North Lenoir sweeps Washington in two close games
The North Lenoir Hawks dropped a heartbreaker to West Craven on Friday night. On Wednesday, they travelled to Washington to take on the Pam Pack; a team they had beaten early in the season.
Washington made 14 three-pointers in the game, but the Hawks played a great inside game under the net. They got the key shots that they needed and won 75-68.
“Man, this was a tough game,” Hawks coach Anthony Loftin said. “Both teams played with a lot of energy. This game means a lot for both teams as we are both looking to stay in the postseason conversation. And for us to battle all game long on the road like this, that was really important for us.”
Jeremee Bryant would score eight points in the opening two minutes, including two three-pointers, to help the Pam Pack jump out to an early lead. Both teams spent a good part of the opening frame launching from the perimeter, combining for seven. Washington would take an early 21-18 lead.
“Their three point shooters frustrated us the entire game,” Loftin said. “We had no answer for them. We went man-to-man, we went zone, we tried different combinations. Nothing we did on defense seemed to work. I’m just glad that they got cold near the end of the game.”
Midway through the second quarter, Terrance Copper stole the ball and converted it into a layup to give the Hawks the lead for the first time in the game. In the last 30 seconds of the first half, Trevor Sears would sink a three point shot to give the Hawks a lead and Jamir Jones-Gatling would add to that lead with a layup to give North Lenoir a 33-30 lead at halftime.
Bryant would kick off the second half with a trio of three pointers to help the Pam Pack keep pace with the Hawks. The teams would keep pace with each other, but Washington would convert three straight three point shots in the last 30 seconds, including a buzzer beater by Jamuari Bryant, to capture a 56-52 lead going into the fourth.
Copper would score four points early on in the fourth to tie the game up at 58. Both teams would trade leads and Washington’s Jordi Barnes would tie the game up at 66 each with two minutes left to play. Tyrek Artis would secure a layup to give the Hawks the lead and Nyjai Koonce would hit two critical free throws with a minute to go.
Copper would have 12 points and Artis would add 14. Jordan Blow would lead the Hawks with 15.
Jamuari Bryant converted a layup to bring the Pam Pack to within two with 38.5 seconds left to play. De’Shaun Kee would hit two of his free throws after being fouled to keep the Hawks up by four. It was a lead that the Hawks would not give up.
“In the last game against West Craven, we couldn’t finish it,” Loftin said. “Tonight we did. We kept on attacking. The guys didn’t give up. Kee and Koonce hit big free throws when we needed to. Blow had a great game on the inside as did Tyrek. I’m very proud of our guys.”
NORTH LENOIR: Blow 15, Artis 14, Copper 12, Sears 8, Kee 8, Hawkins 6, Koonce 4, Jones-Gatling 4, Brown 2
WASHINGTON: Je Bryant 19, Barnes 16, Ja Bryant 13, Godley 8, Blount 8, Powell 2, Blackledge
After dropping their first conference game of the year last week to Kinston, the North Lenoir Hawks rebounded against West Craven. On Tuesday, they traveled to Washington to take on the Pam Pack; winners of six of their last seven.
The Pam Pack jumped out to an early lead and shut down the Hawks’ offense for most of the game. A late run in the fourth quarter would snatch victory from the jaws of defeat as North Lenoir rallied for a 54-51 win.
“We didn’t start out well, and we haven’t been shooting well lately, but we shot better in this game when it counted,” North Lenoir coach Howard Wooley said. The girls got down early, but they didn’t get down on themselves. They cheered each other on and didn’t give up on each other. I’m extremely proud of our girls and how they played tonight. This is not an easy place to play at.”
North Lenoir struggled to get on the board in the first five minutes of the game as the Pam Pack slowly built up an 8-3 lead. Washington was led by Kiara Boomer, who scored eight of her 10 points in the first quarter. A pair of three pointers near the end of the first lifted Washington to an 18-9 lead.
The Hawks shook off their opening period jitters and opened the second period on 7-0 run, keyed by a quarter opening trey by Emmenia Lynch. North Lenoir crept to within two points before the Pam Pack went on a run of their own after shutting down the Hawks’ offense. The Pam Pack would hold a 28-24 lead at halftime.
North Lenoir's Integrity McPhail would sink a three point shot three minutes into the period that would tie the game up, briefly, at 30 each. Lynch’s second three pointer of the game would briefly give the Hawks the lead. The Pam Pack would regain the lead and soon build on it. Washington would have a 42-36 lead at the end of the third.
Washington would try to slow it down to start the fourth while North Lenoir kept trying to climb back. Kanijah Taylor was a key to this comeback, as she scored six points in the first half of the fourth quarter. McPhail would put the Hawks up 48-47 with 2:39 left to play after she converted a stolen pass into a layup. Washington would not foul any of the Hawk players when they had possession of the ball. North Lenoir wisely held onto the ball as much as possible to drain as much time off of the clock as they could in order to secure the win.
“At first we missed a lot of opportunities,” Taylor said. “ I told the girls that we need to step o tip nad we need to play our heart out. This game meant a lot to us because they are the number three team in the conference and we needed to push them back a bit.”
Taylor would finish the night with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Ashanti Lynch would also have a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. McPhail would score 9 for North Lenoir.
“We need to stay confident and if we do that, we can do well down the stretch,” Wooley said. “We executed tonight with our traps and creating turnovers. We just have to remember we can play hard when we stick to it.”
NORTH LENOIR: Taylor 16, A. Lynch 10, McPhail 9, Jones 8, E. Lynch 6, Kittrell 2
WASHINGTON: Jones 18, Boomer 10, Ruther 10, Hopkins 5, Sommerville 5, Kim 2, Redmond 1