Aycock's boys carry confidence into ECC basketball tournament
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on February 18, 2013 1:47 PM
After four straight losses and starring at a 6-9 record in mid-January, Charles B. Aycock was simply tired of losing.
The Golden Falcons knew they weren't executing up to their potential and at 1-3 in Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference play, the hole to climb out of was growing larger.
Included in that rocky start were lopsided losses to Wilson Hunt and Nash Central along with blown leads in ECC setbacks to North Lenoir and Eastern Wayne. Aycock also recorded non-conference wins against Wilson Beddingfield, Hunt, Rosewood and Greene Central during that same stretch.
"We had some adversity early in the season and we lost some games we could have won if we had been more consistent with our play," Golden Falcons' head coach Steve Moats said. "Our guys got tired of losing. We kept telling them we were losing because of a lack of execution."
Aycock (12-11 overall, 7-5 ECC) snapped its four-game losing streak with a victory over ECC regular-season champion Triton on Jan. 18. The Golden Falcons reeled off five more consecutive wins over league opponents to climb back into the thick of the conference race.
Junior forward Michael Williams averaged 14 points and 7.6 rebounds a game during that stretch. The 6-foot-6 versatile junior presents matchup problems for opponents because he draws bigger defenders to the perimeter and knocks down jump shots, but also has the post moves to maneuver around opponents in the paint.
"Michael has a lot of capabilities," Moats said. "He's tall so he can go inside and score that way, and he can step out and hit a 3 if you try to guard him with a big guy. Mike runs the court very well and a lot of times he's the guy getting out in front of our break and getting easy baskets."
Aycock's improved execution also translated to the defensive end where it limited its opponents to an average of 48.5 points a game during its winning streak.
Senior forward A.J. Mundle has provided the Golden Falcons with a physicality and intensity needed to limit opposing offenses and control the backboards while averaging seven points and seven rebounds a game.
Aycock owns at least one win over each ECC member. As the Golden Falcons look toward this week's ECC tournament, that early adversity should serve as a reminder of just how far they've come.
"Being the only team in the league to beat Triton and with the non-conference schedule we've played, we've definitely been tested," Moats said. "We've started to work together really well and hopefully this run we've been on will set us up for the postseason."
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