Southern Wayne boys claim pivotal ECC victory
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on February 6, 2013 1:47 PM
DUDLEY -- Southern Wayne took a big step toward locking up second place in the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference basketball race with an 83-75 win over North Lenoir on Tuesday night.
In a game that was officiated poorly, at best, the two teams combined for 61 personal fouls and 95 free throw attempts. The Saints scored 38 points from the charity stripe while North Lenoir tallied 24.
"We made the plays that we had to make to get a win," Southern Wayne head coach Dwight Smith said. "I thought we played really well in the third quarter and built a lead. Then when it came time to make our free throws, we made them."
North Lenoir built a 32-29 lead in the final minute of the first half as foul trouble began to mount for both teams. Javonta King fired a shot from near halfcourt and sank it as the buzzer sounded to put the Hawks ahead 35-29 at break.
The second half was all Saints.
Southern Wayne opened the third quarter with a 13-0 run that was fueled by North Lenoir turnovers and subsequent easy baskets. The Saints desperately tried to slow the game down to protect the lead and took advantage of several Hawk starters sitting on the bench in foul trouble.
"We wanted to play fast on defense and steady on offense," Smith said. "We talked about the first shot not always being the best shot. Sometimes it's better to move the ball, rotate and find a better look at the basket."
Both teams reached the foul bonus in the third quarter and the double-bonus early in the fourth. Players from both teams paraded to the foul line in the final five minutes.
The slow pace suited the Saints, who held a double-digit lead throughout most of the quarter and sealed the victory with free throws.
Jameil Price paced Southern Wayne with 32 points and eight rebounds. Ronnell Outlaw added 15 points in the win.
Zongio Troy led North Lenoir with 15 points. Devante Sutton added 14 and King scored 11.
North Lenoir (10-12 overall, 5-5 ECC) plays host to Eastern Wayne on Friday, while Southern Wayne (13-6, 7-3) pays a visit to C.B. Aycock.
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