North Lenoir boys dominates Ayden-Grifton at Pitt County Tournament
North Lenoir's Trevor Sears dribbles past Ayden-Grifton's Jeffery Gunter during Wednesday's game. Photo by William “Bud” Hardy
GREENVILLE | The North Lenoir Hawks and the Ayden-Grifton Chargers faced off Wednesday afternoon in the Pitt County Christmas Tournament at Greenville Rose High School.
While it's not a conference game, both teams would use this game as a preview for upcoming battles against each other. In this case, it was the Hawks that would come out with a dominating 75-57 victory.
“We just didn’t come out to play. That’s really it,” Ayden-Grifton coach John Moye said. “We couldn’t shoot. We couldn’t play defense. We couldn’t pass the ball. North Lenoir came to play and we didn’t. We need to play a lot better than we did today.”
The Hawks were able to convert two steals and transition them into points to build up an early lead. Turnovers and traveling calls hampered the Chargers’ offense as they fell behind 17-7 at the end of the first.
“I felt that we came out really strong today,” North Lenoir coach Anthony Loftin said. “The defense was good. We made very good decisions when shooting. We got a little sloppy in the second half, but that is expected when you are on a holiday break. But I feel we did really well today.”
Tyrek Artis drained a 3-pointer near the start of the second quarter to extend North Lenoir’s lead. The Chargers continued to struggle with turning the ball over and the Hawks were happy to take advantage of the mistakes. The Hawks were more precise with their passing and shooting. Artis would hit another three near the end of the first half to lift the Hawks to a 40-17 lead.
Ayden-Grifton had trouble from beyond the arc, only successful on one of 22 attempts. The Chargers would go on a 9-4 run to start the fourth quarter, but they had dug themselves into such a big hole, they could not catch up the North Lenoir.
James Richardson would lead the Chargers with 16 points. Jordan Atkinson, who connected with Ayden’s only three pointer, would add 12. Quinton Mitchell would score seven points, all of them in the final 12 minutes of the game.
“We missed a lot of shots, especially late,” Hawks coach Anthony Loftin said. “We can do a lot better on three point shots (3 for 24), but I am glad with the shot selection the boys took today. We shared the ball well and moved the ball well. We could do a better job rebounding and I think we rushed some shots, but I love the energy we played with today.”
De’Shaun Kee would lead the Hawks with 13 points. Jordan Brown would score 11 and Artis would add 10 points and have three blocks for the Hawks.
NORTH LENOIR: Kee 13, Brown 11, Artis 10, Jones-Gatling 9, Blow 9, Copper 8, Koonce 6, Sears 5, Wooten 2, Gatling 2
AYDEN-GRIFTON: Richardson 16, Atkinson 12, Mitchell 7, Wright 5, Harris 5, Cook 4, Gunter 3, Tufts 2, Connell 2, Powell 1