Whiteville sweeps tournament titles
Fri. February 22, 2013 at 10:34 p.m. | By Tom Grady | StarNews Correspondent
BOLIVIA | Whiteville High School took home the two biggest trophies Friday night, in sweeping both the boys and girls Waccamaw Conference Tournament Championships at Brunswick Community College.
In the boys game, the Wolfpack (19-7) pulled away in the fourth quarter to earn a 56-44 win over West Brunswick.
The Trojans (12-11) rallied to take a 38-36 lead early in the fourth quarter. But two minutes later, with five minutes to play, Shaun Kirk gave Whiteville a 44-38 lead with a thundering dunk.
With 4:10 left, Carlos Smith’s drive completed a 12-0 Wolfpack run to produce a 48-38 lead.
Whiteville coach Jerry Singletary said defensive intensity was the key to his team’s performance.
“When we dug down and played defense and rebounded, it’s going to be hard to beat us,” Singletary said. “That’s just the bottom line.
Kirk led all scorers with 20 points and teammate Johnny Lee Willis turned in a double-double, with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
For the Trojans, it was Markel Jones with 13 points and Saadiq Johnson with 12.
The first half was a tight affair. Jared Jackson’s inside move just prior to the buzzer gave the Wolfpack a 23-22 edge at the break.
All four teams will now wait for word on the seedings for next week’s first round of the state playoffs.
“It means a lot, because you want to build momentum heading into the playoffs,” Singletary said. “And that’s what it’s all about; building momentum and just going into the playoffs with a positive outlook.”
GIRLS: WHITEVILLE 55
EAST BLADEN 49
Jordan Ray paced the Wolfpack offense with 21 points and LaDavius McMillan added 17 points, to lead their team to the Waccamaw Conference tournament title.
Lacey Suggs led East Bladen and all scorers with 23 points and teammate Iesha Swindell added 14.
“I thought the girls played awesome defense tonight,” said Whiteville coach Serena Smith. “This is an awesome feeling, but we’re wanting much more.
“We made it to the third round of the playoffs last year. We’re looking to at least make it to regionals.”
Whiteville (19-6) opened up a 29-14 lead early in the third period, before the Eagles mounted a rally. With 42 seconds remaining in the third, Suggs drove into the lane to close the gap all the way down to 37-35.
East Bladen (21-6) outscored Whiteville 21-12 in the third quarter, but the Wolfpack slowly regained its advantage in the final frame. Ray scored 9 of her 21 points in the fourth period and finished 13-for-16 at the free throw line.
The Wolfpack used an active half-court defense to disrupt the Eagles’ offense in the first half, on the way to a 27-14 edge at the break.