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AREA ROUNDUP: Bruins speed up Smithfield-Selma in 74-38 victory

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Second-year Beddingfield High varsity boys basketball coach Joe Dvozenja knows the identity of his team.

It may not always be pretty, but if it’s fast, it doesn’t matter.

That’s what transpired Tuesday night against Smithfield-Selma.

After a confined first half that saw the Bruins enter halftime with a 32-21 lead, Beddingfield opened it up in the second half, finding quick outlet passes down the floor and finishing at the rim on the way to a runaway 74-38 win.

The 2-A Eastern Plains Conference Bruins won their second straight game after losing their opener. Smithfield-Selma, representing the 3-A Greater Neuse River Conference, dipped to 4-2.

Senior Octavius Lacey had 16 points to lead three Beddingfield players in double figures. Junior Zy’ree Wilder tallied 15 and senior point guard Tobias Cooper had 13 as Beddingfield opened its lead to 55-33 entering the fourth quarter.

T.J. Altman led SSS with 15 points.

Beddingfield remains home Wednesday to face East Wake Academy.

SSS (38)

Council 10, Ward 6, Altman 15, Howard 2, Sanders 2, Rodriguez 3.

BEDDINGFIELD (74)

Cooper 13, Lacey 16, Wooten 4, Artis 6, Pittman 8, Brantley 2, Best 6, Witherspoon 2, Wilder 15, Langston, Speight, Blackston.

Score by quarters:

SSS1011125—38

Beddingfield19132316—74

Kinston pulls away from Hunt 75-53

Despite a more lopsided margin, second-year Hunt High varsity boys basketball coach Wayne Hardy contended that his Warriors battled Kinston tougher Tuesday night than in the first meeting between the teams, a 66-48 Vikings victory.

Hunt held a two-point lead at home with three minutes remaining in the third quarter before a spate of missed shots and turnovers allowed the Vikings to get separation, and Hunt was outscored 21-10 in the fourth quarter on the way to a 75-53 setback.

Hunt of the 3-A Big East Conference lost its fourth straight game to drop to 1-5. Kinston, a member of the 2-A Eastern Carolina Conference, stayed unbeaten through three games. The Vikings led 37-31 at the half, but pushed the lead to 54-43 by the start of the fourth quarter.

“We definitely were a lot more aggressive and our intensity was much better, even though the score wasn’t indicative of that,” Hardy said of the first meeting.

Senior Jeremiah Ganaway led all scorers with 27 points for the Warriors. Jameson Lucas, another senior, had 10 points.

Damian Dunn led three Kinston players in double figures with 19 points.

Hunt visits CBA on Thursday before venturing to county rival Beddingfield on Friday night.

KINSTON (75)

Dunn 19, Luter 1, Styles 8, Moore 12, McBynum 8, Parson 3, Harvey 2, Walters 2, Minott 3, Pearsall 4, Lewis 13.

HUNT (53)

Ganaway 27, Coleman 5, Farmer 3, May 8, Lucas 10, Wade, Jones, Taylor, Thomas.

Score by quarters:

Kinston20171721—75

Hunt14171210—53

Deans’ 43 leads Hornets to 6th win

Jeremiah Deans scored a season-high 43 points as the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf boys basketball team remained unbeaten through six games, but just barely.

The Hornets held off visiting Heritage Christian Academy of Zebulon 65-62 on Tuesday in Barney Williamson Gym. It was ENCSD’s second three-point win this season over Heritage, claiming a 63-60 triumph Nov. 16 in Zebulon.

Deans, who had 41 points in that earlier win over Heritage, overcame foul trouble as he collected 11 rebounds and three steals while Naheim Carlton added 12 points, five steals and four rebounds. Luis Vargus contributed six rebounds, five assists and three steals for the Hornets.

“It was a tough game,” assessed ENCSD head coach Leonard Baker. “At one time in the first half, we had three starters sitting with foul trouble including Jeremiah. We had a several bench players that played a lot of minutes keeping us in the game. Our guys showed some toughness, wasn’t always pretty, but we found a way to win.”

