Kinston never trails in ECI victory over East Chapel Hill
JACKSONVILLE — It may have been the first game of the East Coast Invitational, but Kinston looked to be in midseason form.
The Vikings never trailed in a 54-34 win over East Chapel Hill Thursday, vindicating the claims Kinston guard Isaac Parson had about the team’s abilities.
“It means a lot for us to play here because this tournament puts you through some tough situations,” Parson said. “I feel like we have a good chance to win a state championship and we play defense very well.”
Although defense was the team’s calling card, Parson’s 3-pointer to open the game started a 9-2 run and Kinston would hit six of its first seven shots to take control. The Vikings went up by as many as 20 and were active on the defensive end throughout.
“We have a lot of good leadership and returners, so on defense we know where we need to be,” Kinston’s Will London said. “We did a good job today and brought the intensity we needed.”
Thursday’s game also helped Jaquan Mosley get better acclimated with his new teammates. After transferring from Arendell Parrott Academy, Mosley said he’s excited for the 2019-20 campaign.
“It felt great with this being my first time playing with these guys, and I can’t wait for the season to start,” Mosley said. “I think we can go all the way if we play this hard every game.”
Kinston’s highly touted forward Dontrez Styles shared similar sentiments. Styles, who has numerous college offers — including ECU, Clemson, Ole Miss, Pittsburgh and Georgetown — said the unselfishness of the Vikings was another important factor.
“We played as a team, shared the ball well and executed for the easy win,” Styles said.
Overall, Kinston coach Perry Tyndall liked the effort displayed by the Vikings.
“We hit shots early and I think defensively, we were real aggressive,” Tyndall said. “I loved our energy and guys continue to just work hard. It’s just a good way to start — East Chapel Hill is very disciplined, and that was a good test right out of the gate. We’ve got to clean up a lot of things, but I’m happy to win one. We had a lot of guys contribute a lot of good things.”