Jags take down Rams, 72-64
By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector
Saturday, December 8, 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 Wright also had a stellar night, recording 18 points and a pair of 3s.
Forward Imajae Dodd was the leader for the Rams (2-4), finishing with 17 points. Donte Johnson also had a good offensive night with 12 points.
Johnson started out hot, recording GC’s first six points. Unfortunately for him and the Rams, FC also came out firing, jumping to a 12-6 lead after Dyquavis Wilkins got a basket and a foul. The two sides traded runs near the end of the first quarter, which saw FC on top, 23-15, at the end.
“We were really active with our hands out there tonight,” FC head coach Larry Williford said. “We have depth. That’s one thing we haven’t had in previous years is quality depth where you can really play nine deep. It’s a good thing, sometimes it’s a bad thing keeping guys happy. Tonight was our third game in four days and we got some quality minutes from our guys.
On the other side, GC head coach Blue Edwards will be looking for an answer after a tough start to the season.
“Turnovers thus far have been a real big issue for us,” Edwards said. “And it’s been our guys who handle the ball a lot. Inexperienced guards and small forwards, but we’ve been together long enough now to know what not to do. You wouldn’t know that by watching the game tonight because they’re still doing the same, elementary type stuff.”
Edwards said he is open to making changes in his starting rotation.
“Yes, absolutely,” he said. “That’s always a consideration. If a guy is not bringing it you have to find a guy who will. If guys aren’t playing with passion and heart you have to find someone who will. You might lose a little talent, but at least you’re going to have guys who help set the tone for how I want them to play.”
The second quarter looked much like the first, with the Jaguars expanding their lead to 11, 36-25, finished off by a huge dunk from Wilkins. He then began the second half just like he ended the first, with a big dunk off of a breakaway. The lead continued to grow, as GC’s turnovers mounted, leading to big runs for the Jaguars.
Down 62-42 at the end of the third, the Rams began a furious comeback to get back into the one-sided competition. Kentrell Suggs (10 points) then delivered six of GC’s next nine points to make the score 65-53. His final three points began an 8-0 run for the home squad, re-energizing the crowd.
Trying not to foul, the Jaguars then ran the clock, leading them to victory.
The Jaguars will travel to Kill Devils Hills this weekend to participate in the Good Guys versus Cancer Showcase. They will play Jamestown (VA.) and Bertie today.
The Rams will be back in action Monday at North Pitt.
Contact Jake Keator at email@example.com, 252-329-9594 and follow @JakeKeatorDR on Twitter.
North Pitt 68, Washington 60
Despite a late rally from Washington, North Pitt was able to edge the Pam Pack out for a big win on Friday night. The visitors took the lead midway through the fourth quarter after being down by as many as 10 points early in the game.
North Pitt led 18-8 at the end of the first quarter despite leaving a few points out there due to missed layups. That was the theme for both teams, and the game was there for the taking.
It was Nas Staton who took over late for the Panthers. He had 16 points, and they all came in the second half. The senior made a handful of free throws down the stretch to hold off the Pam Pack’s late rally.
Keshon Cox added 13 for the Panthers.
“We knew they’re capable of coming back, especially after their game against D.H. Conley,” Panthers head coach Mark Carson said. “They did take a lead, but we managed to fight hard. Our seniors managed to rally us and we were able to hold them off. Washington is a really good team and we learned a lot from this game.”
Meanwhile, Washington head coach Lane Raper was frustrated about his team's performance. It had many chances, but the Pam Pack couldn’t make their layups in crunch time. He mentioned the game could have gone either way.
“We changed our lineup just a little bit,” Raper said. “We started the game in a 2-3 zone, but they were just hitting their shots over it. Switching to man helped us get going in the second half. We just missed too many layups and we were out-hustled by North Pitt for most of the game. Missing free throws also played a huge factor in why we didn’t win this game.“
Washington was in the double bonus early in the fourth quarter due to their countless drives to the basket. North Pitt wasn’t in the bonus until late in the game but was able to ice the game when it counted. Carson, however, said his team got a little too relaxed when it had a big lead.
