Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.
The high-octane Wilson Preparatory Academy varsity boys basketball team, competing with seniors for the first time, much more than excited its fans in its Carolina Athletic Association for Schools of Choice Capital City-East Conference opener in the Wilson Prep gym Wednesday night.
The athletic, quick Tigers transformed visiting North East Carolina Prep of Tarboro players into spectators much of the first half in storming to an 84-42 victory before an approving turnout.
Wilson Prep concluded the opening quarter with an 18-0 tear and its second unit drilled in the first 11 points of the second quarter.
With less than four minutes left in the third quarter, the officials instructed the clock operator to stop proceedings for only injuries and time-outs as the result of the Tigers’ lead reaching 42 points.
The Tigers vaulted to 4-3, while the Huskies slid to 0-2 in the conference and 0-3 overall.
“We played pretty well,” assessed first-year Wilson Prep head coach Craig Wilson. “I want us to have that type of energy against everybody. It’s still a learning process, but we were able to finish things off.”
Ja’kwon Moore, a 6-foot-4 freshman who ignited the second unit, paced the Tigers with 20 points and nine rebounds. Nasir Blackmon, a 6-5 sophomore, supplied 15 points and five rebounds.
Righteous Tomlin, a 6-5 senior, notched 14 points, while 6-2 senior Tyronne Whitaker managed 12 points and three steals. Senior Tayejon Miller also grabbed five rebounds and senior point guard Cody Taylor led with four assists. Jalen Artis, a 6-2 senior, added three assists.
Led by senior Noah Richardson (15 points), the Huskies stayed close for about four minutes, The Tigers owned a 12-11 edge when they found a dominant gear and possessed an 18-13 lead when they launched the 18-0 tear.
The Tigers especially tormented North East with steals on inbounds plays. Wilson Prep notched seven dunks and sank eight shots from 3-point range. Tigers’ steals totaled 13.
“We were applying a lot of pressure and moving,” Taylor explained the Tigers’ success with inbounds steals.
Wilson Prep eased the defensive pressure late in the second quarter, with Wilson explaining the intent was not to be disrespectful.
The Tigers widened the margin to 47-13 in the second quarter. The Huskies were scoreless for more than four minutes before Timothy Coley knocked down a 3-pointer.
“(Wilson Prep) is a really good team with a bunch of skilled players,” commented North East head coach William Harrison. “We are lacking skilled players; the crux of our team from last year transferred to public schools.
“We did well at the start, but we quit executing. We learned the consequences of not executing.”
When Taylor set up consecutive alley-oops to Blackston, then Tomlin, the margin climbed to 70-28 and the clock began running continuously.
“My job is to lead the team, be the floor general and make sure everything is running smoothly,” Taylor explained. “I try to be the coach on the floor.
“We played good and we can get better from it.”
NORTH EAST PREP (42)
Brown 7, Richardson 15, McCrary 2, Thomas 8, Coley 5, Garrett 4, Amdrews 1.
WILSON PREP (84)
Whitaker 12, Gray 6, Taylor 5, Adams, McTaggart, Miller 5, Tomlin 14, Blackson 15, Woodard 1, Artis 2, Cannady 4, Moore 20.
Score by quarters:
North East Prep 13 10 7 12 — 42
Wilson Prep 36 21 19 8 — 84