North Lenoir wins third straight by double digits, defeats Princeton in BSN Classic
WILSON | North Lenoir’s great week of basketball got even better Saturday.
The Hawks defeated Princeton 81-71 in the BSN Basketball Classic at Wilson Greenfield. North Lenoir (9-8) had defeated C.B. Aycock and South Lenoir earlier this week by double-digit margins and did the same against the Bulldogs (13-2), who were ranked No. 15 in the NCHSAA 1A division according to Maxpreps.
“This was big for us, coming from a small town and having the chance to compete here,” North Lenoir guard De’Shaun Kee said. “We kept the motivation (from South Lenoir) and we want to keep that winning feeling going forward.”
Kee’s 3-pointer sparked an 11-2 run to start the game for North Lenoir, but Princeton got within 13-12 after a Jaheim Taylor 3-point play in the waning seconds of the first quarter. The Bulldogs took their first advantage on a pair of Nayshin Waller free throws to start the second, and the teams would swap leads four more times. Neither team had an advantage greater than four and a corner jumper from Zion McPhatter as time expired put Princeton ahead 33-30 at the half.
Princeton would stretch its advantage to eight early in the third quarter, but North Lenoir responded, tying the game at 44 on another Kee 3-pointer. Princeton would get back in control, eventually going up 63-54 with 5:58 to play on a Waller free throw.
The Hawks would claw back into the game, finally tying it at 70 on a Terrance Cooper basket with 2:29 to play. A Waller free throw put the Bulldogs on top, but at the other end, Trevor Sears sank a 3-pointer to give the Hawks its first lead of the second half.
“I was missing all of my shots early, so when I brought the ball up court (Princeton) thought I was going to miss another one,” Sears said. “I made (this one) with purpose.”
Sears’ 3-pointer turned out to be the start of an 11-0 run the Hawks closed the game out with. Kee would score seven points in the stretch to finish the Bulldogs off.
“(Princeton) played so scrappy and tough,” North Lenoir coach Anthony Loftin said. “They’re going to be around for a long time (in the playoffs). I thought we did a good job of hanging around and then in the fourth we made our comeback. It can be frustrating playing a game on Saturday and we settled for too many jump shots in the first half, but once we got settled I thought we did a great job.”
The Hawks will play their two games next week at home, hosting Kinston Tuesday before West Craven comes to The Swamp Friday.
NORTH LENOIR 81, PRINCETON 71
P 12 21 17 21—71
NL 13 17 19 32—81
PRINCETON — Jaheim Taylor 24, Nayshi. Waller 12, Garrett 9, Farrior 8, Garris 8, Wilkins 6, McPhatter 4
NORTH LENOIR — De'Shaun Kee 23, Terrance Copper 16, Jordan Blow 13, Trevor Sears 12, Artis 7, Koonce 6, Jones-Gatling 2, Hawkins 2
Fouled out: Artis.
Technical fouls: None.
Three-pointers: P — Garrett, Wilkins. NL — Kee 4, Sears 2.