West Craven boys, girls defeat Ayden-Grifton
AYDEN | West Craven made a statement in a historic night for one of its players.
The Eagles defeated Ayden-Grifton 69-56 Friday to take sole possession of second place in the Eastern Carolina Conference. West Craven (10-4, 4-2 ECC) trailed for just one minute to commemorate a great night for Laqueze Campbell.
Campbell became the seventh 1,000-point scorer in school history, accomplishing the feat in the first quarter.
"It means a lot being able to reach this mark and it shows that hard work pays off," Campbell said after scoring 18 points.
Laqueze and Latrell Campbell each hit deep 3-pointers to start the game for West Craven. Ayden-Grifton (6-8, 3-2) took a brief 7-6 advantage after a Nate Harris basket, but the Eagles closed out the quarter on a 14-1 run to establish control. West Craven would go up by as many as 16 and take a 32-18 lead into halftime.
“This was a big game for us, and we know it’s a tough conference,” Latrell Campbell said after his 22-point effort. “We knew Ayden-Grifton was second (coming in) and we wanted to work hard to get the win.”
The Chargers did make a huge push in the third, as Jordan Atkinson scored 10 of his 17 points in the third, including two free throws to bring Ayden-Grifton within 45-39 with 1:04 to go in the frame. From there, the Eagles would go on an 8-0 run and never led the lead get under double digits again.
“I’m proud of the way the guys battled,” West Craven coach David Fernandez said. “They don’t feel like anyone owes them anything and we’re happy to be in this position, but we’ve got a lot of EC2A basketball to play.”
Ayden-Grifton coach John Moye said he wasn’t pleased with the effort, especially in the first half.
“We got outhustled tonight,” Moye said. “The game didn’t go our way early on and we didn’t do some of the little things to get it back.”
WEST CRAVEN 69, AYDEN-GRIFTON 56
WC 20 12 17 20—69
AG 8 10 21 17—56
WEST CRAVEN — Latrell Campbell 22, Laqueze Campbell 18, Sheldon Yates 16, Inman 7, McKeel 4, Anderson 2
AYDEN-GRIFTON — Jordan Atkinson 17, James Richardson 11, Moses Tufts 10, Gunter 6, Hudson 4, Wright 3
Fouled out: None.
Technical fouls: None.
Three-pointers: WC — Lat. Campbell 3, Laq. Campbell 2. AG — Atkinson 2, Tufts 2, Richardson 2, Wright.
In the girls' game, West Craven never trailed in a 50-42 victory, but it was far from easy.
The Eagles (7-8, 3-3) benefited from a terrible shooting night by the Chargers in the first three quarters. Ayden-Grifton (4-9, hit just 13 percent of its shots until the fourth, but forced 27 turnovers during the time span.
“We couldn’t hit anything in the first three quarters, but then we were able to see shots go in late and pressed a little bit,” Chargers coach Charles Kessel said. “Now, we just have to get ready for Tuesday (against Greene Central).”
West Craven’s Deslyn Abrams scored 14 points with 11 rebounds in the first half, staking the team to a 19-13 halftime lead. The Eagles got it going in the third, going on a 14-3 run to close the frame and pushed the lead as high as 23 early in the fourth.
“We had a tough loss (Thursday against New Bern), but we knew we had to step it up back in conference play,” Abrams said after her 25-point, 22-rebound effort. “We were able to do that tonight and come out with a win.”
Ayden-Grifton made it interesting in the final quarter as Maya Hardy and Cedaria Little led a furious charge to get the team within eight, but it wasn’t enough.
“During pregame, the team was still heartbroken about last night’s (52-49 loss), but we had to come back for conference play,” Eagles coach Lea Wedesky said. “The first half was tough, so at halftime the coaching staff drilled into the players to move forward and not dwell on the past. In the second half, we got out to the big lead and tried to rest players just as (Ayden-Grifton) started pressing and hitting shots. Thankfully, we were able to leave with the win.”
WEST CRAVEN 50, AYDEN-GRIFTON 42
WC 11 8 20 11—50
AG 5 8 6 23—42
WEST CRAVEN — Deslyn Abrams 25, Gray 5, Simmons 5, Brautigam 4, Pattin 4, Ringer 4, Dillard 3
AYDEN-GRIFTON — Cedaria Little 14, Maya Hardy 10, Andrews 7, Hardee 5, Williams 4, Smith 2
Fouled out: None.
Technical fouls: None.
Three-pointers: WC — Dillard. AG — Little 2, Hardee, Andrews