Greene Central boys, West Craven girls win in Vanceboro Tuesday
Greene Central’s Boneree Johnson took over coaching duties in Tuesday’s contest, leading the Rams to a 63-51 win over West Craven. Photo by Junious Smith III / Neuse News
VANCEBORO | The boys did it for Blue.
Despite being without their head coach in Edwards, along with several other key players, the Greene Central Rams remained undefeated in Eastern Carolina Conference play with a 63-51 win Tuesday over West Craven.
Edwards was suspended one game by the NCHSAA due to Friday’s postgame actions between the Rams and South Lenoir. Greene Central (12-5, 6-0 ECC) was also without Saquan Connor (suspended by the NCHSAA), Kentrell Suggs (suspended due to team rules) and Lamar Pridgen (injury) but broke open a close game late in the second quarter for the victory against an Eagles team looking to grab a share of first place.
“Coming off of last Friday, we came into practice focused and prepared for what we needed to do here,” Greene Central guard B.J. Corbitt said. “We executed our gameplan and got a win for our coach.”
Latrell Campbell’s 3-pointer punctuated a 7-2 run by West Craven (8-4, 3-2) to start the game, but Greene Central countered with an 10-2 spurt of its own, including eight points and two 3-pointers from Hysaan Hudson. The Eagles would take the lead back early in the second on a 3-point play from Ahmad Inman, but the Rams would score 10 unanswered. Corbitt’s jumper with 2:58 to go in the frame gave Greene Central a 23-15 lead and the Rams would maintain the margin into halftime.
Campbell’s 3-pointer to start the third brought West Craven within five, but the Eagles wouldn’t get any closer. Greene Central forced West Craven into 4 of 15 shooting in the frame while extending its own lead to 44-30. The Rams would keep the pressure going in the fourth, extending their advantage to as many as 19.
Imajae Dodd led the defensive charge with 10 blocks, including seven in the first half.
“I just locked down and tried to play without fouling, which has been a problem for me,” Dodd said. “We knew we had to play well because West Craven is a very good and scrappy team, so this win helps us to get ready for next week.”
Boneree Johnson, who took over the coaching duties for Edwards Tuesday, said it was the head coach’s gameplan which played a big part in the win.
“Even though he wasn’t here, we did this for him,” Johnson said. “He developed everything in practice and the guys executed.”
West Craven coach David Fernandez said the focus now shifts toward Thursday’s matchup with New Bern after a rough 3-game stretch in ECC play. The Eagles fell to Greene Central on the road on Jan. 8 before picking up a 1-point win over Kinston three days later.
“I know it sounds like coach speak, but we have to dig in and get ready for the next game,” Fernandez said. “At the end of the day, there were too many mismatches for us (Tuesday).”
GREENE CENTRAL 63, WEST CRAVEN 51
GC 12 19 14 18 — 63
WC 12 9 13 17 — 51
GREENE CENTRAL — B.J. Corbitt 16, Imajae Dodd 16, Zach Taylor 11, Hudson 8, Johnson 6, Gay 4, Smith 2
WEST CRAVEN — Sheldon Yates 14, Latrell Campbell 13, Ahmad Inman 10, Laq. Campbell 7, McKeel 3, D. Campbell 2, Gillyard 2
Three-pointers: GC — Hudson 2, Taylor. WC — Lat. Campbell 3, Laq. Campbell.
In the girls' game, Greene Central started well, but fell 56-27 as West Craven took over in the second quarter.
"We were coming off a tough loss Friday, so getting this win was great for team confidence," Eagles coach Lea Wedesky said. "We tried a couple of things early that wasn't successful like our full-court man to man defense, then a 2-2-1 press Greene Central handled well. Finally, we went to a 1-2-1-1 set which helped us get steals and take control."
Greene Central (0-16, 0-6) jumped out to a 6-2 lead behind a pair of Angel Hill layups and a basket from Jayla Wilkins late in the first quarter put the Rams ahead 12-10. West Craven responded in the second, outscoring Greene Central 23-2. Deslyn Abrams had 17 points and 10 rebounds in the first half as the Eagles took a 33-14 advantage to the break.
West Craven continued its strong play, pushing its advantage to as many as 32 in the second half.
Abrams finished with 23 points and 15 rebounds for the Eagles. For Greene Central, Kaliya Sutton led the way with eight points.
WEST CRAVEN 56, GREENE CENTRAL 27
GC 12 2 6 7 — 27
WC 10 23 13 10 —56
GREENE CENTRAL — Sutton 8, Hill 7, Wilkins 5, Rodriguez 3, Thompson 2, Mason 2
WEST CRAVEN — Deslyn Abrams 23, Brautigam 7, Ringer 6, Simmons 6, Dillard 4, Felder 4, Gurley 2, Gray 2, Jones 2
Three-pointers: GC — Rodriguez. WC — Brautigam.