“We played an excellent first half,” he said. “It started on the defensive side of things, and we were able to get a few stops. We did get a little complacent in the second half, but that’s what happens with high school kids. They thought that the game was already won, but it’s never over 'til the buzzer sounds. The team's effort was great, especially after Washington made their second half push.”
North Pitt takes on Greene Central on December 10th in a big matchup. Carson and his team are going to be prepared for the challenge. The Rams feature UNCW commit Imajae Dodd and are coached by ECU basketball legend Blue Edwards.
“They’re gonna be a tough test,” Carson said. “We’re aware that it’s going to be a tough challenge. That’s why I like playing against some of the bigger schools. It will be a litmus test for the team after a really tough game tonight. Greene Central has a lot of talent and hopefully we’ll be ready to play.”
— Laieke Abebe
Farmville Central 80, Greene Central 20
FC’s girls’ team racked up another blowout victory, once again downing Greene Central behind 15 points from Je’Shyra Carmon. Amiya Joyner (14 points) and Janlya Willoughby (12 points) also had good nights for the Jaguars (5-0).
The Rams (0-6) struggled to maintain possession once again. Leaudrea Mason led GC with seven points. The Rams did see improvement despite the score. The game was the highest-scoring output of the season for the young squad.
FC took control early, gaining a 28-8 advantage at the end of the first. The Jaguars’ defense showed why it can be a nuisance to any offense, playing tough man-to-man defense and forcing several turnovers. The Rams scored only three points in the second quarter, making the score 46-13.
Things didn’t improve in the second half, as FC held GC to only one bucket in the third quarter.
The Jaguars will travel to face Fike on Tuesday. The Rams will head to Bethel to take on the North Pitt Panthers Monday.
— Jake Keator
North Pitt 55, Washington 27
After scoring only three points in the first quarter, the the Panthers turned up their defensive intensity en route to a huge win over Washington.
The Pam Pack led 6-3 at the end of the first quarter but were outscored 52-21 the rest of the way.
North Pitt was led by Ashanti Hines’ 23 points, and she also had a number of great defensive plays. Casandra Watson added 13 points for the Lady Panthers. Head coach William Knight was impressed with his team's defensive pressure.
“Our defensive effort was a lot better in the second quarter,” he said. “We just came out slow early, but we had a couple of steals that led to run-out baskets. Scoring only three points in the first quarter wasn’t great, but I’m glad we improved as the game went on.”
After winning their first game of the season against Northside, Washington (1-3) left a lot of points on the line against North Pitt (3-2).
“We had a pretty intense practice yesterday due to our loss to Conley,” Knight said. “I told them if they didn’t give an excellent effort, they weren’t going to play. Everyone came out with a positive attitude and they were ready to play tonight. We have to come out that way every time we play.”
North Pitt’s next game is against Greene Central on Monday.
— Laieke Abebe
Bertie 64, J.H. Rose 40
The Bertie Girls team continued its undefeated season with a victory over Rose.
The Falcons were led by senior Akyia King and junior point guard Dawaunti Combs. King scored 13 of her team’s 16 first quarter points (to Rose’s 14), and she drained 5 3-pointers. Both players were efficient at the line, knocking down a combined 15-of-19 free throws. King finished with 27, while Combs had 22.
Rose senior Amira Brown took a high volume of shots, often contested or off-balance. She accounted for well over two-thirds of her team’s shot attempts and led the team with 17 points. Brown averaged 9.4 points per game for the 3-22 Rampants last season, while shooting 21 percent from the floor.
— Matthew Edwards
Ayden 39, C.M. Eppes 28
Ayden Middle moved to 2-0 after a win over C.M. Eppes.
Terrance Nicholson had 19 points in the win while Alex Moye contributed 11 points.
Ayden Middle will face Wellcome Middle on Monday.
Bethel girls 41, E.B. Aycock 35
Tanasia Jenkins exploded for 22 points to lead Bethel (1-1) to its first win of the season.
EBA was led by Lauren Taylor’s 15 points.