Brock Lambert’s 19 points led Heritage.

The Hornets will host Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind on Thursday.

HERITAGE CHRISTIAN (62)

Armstrong 15, Greene 4, Mendoza 7, Dupree 13, Tucker 4, Lambert 19.

encsd (65)

Robinson 8, Carlton 12, Vargus, McLaughlin 2, Deans 43, Brayboy, Foote, Eason.

Score by quarters:

Heritage11112317—62

ENCSD15121919—65

Cyclones blast Cresset 71-32

DURHAM — Coming off a loss Monday night at Kerr-Vance Academy, the Community Christian varsity boys basketball team was challenged by head coach Micah Baines to put forth a more consistent effort.

The Cyclones did just that Tuesday as they jumped in front of host Cresset Christian 19-5 after one quarter and cruised to a 71-32 victory.

“I think, personally, tonight’s game was the first night that we’ve actually put two halves together,” Baines said. “I stressed last night (Monday) after our loss to Kerr-Vance that we needed to put two halves together and we did.”

D.J. Atkinson led the Cyclones with 32 points while Dominique Evans added 11 points.

Community Christian, now 4-2, will host Wayne Christian on Friday.

COMMUNITY CHRISTIAN (71)

Atkinson 32, C. Williams 8, Bridgers 9, Evans 11, Winstead 7, J. Pender 4.

CRESSET CHRISTIAN (32)

Craig 6, Mickamou 2, Martinez 2, Tofade 4, Marconi 9, Camassa 4, Stoia 5.

Score by quarters:

CCS19142315—71

Cresset51566—32

4th-quarter spree rescues Firebirds

STANHOPE — The host Southern Nash High varsity boys basketball team outscored Corinth Holders 18-3 in the last quarter and rallied to a 49-43 nonconference victory Tuesday night.

The offense finally clicked late in the last quarter and the Firebirds came away with their third consecutive win against a season-opening loss.

Junior Darius Emundson led the Southern Nash scoring with 14 points and senior Tyler Wilson knocked in 13.

The Firebirds of the 3-A Big East Conference continue their homestand Wednesday night against 2-A Bunn.

CORINTH HOLDERS (43)

Scoring not available

SOUTHERN NASH (49)

Townes 2, Wilson 13, Allen 3, Wilkins 1, Foster 3, Knight 2, Lucas 7, Brown 4, Edmundson 14.

Score by quarters:

Corinth Holders1116133—43

Southern Nash10111018—49

NJ tops Rosewood, fall to Princeton

The North Johnston High varsity boys basketball team rebounded from its first loss of the season Friday night, using 17 points from senior Kameron Williams and 16 from classmate Trey Whitley in a 68-62 win over Princeton on Monday.

North Johnston of the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference climbed to 3-1 , while the 1-A Carolina Conference Eagles fell to 2-3.

Using only two 3-point field goals, the Panthers relied on their defense for easy baskets and knocked down 14 of 21 from the foul line.

“Very pleased with the ability to bounce back from a tough loss on Friday,” North Johnston head coach Chris Batten said. “By far, the best game we have played. Defensive pressure set the tone, and it was a different defensive presence than our other games.”

Senior Rakim Stancil was the third Panther in double figures with 12 points.

On Friday, a pair of defensive breakdowns in the fourth quarter provided two key open looks that doomed North Johnston to a 73-65 loss to Princeton.

Whitley posted 21 points to lead North Johnston, which was thoroughly outdistanced at the free-throw line. Princeton knocked down 20 of 26 at the line, while North Johnston was held to just a 2-for-7 showing.

“Got in some foul trouble early in the first (quarter),” Batten said. “I felt good about the intensity that we played with, but had a couple of missed defensive rotations in fourth that led to two wide open threes. We just have to have more defensive focus for the entire 32 minutes.”

