Coastal Christian flourished in its transition offense and rolled Wayne Christian, 87-64, in the third-place game of the sixth annual Southern Bank-Mount Olive Pickle Winter Classic at Kornegay Arena on Friday evening.
Coastal Christian’s Matthew Kelly, Kamron Greene, Keshaun Pierce and Chazz Banks all scored in double figures. Kelly poured in 24 points, Greene scored 15 points, Pierce added 14 points and Banks finished with 12 points.
Jamal King scored a game-high 30 points and Jaydon Young scored 19 points for Wayne Christian.
“It was tough,” Wayne Christian head coach Victor Young said. “Thursday night’s game (against Goldsboro) took a lot out of us mentally and physically so I was curious about coming into this game, and we just left our emotions on the floor on Thursday night and we just couldn’t get over the hump.”
The Eagles were down 19-11 going into the second quarter, but the margin quickly increased to 19 points by halftime. Greene’s layup capped a 21-10 run, the Eagles tried to respond but Coastal Christian always had the answer.
“It was the best they played this whole tournament,” said Young. “Everything we tried to do, they countered it and made shots. Their big men killed the glass, they played well.
“They’re a really good team. They’re well coached and they have multiple guards that really get in you and take care of the ball and they all can shoot it.”
King and Jaydon Young helped Wayne Christian climb to within 43-28 during the opening minutes of the third quarter. However, Skylar Davies’ jumper gave Coastal Christian a 60-40 advantage heading into the final eight minutes of regulation.
The Centurions used a quick 6-2 run midway through the fourth quarter as the Centurions’ lead swelled to 77-54. The Eagles kept fighting and tried to peck away at the Centurion’s lead.
Throughout the rest of the fourth quarter, Wayne Christian and Coastal Christian traded baskets. But the damage was done and Coastal Christian’s lead never dropped below 15 points.
With under one minute to go in the game, Coastal Christian then went on an 8-3 run to close out the game, 87-61.
“Sometimes when you lose, you actually win,” said Young. “We got a lot of stuff out of guys that haven’t played well this year and they showed me things that we’ll need as we go forward.”