Greene Central boys defeat Kinston in OT, Vikings girls beat Rams handily
Greene Central’s Imajae Dodd slams home two of his 17 points in the Rams’ win over Kinston Friday. Photo by William “Bud” Hardy / Neuse News
SNOW HILL | Close games are to be expected between Greene Central and Kinston in boys’ basketball.
Friday didn’t disappoint as the Rams picked up a 64-58 overtime victory over the Vikings. After starting 2-4 after a brutal nonconference schedule — including two games each with Farmville Central and South Central — Greene Central (5-4, 2-0 Eastern Carolina Conference) won its three games this week, including one over a big rival.
In the past 10 meetings between the teams since 2015, all but two were decided by eight points or fewer with the Rams winning six. Greene Central knocked Kinston (4-2, 1-1) out of the third round of the state playoffs the past two seasons, including a 42-41 victory last season.
“This is a phenomenal win for us,” Rams coach Blue Edwards said after his first game against the Vikings. “I’ve read about this rivalry, but now I get to sense it firsthand and be on the sidelines. I’m so happy for our kids right now and our fans — we needed a signature win to kind of gauge where we are. Kinston’s always a well-coached team, talented (and) play extremely hard, so this was a big accomplishment for us.”
The Vikings suffered a heavy blow early as Dontrez Styles picked up two fouls in the game’s opening two minutes and sat out for the remainder of the first half. Greene Central’s Imajae Dodd and Donte Johnson took advantage inside, scoring 17 points with Styles out.
“I just kept telling Imajae to post up and get big,” Johnson said. “We knew nobody could guard him and he knew off gate.”
Kinston would keep it close in the first half, but Greene Central slowly extended its lead, finally going up 32-22 after a finger roll from B.J. Corbitt as time expired in the first half.
“I was just going down the court, looked up and saw the clock,” Corbitt said. “I knew I needed to shoot it, so I threw it up and it went in.”
Styles went to work in the third quarter with seven points, including a 3-pointer to cut the Rams lead to four. Kinston would tie the game at 41 on Shamon Wooten’s basket to open up the fourth, but on the other end Jekael Gay’s 3-point play sparked a 7-0 run for the Rams. A pair of Corbitt free throws with 1:37 left put Greene Central ahead 54-48, but the Vikings responded as back-to-back 3-pointers from Chance Minott and Judah McBynum tied it up with 50.9 seconds left.
Greene Central’s Lamar Pridgen would miss two free throws on the next possession that would’ve broken the tie and Kinston had the ball to win at the last second. Unfortunately, Styles would miss around the basket off of a lob from Kymonte Roberts as time expired, sending the game to overtime.
Isaac Parson’s basket gave the Vikings their first lead since late in the first quarter to start overtime, but Pridgen would get fouled on a 3-pointer on the other end and nail all of his free throws. The Rams, who would shoot 13 of 26 from the charity stripe in regulation, went 8 of 9 in the extra session with Corbitt’s two putting Greene Central ahead 62-58 with 32.4 seconds left.
Kinston would miss on the opposite end and Dodd would provide the exclamation point on a reverse slam 17 seconds left. Dodd led the team in scoring, but was arguably better defensively with eight blocks.
“I don’t take plays off and just used my work ethic,” Dodd said. “This win means a lot and now we’re on a three-game winning streak, so hopefully we can keep the momentum going into the next game.”
Kinston coach Perry Tyndall said the team came out flat, but appreciated how the Vikings bounced back, nearly pulling off the win.
“I thought it took us a full half before we defended the way we should (and) I was a little disappointed with how we competed early,” Tyndall said. “I’m proud of the guys the way they bounced back in the third and gave ourselves a chance to win late, but hats off to Greene Central. They finished strong and we need to execute on some of the little things.”
GREENE CENTRAL 64, KINSTON 58
K 13 9 17 15 4 — 58
GC 13 19 9 13 10 — 64
KINSTON — Isaac Parson 15, Dontrez Styles 10, Minott 7, Roberts 6, McBynum 6, Wooten 6, Evans 4, Koonce 4
GREENE CENTRAL — Imajae Dodd 17, B.J. Corbitt 13, Donte Johnson 11, Gay 8, Suggs 7, Pridgen 5, Smith 3
Fouled out: None
Technical fouls: None
Three-pointers: K — Parson 2, Styles, McBynum, Minott. GC — Gay.
In the girls’ game, the undefeated Vikings defeated the winless Rams 66-18. All 12 Kinston players in uniform scored as Vikings coach Christopher Bradshaw spread the minutes around.
“It’s always good to be able to play as many girls as possible to get the confidence up,” Bradshaw said. “We’ll need as many players as possible for Goldsboro Thursday and it gave us the chance (Friday night) to work on some things that will benefit us throughout the season.”
Greene Central (0-9, 0-2) did get baskets from Angel Hill and Kaliya Sutton to start the game, but Kinston (5-0, 2-0) went on a 19-2 run from there to establish control. A Sheriece Jones 3-pointer would put the Vikings ahead 34-12 at halftime and Kinston continued its run, forcing a running clock with 5:25 to play on a Michyla Dove basket.
The Vikings stretched their lead by as many as 50 in the second half.
Dove led all scorers with 18 points while Sutton poured in a team-high 10 for Greene Central.
KINSTON 66, GREENE CENTRAL 18
K 17 17 10 22 — 66
GC 6 6 4 2 — 18
KINSTON — Michyla Dove 18, Sutton 7, Cobb 6, T. Jones 6, Powell 5, S. Jones 5, Andrews 5, Rivers 4, Kittrell 4, Hargett 2, Baker 2, Lane 2
GREENE CENTRAL — Kaliya Sutton 10, Hill 4, Mason 2, Wilkins 2
Fouled out: None.
Technical fouls: None.
Three-pointers: K — Dove 3, Powell, Rivers, S. Jones, Andrews.