Junior Savon Foye had 16 points and Stancil chipped in 14.

North Johnston visits Ayden-Grifton on Wednesday.

NORTH JOHNSTON (68)

Williams 17, Vann, Hinnant 3, Stancil 12, Broadway 7, Whitley 16, Foye 9, Dixon 4.

ROSEWOOD (62)

No scorers available.

Score by quarters:

North Johnston15181619—68

Rosewood13131323—62

NORTH JOHNSTON (65)

Williams 2, Vann, Stancil 14, Broadway 6, Whitley 21, Foye 16, Dixon 2.

PRINCETON (73)

Sapp, Sullivan 22, Whitley 10, Woodall, Wilkins 11, Klein 6, Gurganicus, Williams, Phillips, Pearce, Garris, Farrior, Woodard 24, Rutledge.

Score by quarters:

North Johnston10142318—65

Princeton13142521—73

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Ladybirds lose at Nash Central

ROCKY MOUNT — Victory once again eluded the Southern Nash varsity girls basketball team Friday as the Ladybirds dropped a 50-42 decision at former 3-A Big East Conference rival Nash Central.

Southern Nash had possession while trailing by two points late in the game but couldn’t overtake the Lady Bulldogs, now members of the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference.

Southern Nash, which dropped to 0-4, was led by Stacie Winner with 15 points while Lydia Ruffin and Rayna Bailey each had nine points.

Nash Central upped its record to 2-2.

Southern Nash will host Corinth Holders on Tuesday.

Score by quarters:

Southern Nash4121610—42

Nash Central615209—50

WRESTLING

Hunt splits with Pam Pack, Saints

Junior Latrell Ruffin and and sophomore Gage Motola each went 2-0 Tuesday night to highlight Hunt High wrestling performances in a tri-match with Washington and Southern Wayne at The SPOT.

Hunt (6-5) of the 3-A Big East Conference was defeated 67-12 by the 2-A Eastern Carolina Conference Pam Pack and used five forfeits to cruise to a 63-6 decision over Southern Wayne, a 3-A member of the split 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference.

Ruffin, a junior, pinned his Washington opponent with 24 seconds left in the third period and turned in a first-period pin of Southern Wayne in the heavyweight division.

Motola, a sophomore, got a pair of pins.

Josiah Wattenberger pulled off a pin of Southern Wayne at 126, while two wrestlers won their first career matches in senior Clemente Salazar at 220 and Malachi Coleman.

Hunt will take part in the Rosewood Eagle Invitaional on Saturday.

Demons produce 3 Pierce-Davis champs

BETHEL — Seniors Blake Edwards and Linton Holmes and sophomore Aaron Bancroft of Fike High each won weight-class championships Saturday at the 26th Pierce-Davis Memorial Tournament at North Pitt High.

Bancroft defeated North Pitt senior Sincere King with a 7-5 sudden victory in overtime to claim the 152-pound crown, earning himself the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler honor. Bancroft, who finished fifth at 145 pounds in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A tournament last season, remained unbeaten through 12 matches this season, while King, third in the state 2-A tournament at 145 pounds last season, fell to 10-2 this season.

Bancroft drew a first-round bye Saturday before pinning Jonathan Salinas of Edenton Holmes in 44 seconds and then Trent Jones of Manteo in 30 seconds. Bancroft then won by technical fall with a 17-2 decision over Ayden-Grifton’s Mason Ross in the semifinals.

Holmes also rose to 12-0 on the season as he claimed the 152-pound title. After a double bye, Holmes pinned Trace Murray of Holmes and James Thomas of Greenville Rose to reach the final, where he won by fall against Rosewood’s Tanner Smith if 1:32.

Edwards also picked up two byes at 113 pounds before registering pins of Evan Wienert of Kill Devil Hills First Flight and Mohamed Algazali of Hoke County before claiming a 5-0 decision against Ayden-Grifton’s Antonio Cox in the first-place match.

