Kinston boys win thriller, girls win handily over West Craven
Judah McBynum wasn't letting Kinston drop another one to West Craven.
The senior exploded for 20 of his game-high 25 points in the second half of the Vikings' 62-58 victory over the Eagles. Kinston (17-6, 8-2 Eastern Carolina Conference) dropped a 62-61 contest on Jan. 11 to West Craven (14-6, 7-3) but rebounded in large part due to the senior's play.
"I knew we needed a spark through adversity, and I said 'I need to make it happen,'" McBynum said. "Coach (Perry Tyndall) gave us a great gameplan and we made it work."
McBynum scored five points in a 7-0 run to start the game, but West Craven controlled the remainder of the first half. Kinston shot just 1 of 16 from beyond the arc and 23 percent overall while West Craven's Latrell and Laqueze Campbell paced the Eagles with a combined 16 points on the way to a 28-17 halftime advantage.
Kinston woke up on the third, with McBynum hitting two 3-pointers, including a 4-point play, to help close the gap. The Vikings got within 41-40 after three and finally took the lead with a Chance Minott perimeter shot with 3:50 left to go ahead 49-48.
Laqueze Campbell answered with an immediate 3-pointer from 28 feet, followed by a Latrell Campbell layup. Kinston would eventually tie the game at 55 with 2:07 remaining after McBynum's 3-point play, but Laqueze Campbell hit another deep 3 for West Craven. Kymonte Roberts connected on a pair of free throws for Kinston, followed by Issac Parson finding McBynum for an alley-oop layup to put the Vikings ahead 59-58 with 1:02 left.
West Craven couldn't answer and the Vikings put the game away at the line.
"I challenged the guys to play better on the defensive end," Kinston coach Perry Tyndall said. "I felt like we were passive all over and then on offense we weren't aggressive. In the second half, guys like Kymonte, Ikeileon (Williams) and B.J. (Luter) made plays defensively off the bench, and then Judah got hot on offense.
"West Craven came out ready to play and we were able to make plays in the end to win."
Eagles coach David Fernandez said the team was prepared for a second-half response from Kinston, but couldn't handle it.
"We played hard and we knew at the half they were going to try to make a run," Fernandez said. "We tried to absorb it, but we also shot 6 of 17 from the free throw line, and you're not beating anyone doing that. Coach Tyndall and that staff is one of the best in the state and we had our opportunities, but came up short."
Parson scored 11 points for Kinston and Dontrez Styles added 10. For West Craven, Laqueze Campbell scored 20, Latrell Campbell had 17 and Sheldon Yates added 13.
In the girls' game, Kinston used a big third quarter to roll past West Craven 67-43.
The Vikings (17-5, 10-0) remained undefeated in conference play and never trailed in Friday's contest.
"I thought that West Craven played well, especially in the first half," Kinston coach Christopher Bradshaw said. "We know we were going to take their best shot, but the girls settled in and we made adjustments."
Kinston jumped out to an early nine-point lead, but West Craven (8-13, 3-7) got within 19-17 midway through the second on a Donnasia Gray basket. The Vikings closed the half out on a 13-3 run and despite Kayla Simmons' runner to end the frame, the Eagles trailed 32-22.
Kinston exploded in the third quarter, stretching its advantage to 23. Michyla Dove led the charge, scoring 10 of her team-high 17 points in the frame as the Vikings created separation.
"We just had to stay hungry," Dove said. "We remembered how hurt we were in Regionals last year and we want to keep that same (hungry) mentality and get back."
Sheriece Jones, who dished out a team-high six assists with seven points, shared similar sentiments.
"We worked as a team and pick each other up," Jones said. "(Other teams) don't know what we've been through and we've got to keep playing hard."
West Craven coach Lea Wedesky said the game turned in the second half for the worse in the Eagles' eyes.
"We had a good first half, but fell apart in the third," Wedesky said. "We definitely fought and had a chance, but the Vikings took over."
Taliyah Jones scored 14 for Kinston. For West Craven, Gray had 17 while Deslyn Abrams added 13 points with 15 rebounds.