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Win gives Ashley boys best start in history


Ashley's TJ Williams holds off Topsail defenders Friday night as the Screaming Eagles hosts the Pirates in Basketball. (Photo by Photo By: Jeff Janowski/StarNews Media)


With a 74-52 victory over visiting Topsail on Friday night, the Ashley boys basketball program is off to its best start in school history at 6-1.

Most everything went well for the Screaming Eagles on the night against a quality opponent in the Pirates, who fell to 4-2.

Four Ashley players finished in double figures, led by TJ Williams' 15 points. The other three were Ridell Camidge (13), Tyre Gathright (11) and Tony Mack with 12, off four 3-pointers.

"Topsail did a smart thing; they had to sit inside on us, because of TJ and how we can attack the rim with our wings," Ashley coach Bryn McSwain said. "They made us shoot and we made shots, and that opened everything else up."

All totaled, the Screaming Eagles drained nine 3-pointers and turned in a 17-of-22 night at the free-throw line. Eleven Ashley players scored as McSwain went deep into his bench.

"They're getting better every day," McSwain said of his players. "They practice really well. We'll enjoy this because it's a good team we just beat."

Mack's third 3-pointer of the third quarter came at the buzzer and sent the Eagles into the final frame with a 54-40 lead.

Early in the third, the Pirates closed the gap to 31-29, but Ashley outscored them 23-14 over the eight minutes to pull away.

Topsail got 11 points from Trevor Savidge and 10 from Tyler Hagan.

Pirates coach Jeff Gainey noted turnovers were his team's undoing.

"We didn't limit their possessions because of turnovers," Gainey said, adding it was not a function of shot selection. "I thought we were very conservative and took shots we needed to take. But it all came down to taking care of the basketball."

Up next for Ashley is a trip to West Brunswick on Tuesday.