01/24/13 — Wayne Country Day/Trinity-Fayetteville boys

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Wayne Country Day/Trinity-Fayetteville boys

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on January 24, 2013 1:47 PM

Wayne Country Day had the opportunity to stand toe-to-toe with a state-ranked opponent on Wednesday night. The lessons learned may prove to be more valuable than the result.

Second-ranked Trinity Christian of Fayetteville scored on critical possessions down the stretch and got key defensive stops in a 63-50 victory over the fourth-ranked Chargers.

Braxton Ross led the Conquerors with 18 points and Dennis Smith Jr. provided 16 points. Lee Atkinson paced Wayne Country Day with 16 points and Deshar Thomas added 12. Joel Davis had 10 points.

"If anything we just stood in front of a mirror tonight and we saw something we've already seen," Chargers' head coach Terry Jones said. "When we play well and we make good decisions and we play as a cohesive unit, it's going to be hard for anybody to beat us.

"There are those stretches where we have lapses and it tends to decide the game for us."

Wayne Country Day started fast and Marlon Coley's layup capped a 14-2 run to open the game. Trinity answered with a 10-0 run of its own in the second quarter and cut the deficit to 26-24 by halftime.

"We came out with a lot of energy," Jones said. "We shot the ball well and we made great decisions. We kind of got away from that a little bit and started settling a little more for the long ball. We've had some games when we've made some poor decisions, but when the ball goes in the hole you don't have to deal with the consequences.

"Tonight was one of those nights where the ball didn't go in the hole and we had to deal with it."

The Chargers lacked the same crispness offensively in the third quarter. Smith Jr.'s 3-pointer gave the Conquerors the lead for good at 33-30 and was part of a game-changing 9-0 run.

Wayne Country Day pulled to within 45-41 at the end of the third quarter and trimmed the margin to 47-46 early in the final period. Trinity put the game away with a decisive 8-0 run that was capped by Ross' emphatic dunk.

"I felt like today sometimes down the stretch things didn't go in our favor," Jones said. "Some of that was our fault. We didn't necessarily make the best decisions. It is a learning experience."

The Chargers (12-5 overall) play host to Epiphany on Saturday.