Kinston boys, girls win by wide margins in first round of state playoffs

Kinston boys, girls win by wide margins in first round of state playoffs

Kinston’s Dontrez Styles slams home two of his 18 points as the Vikings rolled past Oxford Webb Tuesday. Photo by William “Bud” Hardy

Kinston started the state playoffs in style Tuesday.

The Vikings won their NCHSAA 2A first-round contests in convincing fashion at home, and will host games Thursday as well. In the boys’ contest, No. 9 Kinston defeated Oxford Webb 63-35 and due to No. 25 Southwest Edgecombe’s 70-56 upset of No. 8 Southwest Onslow, the Vikings (23-6) enjoy a second game in their friendly confines.

“We did a great job finding the open man and running the offense,” Kinston’s Isaac Parson said. “We looked to get our teammates in their favorite spots and kept our defense strong.”

The Warriors (12-10) were competitive early in a first quarter featuring three lead changes and two ties. A basket by Webb’s Na’quan Young tied the game at 11 with 2:41 left in the first, and it would be the Warriors’ last points for a while. On the other end, Dontrez Styles hit a pair of free throws and Clarence Burton hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to put the Vikings ahead 16-11.

“It was an open shot and I just let it fly,” Burton said “I’ve got to give the credit to my teammates for finding me in that spot.”

Kinston shot just 3 of 12 in the second quarter, but Webb went 0 of 9 and didn’t score a point. Styles’ putback as time expired put the Vikings ahead 26-11 and punctuated a 15-0 run.

“We struggled to score at times, but we found a way to shut them down on defense,” Styles said. “That’s been our best ability lately and we have to keep that going strong as we keep getting further in the playoffs.”

Kinston built up a 20-point lead, but Webb made one final push with an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to 40-28 with 6:37 to play. From there, consecutive baskets from Styles and B.J. Luter sparked a 15-3 run to put the game away.

Vikings coach Perry Tyndall said he was happy about the win, but there’s room for improvement.

“Give Coach (Mike) Rotolo credit — he had the team playing hard and they kept chipping away at the lead. We still have some screws to tighten up, but you’re always happy to make it to the next round.”

Styles led the way with 18 points and 10 rebounds as 12 Kinston players scored. Parson did most of the facilitating with seven assists.

KINSTON 63, OXFORD WEBB 35

OW        11           0              12           12 — 35

K             16           10           14           23 — 63

OXFORD WEBB — Na’quan Young 14, Dunkins 6, Hart 6, Richardson 3, Hunt 3, Pierce 2, Jones 1

KINSTON — Dontrez Styles 18, Minott 8, Burton 6, Koonce 5, Luter 5, McBynum 4, Wooten 4, Parson 3, Dixon 3, Pitts 3, London 2, Davis 2

Three-pointers: K — Stylez 2, Burton 2, Luter, Minott, Dixon, Pitts.

Kinston’s Taliyah Jones puts up a jump shot against North Johnston in a 64-33 victory. Photo by William “Bud” Hardy

Kinston’s Taliyah Jones puts up a jump shot against North Johnston in a 64-33 victory. Photo by William “Bud” Hardy

In the girls’ game, Kinston never trailed and cruised to a 64-33 victory over North Johnston.

The No. 3-seeded Vikings (22-5) won their 17th straight contest and will face No. 14 Roanoke Rapids in the second round Thursday. Kinston recorded 18 assists, spreading the ball well all night.

“In pregame, we talked about sharing the ball and playing as a team,” Kinston coach Christopher Bradshaw said. “It translated well on offense and we kept our usual pressure defensively.”

Lesley Sutton had three assists in a 10-2 run for the Vikings to start the contest. Kinston led by as many as 10 in the first quarter and although a Jordyn Scott basket to start the second brought North Johnston (14-11) within 20-13, Taliyah Jones followed with a basket to spark another 8-2 run as the Vikings took a 35-20 halftime advantage.

“It felt great to get this win,” Jones said. “We shared the ball well, but our defense was where we got a majority of our points, getting out on the break and then making the extra pass to our teammates.”

Kinston never let the lead get under double figures in the second half, using a 19-2 run to close out the third — punctuated by Zykia Andrews’ buzzer-beating 3-pointer — to go up 54-25 heading into the fourth. The Vikings stretched their lead to as many as 34.

Jones and Michyla Dove led the Vikings with 14 points each, and 11 Kinston players scored overall.

“Our offense works better when we’re sharing the ball on not focused on individual stats,” Dove said. “We kept finding the open man and were able to score.”

KINSTON 64, NORTH JOHNSTON 33

NJ           11           9              5              8 — 33

K             20           15           19           10 — 64

NORTH JOHNSTON — Mackenzie Gibson 11, Pearce 8, Scott 6, Blue 2, Massey 2, Massengill 2, Hines 2

KINSTON — Michyla Dove 14, Taliyah Jones 14, Cobb 6, Andrews 6, Sutton 6, Powell 6, Lee 5, Baker 2, S. Jones 2, Lane 2, Rivers 1

Three-pointers:  NJ — Scott, Pearce. K — Andrews 2, Powell, Lee.  

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