Kinston sweeps South Lenoir in boys, girls varsity basketball
Kinston’s Isaac Parson nearly recorded a double-double in Monday’s game with South Lenoir, putting up nine points and 10 assists. Photo by William “Bud” Hardy / Neuse News
A busy schedule didn’t slow Kinston down in the Eastern Carolina Conference opener.
The Vikings never trailed in a 79-49 win over South Lenoir Monday to start ECC play. Kinston (4-1) traveled to Kill Devil Hills to defeat First Flight Saturday with most of the team making the trip back shortly after the game against the Nighthawks, which ended around 10:30 p.m.
Kinston (4-1, 1-0 ECC) didn’t take South Lenoir for granted or look ahead, using a brilliant first quarter to establish dominance and coast.
“We really set the tone early and winning your first conference game is big,” Vikings coach Perry Tyndall said. “There are some small things we need to do better with, but it’ll be great to have three days of practice to work on them before a huge game with Greene Central on Friday.”
After the teams traded baskets to start the game, Issac Parson’s 3-pointer and Dontrez Styles’ slam started a 19-2 run Kinston would never look back from. Parson controlled the tempo offensively, narrowly missing a double-double with nine points and 10 assists.
“We just pushed the ball and I looked for open teammates the whole time,” Parson said. “We knew we’ve got Greene Central Friday, but we were looking for a ‘dub’ (against South Lenoir).”
The Vikings kept their streak going against the Blue Devils, as South Lenoir (0-5, 0-1) has never defeated Kinston in varsity boys’ basketball. The Vikings had 12 players score, led by Cardiaa Koonce’s 13.
“We kept moving all game and controlling the flow,” Koonce said. “We’ve been taking it one game at a time and we’re glad to get this win.”
South Lenoir coach Jeremy Barnett said this season has been a process so far, but the team will continue working.
“We’re trying to get better every game,” Barnett said. “We’ve got some very inexperienced players and dealing with injuries — we’re not making excuses, but it’s tough when you don’t have the depth. We went up against a team that is in the top five in the state to me and we battled, but we’re not quite there.”
KINSTON 79, SOUTH LENOIR 49
SL 11 14 9 15 — 49
K 28 20 19 12 — 79
SOUTH LENOIR — Rico Freeman 14, Jensen Barwick 11, McClain 7, Raines 6, Kennion 4, Miller 2, Ireland 2, Williams 2, Wiggins 1
KINSTON — Cardiaa Koonce 13, Burton 9, Parson 9, McBynum 8, Roberts 8, Styles 7, Wooten 7, Minott 5, Williams 4, Evans 4, Dixon 3, Holmes 2
Fouled out: None.
Technical fouls: K — Koonce.
Three-pointers: SL — Freeman 2, Barwick, McClain. K — Dixon, Parson, Minott, Wooten, McBynum, Burton.
In the girls’ game, Kinston struggled early but came back with a vengeance in a 51-37 victory over South Lenoir. The Vikings (4-0, 1-0) hit 1 of 13 shots to start the game, but were able to remain undefeated with strong runs.
“Monday games are tough because you’re usually not doing anything over the weekend and we came out flat in the first quarter,” Vikings coach Christopher Bradshaw said. “We were very sluggish with our play, but in the second quarter we started to pick it up a bit and make more adjustments moving on. There will be games like this, but we have to stay focused.”
The Blue Devils (2-4, 0-1) would take advantage early as Destiny Hall and Gralicia Jenkins combined for nine points in the first quarter with South Lenoir taking an 11-3 advantage. The Vikings would roar back in the second with Anzaryia Cobb’s basket starting a 10-0 run, punctuated by Lesley Sutton’s bucket to put Kinston on top. Zykia Andrews’ 3-pointer in the waning seconds of the frame put the Vikings ahead 22-17 as Kinston shot 9 of 20 while forcing six South Lenoir turnovers.
“We played sluggish, but defense helped turn the game around,” Cobb said. “We had to work on getting better on that end.”
The defense would remain strong in the third quarter as Kinston forced another six turnovers and stretched its advantage to 37-22 on a Sutton 3-pointer late in the frame. South Lenoir wouldn’t get closer than eight the rest of the way.
“We lost to the team I consider the No. 1 team in the state after playing the toughest schedule as of late — games Wednesday, Thursday and Friday with two against 3A opponents, before (Monday),” South Lenoir coach Donald Mooring said. “We’ve got to do better and had we executed better we could’ve had a great chance to win.”
KINSTON 51, SOUTH LENOIR 37
SL 11 6 5 15 — 37
K 3 19 15 14 — 51
SOUTH LENOIR — Gralicia Jenkins 18, Destiny Hall 10, Croom 5, Foster 2, McClain 2.
KINSTON — Samantha Lee 12, Anzariya Cobb 11, Dove 8, Sutton 7, T. Jones 4, Hargett 4, Andrews 3, Baker 2
Fouled out: None
Technical fouls: None
Three-pointers: SL — Jenkins 2, Hall. K — Andrews, Sutton.