Kinston defeats North Lenoir easily on emotional Senior Night
Kinston's Will London skies through the North Lenoir defense in Friday's contest. Photo by William "Bud" Hardy / Neuse News
A poignant and nostalgic Senior Night ended with two easy Kinston victories over rival North Lenoir Friday at Viking Gym.
With current Kinston alum and NBA star Brandon Ingram in attendance, the Vikings honored at halftime of the boys’ game another of its heroes, the late Charles Shackleford, who spent 6 years in the NBA after a successful college career at North Carolina State.
Shackleford passed away in his hometown on January 27, 2017.
“It was an emotional night on many fronts,” Kinston athletic director and boys basketball coach Perry Tyndall said. “To be able to honor Charles and his legacy with his family here was important; he has a special place in the hearts of, not just to Kinston High School, but to the entire city. And to have our seniors go out on a winning note was just icing on the cake.”
Shackleford would have certainly been proud of the way both Kinston’s boys and girls played.
The girls wrapped up a perfect 12-0 conference season with a 55-35 victory, while the boys locked down the second seed in next week’s Eastern Carolina 2A Conference tournament with an 82-46 rout.
The Lady Vikings (19-5, 12-0) fell behind 5-0 in the game’s opening minute, but quickly reversed course by scoring the next 11 points.
Kinston would never trail again.
An offensive rebound and put back by Anzaryia Cobb gave the Vikings their first double-digit lead, 25-15 with 2:12 left in the first half.
Kinston then outscored the Hawks (13-7, 9-3), who will enter next week’s tournament as the second seed, 30-17 in the second half to pull away.
Michyla Dove’s 10 third quarter points keyed a 23-point outburst by the Vikings in the frame. She finished with a team-high 15 points.
Sheriece Jones added 12 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds for Kinston.
NL’s Emmenia Lynch led all scorers with 16 points and was the only Hawk in double figures.
In the boys’ contest, Kinston shredded the NL defense for 14 3-point buckets in 27 attempts, including 6 in a 27-point fourth quarter explosion that blew the game open.
“One of our best shooting games of the year,” Tyndall said, “especially from behind the 3-point line. We started out hot and it just became contagious.”
Kinston (19-6, 10-2) shot 52 percent from beyond the arc, led by senior Judah McBynum, who stroked 6 treys in 9 attempts for a game-high 21 points.
McBynum buried his first four 3-pointers of the game as the Vikings jumped from the gate, building an early 13-3 lead.
“Judah and the other seniors really gave us a spark at the start of the game,” Tyndall said. “We had a hard time shaking them until the second half, so our quick start allowed us to gain a little separation.”
Kinston led just 37-29 early in the third quarter but forced 8 NL turnovers in the frame that led to a 14-2 run and a 20-point advantage.
“We got to within 8 and then got very sloppy with the basketball,” NL coach Anthony “Copperhead” Loftin said. “Too many turnovers, too many bad shots, and very poor perimeter defense was the story for us tonight.”
After McBynum’s early 3-point onslaught, Loftin called time out and told his team to start running the Vikings off the 3-point line.
“Instead we continued to let them shoot open three’s, and on the offensive end, we just kept chucking up bad shots instead of trying to get the ball inside. It was just a frustrating night all round.”
Dontrez Styles added 16 points and 8 rebounds for the Vikings, while Nyjai Koonce led NL with 11 points.
Kinston shot 54 percent from the field (31 of 57), while the Hawks connected on just 32 percent of its field goal attempts (19 of 60).
The Vikings also dominated the boards by a 40-26 margin.
North Lenoir 14 12 9 11—46
Kinston 22 15 18 27—82
HAWKS—Koonce 11, Copper 7, Sears 7, Hawkins 7, Blow 6, Kee 3, Gatling 2, Brown 2, Grady 1.
VIKINGS—Judah McBynum 21, Dontrez Styles 16, Davis 7, Luter 6, Williams 5, London 5, Koonce 4, Wooten 4, Minott 3, Pitts 3, Burton 3, Dixon 3, Parson 2.
North Lenoir 7 11 14 3—35
Kinston 11 14 23 7—55
HAWKS—Emmenia Lynch 16, Taylor 5, A. Lynch 4, McPhail 3, Sparrow 3, Jones 2, Kornegay 2.
VIKINGS—Michyla Dove 15, Sheriece Jones 12, Lee 7, Powell 7, Jones 5, Andrews 3, Sutton 2, Baker 2, Cobb 2.