01/03/13 — Southern Wayne slips past Eastern Wayne

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Southern Wayne slips past Eastern Wayne

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on January 3, 2013 1:47 PM

DUDLEY -- Trailing late in the fourth quarter and with the reality of falling to 0-2 in conference play becoming more real by the second, Southern Wayne turned to the one staple of its program that had been absent for much of Wednesday night -- defense.

The Saints improved their defense down the stretch and sank key free throws while rallying for a 68-67 win over Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference rival Eastern Wayne.

Ronnell Outlaw and Angelo Burden each scored 14 points for the Saints. Tarvis Bradshaw added 11 points. The Warriors' Micah Smith led all scorers with 20 points and Zeke Martin supplied 15 points. Quavis Holloman finished with 11 points and Malik Richard had 10.

Eastern Wayne (4-9, 1-1 ECC) closed the second quarter on a 10-0 run and led 32-28 at halftime.

Smith and Martin combined for 10 of the Warriors' 15 points in the third quarter as the Warriors maintained a 47-44 advantage entering the final eight minutes. The two forwards consistently found their way to the rim for layups or putbacks off of offensive rebounds.

"I brought Zeke from JV for this particular game and I am going to try to hold on to him because he runs the floor well and he's strong down low," first-year Eastern Wayne head coach Glen Darden said. "I love what I saw tonight. This tells me that our guys can do it."

Southern Wayne guard Tyaire Allen knocked down a 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 49-49. Martin's three-point-play with fewer than six minutes remaining gave the Warriors a 58-52 lead. The Saints (7-4, 1-1) continued to chip away at the deficit and Outlaw's layup with fewer than 3 1/2 minutes left tied the game at 60-60.

Smith sank a pair of free throws and added a layup as Eastern Wayne led 64-60 with two minutes to play. Maurice Butler made one of two free throws and his layup with 68 seconds to play trimmed the deficit to 64-63.

Martin missed a pair of critical free throws with 59 seconds left and Smith's putback attempt was off the mark. On Southern Wayne's next possession, Bradshaw hustled after a rebound off Outlaw's missed 3-pointer and his layup put the Saints ahead for good at 65-64.

Jamal Shuford missed a wide open 3-pointer on the Warriors' next possession. Burden sank three free throws in the last 11 seconds to help seal the win. Southern Wayne forced three key turnovers in the final three minutes and limited Eastern Wayne's looks around the basket and second-chance opportunities.

"That's what we stress everyday is defense," Saints' first-year head coach Dwight Smith said. "That is the number one thing when we prepare for a game we always talk about is defense. In the last timeout I told the guys, 'this is why we work so hard on defense.' We started playing the help side and once (Eastern Wayne's) guards started seeing the help side they stopped trying to penetrate."

Southern Wayne was once again without senior forward Jamiel Price. Price warmed up prior to the game but did not play due to a lingering ankle injury.

The Saints visit Triton on Friday night while the Warriors entertain C.B. Aycock.