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The host Fike High varsity boys basketball team feasted on Triton’s 24 turnovers in posting a 79-57 nonconference victory Tuesday evening.
The Golden Demons of head coach Brent Secrest converted 14 of the miscues into transition points and, with a runaway second half, upped their record to 4-3 going into Wednesday night’s home contest against 2-A SouthWest Edgecombe.
Triton of the 3-A Tri-County Conference departed with a 4-3 record.
Junior guard Elijahwon Cooper triggered Fike’s sizzling second half with 15 of his team-leading 16 points. He was one of five Demons to score in double figures.
“We just told him, at halftime, that he could take his man,” Secrest said of Cooper. “We felt like most of the guys could take their man if we spread it out. But we started out standing around.”
Juniors Jaylen Ward and Jeffrey Dickerson each bucketed 13 points, while senior Jayvon Green and junior Da’Shon Horne added 10 each.
Leading 26-22 at halftime, Fike of the 3-A Big East Conference connected on 10 of 15 shots from the floor for 67-percent accuracy in each of the third and fourth quarters.
“At times, we looked pretty good,” Secrest agreed. “When we got our heads on straight and played as a team, we played pretty well.”
The turning point occurred less than two minutes into the second half when 6-foot-3 senior Triton inside performer Shiquan Cop was benched with his third foul.
With Fike leading 26-22 at halftime, Cooper sparked the Demons to a 36-29 margin with Cop on the bench. The cushion, with Cop still sitting, became 50-36 in the period’s closing seconds on Dickerson’s three-point play.
“That was obviously very important,” Secrest said of Cop picking up his third foul. “Whether he shot the ball, everything was going through him. He made everything happen. When he went out, the rest of the team got down. When he’s on the floor, they’re pretty darned good.”
The Hawks, despite the efforts of Cop and junior Tre Williams, drew no closer than 66-55 in the final quarter. With the reserves involved, Fike closed with a 13-2 spree.
Secrest credited his reserves for playing well for the second straight game. Pivotal, said Secrest, was substituting an entire unit late in the first quarter — with the Demons trailing.
“The starters came over, sat down and saw the guys wanted to be out there,” Secrest noted. “They saw we could get up and down the floor if we tried and could play good defense. It motivated them to get back out there.”
The Hawks, directed by Cop, led 7-2, 12-4 and 16 in the opening quarter before junior DeAndre Carson’s desperative heave for a 3-pointer at the buzzer closed the deficit to 16-13.
Fike, in the second quarter, pulled even at 22-22 on Ward’s two free throws and claimed the upper hand for keeps at 25-22 on Ward’s three-point play with 1:18 left before intermission.
The switch to a 1-3-1 zone benefited Fike in the second half.
Cop wound up with a game-high 18 points for Triton, while junior Chrishaun Henry canned 13 and senior Maurice Williams 12.
McDougald 2, M. Williams 12, Cooney 5, Hodges, Henry 13, Cop 18, White, T. Williams 5, Parker 2, Smith.
Ward 13, Cooper 16, Dickerson 13, Hillard 5, Horne 10, Madar, Carson 5, Green 10, Kent, Atkinson 2, Huggins, Brayboy 2, Parker 3.
Score by quarters:
Triton 16 6 16 19 — 57
Fike 13 13 26 27 — 79