throws with three seconds remaining and the Hawks erased a 12-point first-half deficit for a 55-53 win in Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference play Thursday night in New Hope.

Eastern Wayne led 25-13 late in the second quarter and held a 25-18 advantage at halftime. Davis caught fire in the second half and knocked down three of his four 3-pointers in the third quarter.

Reggie Rouse's layup gave North Lenoir its first lead of the game at 36-34 with 21/2 minutes left in the third quarter. The Hawks (3-21 overall, 3-9 ECC) never trailed again.

Davis drained 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to cap a 20-4 run to close the quarter and North Lenoir took a 42-36 lead into the final eight minutes. He scored all 14 of his points after halftime. Jauquez Jones finished with a game-high 17 points.

"Braxton had his best game of the year," Hawks' head coach Anthony Lofton said. "In the first half he wasn't getting his feet set, and I told him to keep shooting and everything will work out. I thought our kids played hard and Jauquez Jones hit some big shots in the second half. T

"The kids just played with a lot of energy."

Lee Atkinson's jump shot with 60 seconds to play tied the game at 53-53.

The Warriors had possession with 29 seconds remaining. With the ball in his hands, Atkinson chose to let the clock win down before firing up a 3-pointer. His shot was off the mark and Eastern Wayne's Josiah Davis was whistled for a foul during a frantic scramble for a loose ball.

Braxton Davis calmly made two free throws with three seconds to play.

After a series of timeouts, the Warriors inbounded the ball from underneath the North Lenoir basket, raced up the floor and Tyrick Kornegay's shot at the buzzer clanged off the rim. Atkinson scored 16 points and Kornegay added 13. Javon Darden contributed 12 points, while Josiah Davis had eight points and eight rebounds.

"The official made a terrible call at the end of the game to put the kid on the line to shoot free throws because Josiah didn't touch him," Eastern Wayne head coach Marvin Bowman said. "It was right there in front of me. We had a couple of good looks. We had our opportunities and the ball just didn't fall."

The Warriors (9-13, 5-7) enter the ECC tournament having lost nine of their last 12 games, including three in a row.

"In the conference tournament anything can happen," Bowman said. "We're going to have to get our kids to understand that we have to get them to step up and ready to play. We're going back tomorrow to the drawing board and prepare for that."