Ayden-Grifton boys, girls fall in matchup against Farmville Central
Ayden-Grifton’s Jordan Atkinson goes up for two of his 20 points in Tuesday’s game against Farmville Central. Photo by William “Bud” Hardy / Neuse News
AYDEN | For most of Tuesday’s contest, Ayden-Grifton was toe to toe with one of the best teams in the state.
Unfortunately for the Chargers, Farmville Central took over late in a 91-78 victory. Despite a strong start for Ayden-Grifton (1-2), it wasn’t enough as the Jaguars (4-0) defeated their third Eastern Carolina Conference opponent this season after victories over Washington and Greene Central last week.
“Give all the credit to Ayden-Grifton — they came out, smacked us in the face and hit a lot of shots,” Farmville Central coach Larry Williford said. “We missed a lot of our defensive rotations (but) it wasn’t a screamfest — it was more like ‘were on the road and a lot of times were going to be the opponents big game.’ We did a good job in the second half of settling down.”
Both teams shot will in the first half with Ayden-Grifton hitting 60 percent and Farmville Central coming in at a 53 percent clip. The Chargers held the lead for a majority of the half, going up by as many as eight late in the first quarter, but the Jaguars took advantage of 12 turnovers to stay close and eventually take a 43-39 lead late in the second. Jordan Atkinson’s 3-pointer in the waning seconds brought Ayden-Grifton within 43-42 at the break and capped off a 7 of 9 effort from beyond the arc.
Nathaniel Harris’ interior bucket to start the third quarter put Ayden-Grifton ahead, but Dyquavis Wilkins’ dunk on the other end followed by a Justin Wright 3-pointer put Farmville Central up for good. The Chargers got within one midway through the frame on a Moses Tufts perimeter basket, but the Jaguars would eventually stretch their lead to 10 after a Terquavion Smith free throw to start the fourth. Ayden-Grifton would get within four after an 8-2 run, but Farmville Central followed with a 14-4 spurt to go ahead 81-67 and coast.
In the second half, the Chargers shot 40 percent from the field and 1 of 11 from the perimeter. Despite the loss, Ayden-Grifton coach John Moye said there were positives to take from the contest.
“I’m proud of the effort that we put forth tonight,” Moye said. “I think that we gave all we had and they had some overpowering guys. I think we saw some key things that can (make us) a really good team in the conference we’re in now.”
Smith led all scorers with 24 points and Wright added 23 for Farmville Central while Atkinson and Harris each poured in 20 for Ayden-Grifton.
FARMVILLE CENTRAL 91, AYDEN-GRIFTON 78
FC 17 26 21 27 — 91
AG 18 24 13 23 — 78
FARMVILLE CENTRAL — Terquavion Smith 24, Justin Wright 23, Dyquavis Wilkins 16, Rande Harper 12, Teel 6, Owens 4, Short 2, Moye 2, Foskey 2
AYDEN-GRIFTON — Jordan Atkinson 20, Nathaniel Harris 20, Moses Tufts 15, Ahmad Hudson 10, Wright 7, Richardson 4, Gunter 2
Fouled out: FC — Moye.
Technical fouls: FC — Wright. AG — Wright.
Three-pointers: FC — Smith 2, Wright. AG — Tufts 3, Hudson 2, Atkinson 2, Wright.
In the girls’ game, Farmville Central used a big run between the second and third quarter to break the game open and coast to a 77-38 victory. The Jaguars (3-0) never trailed in the contest and were led by Amiya Joyner, who had 16 points — 15 in the first half.
“We worked well as a team,” Joyner said. “We came together as a group and worked it out.”
Farmville Central started the game on a 9-0 run, but Ayden-Grifton (2-2) fought back, getting within 19-14 on a Cedaria Little 3-pointer early in the second quarter. A basket from Kristen Hardee with 2:42 left in the frame had the Chargers within 25-19, but the Jaguars closed out the half on a 10-0 run.
“I told my girls ‘we’ve got to stay together,’” Farmville Central coach Hollis Harper said. “Execution is the most important — we played hard on the defensive end, defense turned into points and that’s how we got that big stretch.”
D’Asia Outlaw’s basket was the lone points for Ayden-Grifton in a stretch of 7:41 with Farmville Central going on a 29-2 run. The Jaguars would go up by as many as 43 in the second half.
Chargers coach Charles Kessel said this game was a learning experience moving forward.
“We haven’t seen a team who could trap and press as well as Farmville Central and we did a good job at times of getting out of it,” Kessel said. “We have some things to improve on, but this was a great test as we get ready for conference play.”
FARMVILLE CENTRAL 77, AYDEN-GRIFTON 38
FC 17 18 25 17 — 77
AG 10 9 7 12 — 38
FARMVILLE CENTRAL — Amiya Joyner 16, Jordan Joyner 13, Lauryn Pitt 12, Willoughby 9, Carmon 8, Speight 7, Shepard 6, Staton 4, Dennam 2
AYDEN-GRIFTON — Bryant 7, Williams 7, Andrews 7, Outlaw 6, Little 5, Hardee 4, Smith 2
Fouled out: None
Technical fouls: None
Three-pointers: FC — Pitt 3, Shepard 2, J. Joyner. AG — Little.