Fike’s Joseph Speight (182 pounds), Henry Escamilla (160) and Isaiah Proctor (195) finished second in their respective classes while Jayleen Bullock placed third at 170 pounds.

Falcons place sixth at Wilder Memorial

ROCKY MOUNT — Senior Austin Doyle, at 106 pounds, and junior Devin Maldonado, at 113, each advanced to the championship match in their respective weight class to lead Charles B. Aycock High to a sixth-place finish among 16 teams in Saturday’s Grant Wilder Memorial Invitational at Rocky Mount High.

The 3-A Golden Falcons of the 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference collected 102 points. Western Harnett ran away to the team title with 213 points.

Doyle and Maldonado each lost in two of the event’s best matches.

In overtime, Doyle suffered his first loss of the year against 13 wins by a 5-3 margin to North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A state qualifier David Jacob of Rocky Mount.

Maldonado was dealt a 13-12 defeat in a back-and-forth affair by Jack Taylor of Western Harnett.

Senior Zach Creel (145) placed third with a pin against Southern Nash’s Luke Coble.

Junior Tsorrence Franklin (285) and sophomore T’Shon Swinson (152) battled back from an early defeat to salvage fourth place.

Winning two matches for CBA were junior James Reser (170), sophomores Noah Overton (160) and Çolby Perry (13) amd freshman Kevin Dickenson (132). Freshman Vadden Gooding (126) managed one win.

“Overall, the kids really stepped up against some stiff competition and competed well today,” said CBA coach Brian Doyle. “They saw, today, how their hard work in the practice room pays off when the spotlight is on. Hopefully, this taste of success in this type of environment will feed their fire to continue to work hard and want to excel.”

CBA welcomes North Pitt, North Lenoir and Greene Central for a quad meet Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

Raya paces Firebirds to 3rd-place finish

ROCKY MOUNT — Paced by a championship performance from Jesus Raya in his weight class, the Southern Nash High wrestling team amassed 122 points and finished third among 16 teams in Saturday’s Grant Wilder Memorial Invitational at Rocky Mount High.

The Firebirds claimed seven place-winners, with Zach Coble taking second.

Posting third-place finishes were Daniel Medina, Pedro Vargas and Dakota Parker. Johnathan Salazar and Luke Coble each wound up fourth.

Western Harnett seized the team championship with 213 points.

Southern Nash welcomes D.H. Conley and Knightdale for a tri-match Wednesday at 5 p.m.

JUNIOR VARSITY

Parker, Barnes key WCA girls’ win

GREENVILLE — Kaitelyn Parker scored 13 points and Paige Barnes added 11 points as the Wilson Christian girls basketball team defeated host Greenville Christian’s varsity girls team 47-21 on Tuesday.

The Lady Chargers, now 3-4, will host Hilltop Christian of Fuquay-Varina on Friday.

Lady Demons fall to Triton

The Fike girls basketball team dropped to 2-3 on the season with a 33-28 nonconference loss at home to Erwin Triton on Tuesday.

Keyshawna Ortiz paced the Lady Demons with 16 points while Kaila Cooney scored 11.

Fike will host SouthWest Edgecombe on Wednesday.

WCA girls stop RMA 37-20

ROCKY MOUNT — Kaytelyn Parker fired in 16 points to lead the Wilson Christian Academy girls basketball team to a 37-20 conquest of Rocky Mount Academy on Monday.

Parker was complemented by Kayla Farmer with eight points.

The Lady Chargers posted a 14-9 halftime lead and pulled away to their second win against four losses.

Cyclones unbeaten in five outings

HENDERSON — The Community Christian School boys basketball team stretched its undefeated mark to five games with a 55-50 conquest of host Kerr-Vance Academy on Monday evening.

The Cyclones led 23-14 at halftime.

Eli Eger blistered the nets for 24 points to spark CCS, and Josh Williams fired in 15 points.

CCS will be at home in the Eastern N.C. School for the Deaf gym Friday night against Wayne Christian.

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