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Kinston tops Wildcats


KINSTON | Kinston's boys basketball team felt a 10-point halftime lead against the defending state 4A champion wasn't good enough.

The Vikings made sure to play to their standards in the second half.

Brandon Ingram scored 14 points and Denzel Keyes added 13 points and nine rebounds as Kinston knocked off New Hanover 54-39 in a battle of defending state title winners at Viking Gym on Wednesday night.

Josh Dawson added 10 points and six assists, and Kinston (15-2) hit its first six shots of the second half while holding the Wildcats (8-7) without a field goal in the third quarter.

"We were up big, but I felt like when you walked in our locker room you'd thought we were down by 15," Kinston coach Perry Tyndall said.

"I think part of that is that the guys know that there's some things defensively that could have been better."

Last season's 2A title-winner Kinston turned a 30-20 lead at the break into a 48-22 lead after three quarters, thanks to a defense that forced New Hanover, led by Nykheima Walker's nine points and six rebounds, to go 0 for 10 in the third quarter.

The Wildcats' shooting woes actually began in the first half, when they hit just 3 of 9 in the second period.

"We didn't play defense, we didn't make shots, we didn't communicate, we didn't rebound, we didn't get loose balls, we got outplayed," New Hanover coach Kirk Angel said.

"I don't have a team this year that can survive an 18-2 run and expect to win a game against arguably the best 2A – nah, I wouldn't even say 2A – they're one of the best high school basketball teams in the state."

The teams held their first and only tie at 2-2 before Kinston scored the next seven points to take a lead it never gave up against a team that went 30-1 a season ago and knocked off West Charlotte for the 4A state title.

At Southwest Edgecombe on Tuesday, Tyndall felt his team played lethargic for the entire 32 minutes. The first half against the Wildcats looked much the same.

Kinston turned it over nine times in the first half but held its own on the defensive end, holding New Hanover to 34 percent (16 for 47) from the field.

"Energy-wise, I thought we were stagnant, and I think that carried over from (Tuesday) night a little bit," Tyndall said. "To come out after halftime, and to pick the energy up and to separate a little bit, I was pleased with that."