Greene Central boys, North Lenoir girls win Friday night
Greene Central’s B.J. Corbitt rises up for two of his team-high 22 points during Friday’s win over North Lenoir. Photo by William “Bud” Hardy / Neuse News
SNOW HILL | Playing at home did wonders for Greene Central’s perimeter game.
The Rams hit 12 3-pointers in a 76-65 win over North Lenoir Friday. Greene Central (16-5, 9-1 Eastern Carolina Conference) went 3 of 26 from the perimeter in Tuesday’s loss to Kinston, but connected on 12 of 25 to defeat the Hawks (10-11, 3-6).
“We had a lot of energy,” Rams coach Blue Edwards said. “We moved the ball a lot better (and) because we did that, we shot the ball a lot better. It started on the defensive end and it carried over.”
B.J. Corbitt hit a trio of 3-pointers and Imajae Dodd threw down a vicious dunk during a 21-4 run to start the game. The Hawks cut the deficit to 28-19 midway through the second on a Trey Hawkins basket, but Corbitt scored 11 points in a 13-0 run to push the Rams back in front.
Corbitt scored 20 of his team-high 22 in the first half as Greene Central went to intermission up 41-23.
“My teammates got me the ball in great positions,” Corbitt said. “If I was open, I was going to shoot it and it went in tonight.”
North Lenoir refused to fold, particularly De’Shaun Kee. The senior guard scored 14 of his game-high 23 in the third quarter, including four three-pointers, as North Lenoir got within 10 to start the fourth. The Hawks kept pace and Jayden Gatling’s perimeter shot brought the Hawks within 61-55 with 5:45 to play.
Greene Central would go on an 11-2 run to put the game away, aided by a pair of triples from Zach Taylor.
“I had confidence in my shot and got a bunch of good looks,” Taylor said after hitting three second-half perimeter shots. “I wanted to bring some energy off the bench and help the team out.”
North Lenoir coach Anthony Loftin said the team couldn’t weather the initial Greene Central run despite a valiant effort.
“We knew (Greene Central) would come out ready to play at home and know what’s at stake, maintaining their conference lead,” Loftin said. “They hit threes all night long and while I’m proud of the way the guys fought, at times I felt like we were one pass away when we were able to get it down to a workable margin.”
Hysaan Hudson scored 17 points and Donte Johnson added 11 for Greene Central. Dodd had a quiet night offensively with six points, but provided 12 rebounds and five blocks.
In the girls’ game, North Lenoir never trailed in a 71-38 victory over Greene Central.
“The last couple of games, we’ve been playing well on defense,” Hawks coach Howard Wooley said. “On offense, we had been struggling with our shots so in practice that was the concentration.”
North Lenoir (12-5, 8-1) started the game on an 11-0 run, before Leaudrea Mason’s 3-pointer broke the drought for Greene Central (0-20, 0-10). Ashanti Lynch would score 11 of her 13 points in the first half, including eight straight in the second quarter, to pace the Hawks to a 34-16 score at intermission.
North Lenoir exploded in the third quarter as Integrity McPhail and Kanijah Taylor scored 14 of the team’s 30 points to break the game open. McPhail would hit two of her four 3-pointers in the frame while Taylor worked well inside to get her points.
“My teammates kept encouraging me to shoot and I was able to knock them down,” McPhail said.
Taylor, who scored a game-high 17 points, said it was strong teamwork that helped North Lenoir soar.
“We communicated well, played together and we shared the ball,” Taylor said. “We didn’t take Greene Central for granted even though their record wasn’t that good.”
McPhail scored 14, Ashanti Lynch had 13 and Emmenia Lynch totaled 11 for North Lenoir while Kaliya Sutton was Greene Central’s lone double-digit scorer, posting 13.