Eastern Wayne played out of character, and lost its poise early against Kinston on Friday evening.
The little details head coach Bill Manning preached heading into the game surfaced early and often.
Boxing out on the boards.
Protecting the basketball.
Limiting fast break opportunities.
“They’re a good team, they’re athletic, big, they can shoot the basketball,” Jones said after the 84-53 loss. “I was disappointed in the way we handled their press defense. We worked on that. We knew it was coming.”
Midway through the first quarter, Kinston made an inspired run to take control of the game.
Eastern Wayne jumped out to an early 12-6 lead, but the Vikings turned on the pressure, forcing Eastern Wayne into multiple turnovers, which allowed the Vikings to convert easy baskets in transition.
By the end of the first quarter, the Vikings were up 21-12.
In the second quarter, the Vikings drained three consecutive shots from the floor and seized a 38-27 advantage at halftime.
The lead ballooned past the 20-point mark for a majority of the second half. Wesley Case, Kristopher Clark and Devin Brown each attempted to start an Eastern Wayne rally, but Kinston controlled the boards and flourished in its transition game.
“We missed some shots that we typically make,” said Manning. “We did a good job of moving the basketball, but we couldn’t knock down shots.
“You can’t give a team that good any extra possessions, and part of the problem with our turnover is they were turnovers in transition. You can’t beat a team with that much talent when you turn the ball over.”
Case led the Warriors’ offense with 15 points, Clark tallied 10 points, and Brown finished with eight points. Chance Minott dropped in a game-high 20 points for the Vikings.
“We’re just going to focus on where we are in the conference,” Manning said. “In basketball a lot of times the next game is the biggest game, so next game coming up is truly the biggest game because if gives us a chance to get a good foothold in the conference.”