02/21/12 — S. Wayne boys game

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S. Wayne boys game

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on February 21, 2012 1:48 PM

DUDLEY -- Southern Wayne made too many mistakes.

Southern Nash capitalized.

The Firebirds used a 9-0 run midway through the third quarter and never looked back in a 57-51 win over the Saints in the opening round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3-A boys' basketball playoffs on Monday night.

"I thought our kids did a good job of coming out in the second half and executing the game plan the way we drew it up," Southern Nash head coach Robbie Kennedy said. "We wanted to limit (Southern Wayne's) shots and we wanted to execute our transition offense."

The first half went as planned for Southern Wayne as it used a stifling defense to move ahead 10-9 after one quarter. A solid second quarter put the Saints ahead 24-18 at the half.

Both teams opened the third quarter with improved offense.

Southern Wayne led 26-22 with five minutes left in the period when Southern Nash guard Jonte Hunter went on a one-man scoring spree. Hunter buried three consecutive 3-pointers and accounted for a 9-0 run over the course of one minute.

"The third quarter was the difference in the game," Southern Wayne head coach Russell Stephens said. "We gave up 20 points in about six minutes and we weren't scoring enough to keep ourselves from getting behind."

The Firebirds never trailed again as foul trouble plagued the Saints in the fourth quarter and the visitors consistently made their free throws down the stretch.

Hunter paced the Southern Nash offense with 17 points. Chi Bonn added a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds.

"Southern Nash has a nice team and they match up well with us," Stephens said. "But from a coach's standpoint and a players' standpoint, there is no excuse for losing in the first round of the playoffs on your home floor."

Jamiel Price led the Saints with 13 points and seven rebounds. Trey Allen finished with nine points in the season-ending defeat.