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Jags top Chargers in thriller

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Farmville Central player Justin Wright tries to dribble past a Ayden Grifton player during a game Tuesday evening.


The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

FARMVILLE — Tuesday night’s boys’ basketball game between Ayden-Grifton and Farmville Central had all the momentum swings and excitement of a heavyweight bout.

The taller Chargers landed numerous body blows to their smaller opponents, but it was the Jaguars that withstood the onslaught, went the distance and escaped with the win.

In a contest that featured eight ties and 18 lead changes, Farmville Central used a late flurry of big shots to score a 77-71 victory in the matchup of Pitt County foes.

The Jags (4-1) had to rally from a 10-point first-half deficit, finding ways to score against a lanky, athletic Chargers team that patrolled the rim in the first two quarters and made it difficult for coach Larry Williford’s team to get anything easy in the paint.

“I thought we grew up,” Williford said. “We’re so young, starting a freshman point guard (Dontavious Short) and a freshman wing (Terquavion Smith). Things have come a little easy to us early on, but I thought tonight (Ayden-Grifton) came out and popped us in the mouth early.

“I told them at halftime, ‘We’re going to see what we got inside our chest right here in the second half,’ and we had some guys step up and make some big defensive plays, we rebounded the ball even though we’re undersized, and guys made shots.”

A-G (1-1) used its size advantage early, blocking five shots in the first four minutes to establish the tone. The Chargers’ roster features three players 6-foot-5 or taller, including 6-8 leading scorer Josiah Shackleford, who scored a team-high 21 points and threw down a couple of dominant dunks.

But the Jaguars had four double-figure scorers, led by Smith’s 21. The freshman hit five 3-pointers, including a pair in the fourth quarter that proved to be the pivotal buckets to buy FC breathing room down the stretch.

His first of the period with 3:55 left produced the game’s 16th lead change, putting the Jags up 62-61. He tied the game with this final bucket, a triple that knotted the score, 65-65, with 2:38 left.

Sophomore Justin Wright’s jumper with 2:15 left broke that tie and put Farmville ahead for good, part of a 12-3 run that saw FC build a lead as large as nine in the waning seconds before Shackleford hit a 3 with five seconds to play that made the final margin.

Smith’s hot shooting was part of a second half that saw FC hit five of its eight 3-pointers for the night, helping to negate some of A-G’s advantage at the rim.

“You’ve just got to continue to attack,” Williford said. “First-pass 3s will kill you and I thought we took way too many of those in the first half. I thought the ball movement was a lot better in the second half. We had guys attacking and some of those guys were wide open with those 3s, and you’ve got to take those.”

Rande Harper (18 points) and Kam McNeill (12) were also in double figures for FC.

Ayden-Grifton also placed four players in double figures — Leontae Moye (19), Jordan Atkinson (11) and Jakael Gay (10), in addition to Shackleford’s 21 — but a strong offensive showing wasn’t enough to overcome some key miscues late.

“We turned the ball over too much,” coach John-Kyle Moye said. “We didn’t control their pressure very well, which is something we should have been able to do because we had the right guards we wanted in the game. It was just a couple of bad possessions, bad shot selections a couple of times, then defensive miscues and not guarding who we were supposed to be on. That was our downfall.”


Farmville Central 58, Ayden-Grifton 27

In what was a three-point game after one quarter, Farmville Central outscored Ayden-Grifton 18-0 in the second quarter to run away with a victory.

The Jaguars (4-1) were led by Ra’shaya Speight’s 11 points and Lauryn Pitt’s 10. Cedaria Little (7) was the leading scorer for the winless Chargers (0-4).


Farmville Central 75, Ayden-Grifton 61

Record: FC 5-0.

Contact Jordan Anders at janders@reflector.com, 252-329-9594 and follow @ReflectorJordan on Twitter.


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High Schools

December 15, 2018

Greene Central’s boys basketball team held off rival Kinston in overtime to bring home a big 64-58 win on Friday night in high school basketball. 

It was the first major win for new head coach Blue Edwards and was the third straight victory for the Rams (5-3). 

Imajae Dodd led the…


December 14, 2018

Farmville Central defensive lineman Keziah Everett confirmed he is ready to sign with East Carolina on Wednesday’s start of the national early signing period.

Jaguars head coach Scott Gardner confirmed Friday morning that Everett will sign with ECU, joining fellow Pitt County Pirate commits…


December 13, 2018

North Pitt junior wrestler Antonio Betancourt has shown promise as part of the Panthers squad. NP is coming off two wins at a tri-meet involving Eastern Wayne and Tarboro. Betancourt spoke with preps beat writer Jake Keator about the sport of wrestling and how he prepares for his matches. 



December 12, 2018

South Central remained undefeated on the basketball season after a big win over Bertie High School, 84-34, on Wednesday night in Winterville.

The game was pretty much in hand in the first quarter of the game due to the fast pace of the Falcons. They led 30-3 after the first period and…


December 12, 2018

North Pitt wrestling took home first place Tuesday night, topping Eastern Wayne and Tarboro in a tri-meet in Bethel.

The meet was originally scheduled to also include Nash Central. The Bulldogs were unable to attend due to not being in school on Tuesday.

The Panthers made easy work of the Warriors,…


December 08, 2018

Farmville Central’s boys’ basketball team defeated Greene Central for the second time this season, winning 72-64 in Snow Hill on Friday night.

The Jaguars (6-0) were led by a sensational performance by Terquavion Smith, who finished with 20 points, including four 3-pointers. Justin…


December 07, 2018

Pitt County East Carolina football recruits Jeremy Lewis of South Central and CJ Johnson of D.H. Conley doubled down on their commitments following the arrival of new head coach Mike Houston this week.

Attempts to reach Farmville Central’s Keziah Everett for comment were unsuccessful.



December 06, 2018

This time, Farmville Central wasted little time exerting its will.

The Jaguars started fast and never looked back in an 87-44 win over North Lenoir Wednesday. One day after needing a late run to defeat Ayden-Grifton 91-78, Farmville Central (5-0) led for all but the first 1:20 of the contest.


120518-FC basketball

December 06, 2018

South Central boys basketball took down Greene Central once again Wednesday night, earning an 80-41 victory. 

It was the second meeting of the young season for these two teams, with the Falcons also taking the win on the road, 92-61 on Nov. 27. 

The Falcons were once again led by North…


December 06, 2018

It’s not uncommon for students at John Paul II Catholic High School to congratulate 6-foot-4 junior guard Jordan Yarrell on a great performance. The leader of the Saints is a true utility player, working on becoming even more of a leader of the small squad. Athletic Director Sean Murphy…

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