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Wright, Jaguars top SWE

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Farmville Central's Justin Wright, left, scores while being guarded by SouthWest Edgecombe's Keishon Porter during their game on Jan. 12, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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By JORDAN ANDERS
The Daily Reflector

Friday, January 12, 2018

FARMVILLE — It took 16 minutes Friday night for Farmville Central’s boys’ basketball team to turn a performance coach Larry Williford called unacceptable into a blowout victory.

The Jaguars got 29 points from sophomore Justin Wright and overcame a halftime deficit with a dominant second-half performance to knock off visiting SouthWest Edgecombe 77-55 and remain unbeaten in Eastern Plains 2-A Conference competition.

FC (8-3, 2-0) scored a whopping 48 points in the second half, outscoring the visiting Cougars (4-6, 0-2) by a 48-23 margin after trailing 32-29 at halftime.

“It was a tale of two halves,” Williford said. “The first half, we had one assist, which is totally unacceptable. A lot of that had to do with great defense by SouthWest Edgecombe. The second half, we had 13 assists.

“When we share the basketball, we get people involved and you’ve got guys who can make plays. It’s a pretty thing to watch.”

Wright and freshman Terquavion Smith kept the Jaguars afloat in the first half. The pair scored all but two of FC’s points in the first two quarters (15 for Wright, 12 for Smith).

After halftime, though, things opened up offensively for Williford’s squad. The Jags scored the first six points of the third and outscored SWE 20-8 in the period, turning their halftime hole into a 49-40 lead.

FC poured it on a gassed Cougars squad in the fourth. A 3-pointer by Wright with 7:20 to play pushed its lead into double figures for the first time, then his layup with 4:07 left pushed it into double figures for the final time, as the Jaguars closed the game with a 19-7 spurt that pushed the margin of victory into the 20s.

Wright added 10 rebounds for a double-double and was one of four Jaguars in double figures. Smith finished with 19, and Rande Harper and Kam McNeill chipped in 12 and 10, apiece.

“In the second half, we started hustling and getting our hands in the game,” Wright said. “In the first half, we came out there thinking we were going to beat them and weren’t playing as hard as we were supposed to. In the second half, coach (Williford) gave us a good talk and we came out and played how we’re supposed to play.”

GIRLS’ GAME

SW Edgecombe 54

Farmville Central 52

A layup by SWE’s Shayla Ellis with three seconds remaining was the difference in the Cougars’ narrow victory in a matchup of last season’s co-conference champions.

Ellis’ hoop spoiled a frantic comeback that saw FC (8-4, 0-2) erase a four-point deficit in the final 55 seconds. The Jaguars tied it with a basket with 15 seconds remaining, but Ellis’ layup snatched the win away for SWE (7-3, 2-0).

Jordan Joyner’s 10 points led the Jags on a night when nine players scored at least one point.

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

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