Greene Central boys, North Lenoir girls win Friday at The Swamp
Greene Central's Kentrell Suggs scored a game-high 18 points in Friday's win over North Lenoir. Photo by William “Bud” Hardy / Neuse News
LA GRANGE | As North Lenoir took away Greene Central's bread and butter, the Rams found another strong appetizer for victory.
The Rams hit a season-high 11 3-pointers in a 79-57 road victory over the Hawks Friday. Greene Central (8-5, 3-0 Eastern Carolina Conference) were left by Kentrell Suggs and Hysaan Hudson, who came off the bench to score a combined 32 points and hit seven perimeter shots.
"We knew we had to drive first, move the ball around and eventually the shots will come," Suggs said. "That's what we practice and we were able to execute here."
North Lenoir (5-7, 1-2) had lost eight straight to Greene Central coming into Friday's contest, but the last three games between the teams at The Swamp were decided by six points or fewer. The Hawks did trail 19-9 late in the first quarter after a Lamar Pridgen 3-pointer, but North Lenoir clawed back. De'Shaun Kee and Trevor Sears combined for 10 points in a 15-3 run, with Kee's perimeter shot putting the Hawks up 24-22 midway through the second.
Greene Central responded with a 12-2 spurt, but North Lenoir closed within three before Suggs' 3-pointer put the Rams ahead 38-32 heading into the break.
Jordan Blow's basket to start the third brought the Hawks within four, but Hudson took over from there. The senior scored 11 of his 14 points in a span of 3:15 to help break the game open and the Rams would coast from there.
"I missed a couple early, but I knew what I could do shooting," Hudson said. "These are shots I take in practice all the time, so I was comfortable during the game."
Greene Central coach Blue Edwards said the defensive intensity also played a big role.
"Our defensive energy early was embarrassing, but we started to improve and it helped out on the other end in getting better shots," Edwards said. "We're an inside-out team and North Lenoir did a good job inside, but our shooters took great shots with Kentrell and Hysaan doing a wonderful job."
Jekael Gay scored 12 points, Donte Johnson had nine and Imajae Dodd added eight for Greene Central. For North Lenoir, Sears scored a team-high 14 points off the bench with Blow adding eight and Kee providing seven.
In the girls' game, North Lenoir took over after a slow start for a 66-32 victory against Greene Central.
The Hawks (5-4, 3-0) used a 26-0 run between the second and third quarter to take momentum firmly away from the Rams (0-12, 0-3).
"We started off slow and Coach (Howard Wooley) told us that we needed to pick up the intensity," Hawks guard Emmenia Lynch said.
North Lenoir started with a 9-0 run, including five from Ashanti Lynch, but fell under a cold spell. Greene Central benefitted from the Hawks missing 16 straight shots to end the quarter, with Jayla Wilkins' baseline jumper bringing the Rams within 12-10.
North Lenoir would start the second on a 9-0 run, but Greene Central responded with a 9-0 spurt of its own, capped off with a 3-pointer from Leaudrea Mason to get within two. The Hawks' Integrity McPhail responded with a perimeter basket to spark nine more unanswered points and put the team ahead 30-19 heading into the break.
North Lenoir blew the game open with 17 unanswered to start the third. Greene Central wouldn't get within 24 the rest of the way.
"We just needed to play our game and pick up the pace," Ashanti Lynch said. "I was looking to get my teammates involved more (from there)."
Lynch scored a game-high 23 points with eight steals and four assists with Kanijah Taylor adding 15 points and McPhail contributing 12. For Greene Central, Kaliya Sutton scored 10.