Wayne Country Day head coach David Flowers will have plenty of great memories inside Kornegay Arena, when he looks back at how his team played during the sixth annual Southern Bank-Mount Olive Pickle Winter Classic.
The Chargers overcame a first quarter deficit for a 77-60 win over Goldsboro High in the finals of the Winter Classic on Friday evening.
MVP Jaden Cooper led Wayne Country Day with 18 points and Marcus Metcalf contributed 16 points. Linwood Grandy had 15, while Javon Outlaw scored 14 points.
Isaiah Wilder had a game-high 25 points for the Cougars.
“I feel great for the guys,” said Flowers. “To come out here and perform like they did for three days after not picking the ball up for a week and a half to come out here and beat Goldsboro by 17 is terrific.”
The Chargers from the outset were energized, they went for shot for shot with the Cougars, but were down 21-19 at the end of the first quarter.
“In the first quarter, we got into how they wanted to play,” said Flowers.
Early in the second quarter, the Chargers began to warm up from the outside. Wayne Country Day knocked down three three-pointers in the second quarter and were up 36-32 at halftime.
At the start of the third quarter, Wayne Country Day’s defense put a lot of pressure on the Cougars. Goldsboro was held to just six third-quarter points and trailed 55-38 at the end of the third quarter.
“We were up four at halftime, and I didn’t think we played great on the defensive end,” said Flowers. “We stepped it up in the second half defensively, and rebounding we did a terrific job.”
The Chargers really slowed down the tempo in the fourth quarter to generate good looks at the basket. The result was a 11-10 run that was capped by Metcalf’s old-fashioned and-one that pushed the margin to 66-48.
“When we finally got a chance to slow it down and run our stuff, I think we did a lot better that way,” said Flowers. “We had the tempo in our favor and we ran with a purpose.”
The Cougars then began to methodically chip away at the lead with a 10-0 run that cut the deficit to 66-56 with two minutes remaining the fourth quarter.
After the Cougars got to within 10 points, Cooper, Metcalf, Outlaw and Grandy combined to provide 11 points for the Chargers during a critical 11-4 run that sealed the win for the Chargers, 77-60.
“The guys saw when we compete and play, we’re tough to beat,” Flowers said. “They really feel like they can play with anybody, and they’ve shown that when they play like they’re capable of playing, when they defend like they did tonight, we can compete.”