Kinston defeats North Lenoir in boys, girls basketball
Kinston’s Dontrez Styles rises up for a basket during the Vikings’ contest against North Lenoir Tuesday. Photo by William “Bud” Hardy / Neuse News
LA GRANGE | Kinston picked up a pair of victories against North Lenoir Tuesday, but neither came easy.
In the boys’ game, the Vikings won 69-65, withstanding a Hawks charge to start the game. North Lenoir (9-9, 2-4 Eastern Carolina Conference) took a 10-4 lead with Ny’jai Koonce and Jordan Blow combining for eight points, but Isaac Parson’s 3-pointer punctuated an 8-0 Kinston run to regain control. Terrance Copper scored on the other end to tie it at 12, but Kinston (12-5, 4-2 ECC) closed the first quarter out with an 8-2 spurt and never trailed again.
“We started off flat and Coach (Perry Tyndall) was telling us to bring more energy to the court,” Kinston’s Dontrez Styles said. “We were a little lackadaisical, but were able to get the win.”
Styles would score 11 of his 13 points in the first half as the Vikings would extend their lead to 41-29 at the break. North Lenoir would cut the advantage to seven in the third quarter, but Kinston stayed in front, eventually taking a 69-55 lead with 3:28 remaining on a Styles basket inside.
The Hawks closed the game on a 10-0 run, including eight straight points from Trevor Sears. North Lenoir stole an inbounds pass with 9 seconds left after a pair of Sears free throws, but couldn’t connect on a 3-pointer, allowing Kinston to leave with the victory.
“I thought we were able to get some easy buckets around the rim early, but we’ve got to get better on defense,” Tyndall said. “We work harder in practice than we showed (tonight), but it’s always good to get a road win in this conference. North Lenoir has been playing well lately and they did a great job late.”
North Lenoir coach Anthony Loftin said the team had its chances, but have to improve in areas as the team’s 3-game winning streak was snapped.
“I thought we got out of character in the first half, which really cost us,” Loftin said. “Overall, the guys played hard, but we made a couple of mistakes on the defensive end that Kinston took advantage of.”
Styles and Cardiaa Koonce scored 13 points each for Kinston, with teammates Judah McBynum (12 points) and Chance Minott (11) also in double figures. For North Lenoir, Copper and Blow scored 13 each with De’Shaun Kee posting 12.
KINSTON 69, NORTH LENOIR 65
K 20 21 15 13 — 69
NL 14 15 20 16 — 65
KINSTON — Dontrez Styles 13, Cardiaa Koonce 13, Judah McBynum 12, Chance Minott 11, London 8, Parson 5, Burton 5, Roberts 2
NORTH LENOIR — Terrance Copper 13, Jordan Blow 13, De’Shaun Kee 12, Sears 8, Koonce 6, Jones-Gatling 5, Gatling 4, Artis 2, Hawkins 2
Fouled out: None.
Technical fouls: None.
Three-pointers: K — McBynum 2, Minott, Parson. NL — Copper, Koonce, Jones-Gatling.
In the girls’ game, the Vikings overcame a rough shooting night to defeat the Hawks 41-30. In a matchup of the only ECC teams with an undefeated record in conference play, Kinston (11-5, 6-0) made the necessary plays in the second half to win.
“I told the girls to relax in the second half because we didn’t hit any jump shots (in the first),” Kinston coach Christopher Bradshaw said. “We started to defend better and even though it wasn’t our best game, we got the win and first place in the conference, so everyone’s looking up at us.”
Anzaryia Cobb was the only bright spot for Kinston in the first half offensively. Cobb scored 11 points, including a 3-point play to start the second to put the Vikings ahead 13-4. North Lenoir (9-5, 5-1) had its offensive struggles as well, but responded with a 10-0 run, holding Kinston without a point for 6:06. The Hawks would take a 16-15 lead into halftime and added to their advantage with Emmenia Lynch’s basket to start the third.
On the other end, Michyla Dove hit a 3-pointer to tie the game and after the teams traded baskets, a Taliyah Jones free throw and Sheriece Jones basket put Kinston ahead for good. Dove woke up offensively with 11 points in the second half, including another 3-pointer during a 10-2 run to put the Vikings ahead 30-22 heading into the fourth.
“During halftime, my teammates kept telling me to keep my head up,” Dove said. “I had a slow start in the first, but I just let it fly (in the second).”
Cobb continued to play well on both ends, finishing with 17 points and five blocks as Kinston forced North Lenoir into 25 percent shooting in the second half.
“We practice hard and Coach (Bradshaw) has pushed me to get into better shape, which has helped me on offense and defense,” Cobb said.
North Lenoir coach Howard Wooley said he liked the team’s effort, but couldn’t match up for four quarters.
“We knew Kinston was going to have a run in the third quarter and we looked to match their intensity,” Wooley said. “I thought we played hard on defense, but a couple of out of bounds plays hurt us, and they were able to get the momentum.”
Dove scored 13 points for Kinston while Kanijah Taylor posted 14 for North Lenoir.
KINSTON 41, NORTH LENOIR 30
K 10 5 15 11 — 41
NL 4 12 6 8 — 30
KINSTON — Anzaryia Cobb 17, Michyla Dove 13, S. Jones 6, T. Jones 5
NORTH LENOIR — Kanijah Taylor 14, Mason 6, McPhail 4, A. Lynch 4, E. Lynch 2
Fouled out: E. Lynch.
Technical fouls: None.
Three-pointers: K — Dove 2.