Kinston falters late in loss to 4A powerhouse
Kinston junior point guard Isaac Parson drives the lane during Saturday’s 79-70 loss to Raleigh Wakefield in the Millbrook Showcase presented by HighSchoolOT.com. Photo by William ‘Bud’ Hardy / Neuse News
RALEIGH – Coming off a poor effort – albeit, a victory – in its season-opener two days earlier, Kinston battled hard before falling to Raleigh Wakefield, 79-70, in the Millbrook Showcase presented by HighSchoolOT.com Saturday afternoon.
On Thursday, Kinston (1-1) struggled throughout and had to rally late for a victory against winless Eastern Wayne. In Saturday’s game, though, the Vikings looked like a different squad against the Wolverines, considered to be a favorite to win the NCHSAA 4A championship.
“We came out sluggish against Eastern Wayne but we got a good pep talk from (Kinston coach Perry Tyndall) today,” junior guard Ikeileon Williams said. “He told us to go out there and compete and that’s what we did.”
The Wolverines (3-0) took a 40-30 lead with 3:55 remaining in the first half before Kinston closed the half on a 7-0 run. The Vikings continued their surge in the early moments of the second half, outscoring Wakefield 8-3 to take a 45-43 lead with 6:03 left in the third quarter.
That would be the final lead Kinston would have, though, as a 16-4 Wakefield run put the Wolverines in control at 59-49 five minutes later.
Kinston, which struggled in its season-opener on Thursday in a 62-54 home win against Eastern Wayne, closed to within three points at 68-65 with 2:24 remaining in the game, but Wakefield ended the game on an 11-5 run to secure the victory.
Tyndall said he was proud of his team’s effort on Saturday, especially after how poorly they played only two days earlier.
“I loved the way my guys battled, especially coming off our last game,” Tyndall said. “I knew we were going to have to tighten some screws pretty quick with only one practice. But I’m proud at how we battled.”
Sophomore wing Dontrez Styles had team-highs of 24 points, 10 rebounds and three assists to lead Kinston, which plays at Greenville Rose on Wednesday.
“We knew we were the underdog today, so that motivated us,” Styles said.
Junior guard Chance Minott had 15 points for the Vikings, while senior guard Shamon Wooten added 14.
Senior guard Trae Smith had 14 points and three assists while junior forward Vernon Fraley and senior center Kharye Cayne added 10 points each for Wakefield, which plays at Raleigh Sanderson on Friday.
K 19 18 15 18 -- 70
W 25 15 19 20 -- 79
K: Dontrez Styles 24, Chance Minott 15, Shamar Wooten 14, Parson 9, Koonce 8. W: Nyeem Smiley 28, Trae Smith 14, Vernon Fraley 10, Kharye Cayne 10, Shabazz 6, Rogers 6, Everett 3, Shields 2.