Boys start with mixed results


Laney’s Bert Rivenbark grabs a rebound against Millbrook on Thursday at the 20th annual Leon Brogden Holiday Basketball Tournament at UNCW. (Photo by Matt Born)


Ashley 55, Miami (Fla.) Senior High 45

With a youthful roster full of first-time varsity players, the Ashley boys’ basketball team has endured its share of ups and downs through the first month of the regular season. The Screaming Eagles reached their loftiest peak yet Thursday, playing under the shining video board in Trask Coliseum.

Ashley surged to the finish of a 55-45 win over Miami (Fla.) Senior High School to close the first day of the 20th annual Leon Brogden Holiday Tournament. The Screaming Eagles took the lead for good with a 14-0 run in the final period, blowing past the Sting-arees with quick-strike offense and an active defense.

“Just trust the system, and it’ll work,” said junior Jake Stinnett, who scored 12 of his 16 points in the fourth. “If you don’t trust it, there’s no way it can work. … We started trusting it when it mattered at the end.”

Ashley (5-6) fell behind by 10 points early and still trailed 39-35 before its decisive burst. Stinnett provided the spark with several tough transition baskets, including the off-balance shot that put the Screaming Eagles ahead with 5 minutes, 11 seconds left. Junior Tyre Gathright pitched in six of his game-high 20 points in the final quarter.

Ashley’s up-tempo attack seemed to wear Miami (6-3) down. The Stingarees had seized control with strong drives and second-chance buckets, but they went cold down the stretch. The Florida team went nearly six minutes without a field goal during the final period.

By the time Miami made a pair of 3-pointers in the final two minutes, Ashley was well on its way to a victory that coach David Rutledge hopes can have far-reaching benefits.

“It takes getting over that hump one time to believe you’re winners,” Rutledge said. “Even though we’ve won five, that’s the first one where I think they’ll start believing you can win as a unit. They’ll get in that tough situation again, and they’ll reach back to it, hopefully.”

Hoggard 60, Southside (S.C.) 50

Hoggard coach Brett Queen has been waiting on his school’s football playoff run to come to an end.

“We’ve still only practiced 10 or 11 times as a unit,” Queen said.

“When we were playing at the beginning of the year, we really didn’t have a post presence to throw the ball inside. We were shooting a lot of threes.”

This was not an issue for the opening game of the Brogden tournament. Trevor Singleton turned in a double-double, with 20 points and 12 rebounds, as Hoggard earned a win over Southside from Greenville, S.C..

Teammate Trae Bryant finished with 17 points. For the Tigers, it was Shawn Chandler with 19 points and Kell Allen with 15.

The Vikings used three key runs to control the outcome. A 7-0 run late in the second quarter, another 7-0 stretch in the third frame and a 9-2 run late in the final period helped the team grab momentum and the win.

The latter run was capped off by a Bryant 3-point play with 1:04 left and turned a 49-45 lead into a 58-47 cushion.

East Carteret 69, New Hanover 62

A combination of tough defense and 3-point shooting by East Carteret provided a rough lesson for the previously unbeaten New Hanover boys team.

After the Wildcats jumped to a 24-13 lead late in the first quarter, East Carteret turned up the pressure and blew past New Hanover en route to a win.

“(In the second and third quarters), they played a little harder than we did,” New Hanover coach Kirk Angel said. “They got every 50/50 ball. They were really crashing the boards.”

The Wildcats (7-1) led 24-16 after the first quarter but scored only 15 points over the next two. A combination of turnovers (18) and East Carteret’s 3-point shooting (9-of-26) helped the Mariners (9-0) outscore New Hanover by 18 in the middle two periods.

Trevor Willis and Sam Johnson combined for 39 points for the Mariners. Shawn Robinson had a team-high 12 for New Hanover.

“They played harder. They deserved to win,” Angel said. “Maybe a first loss for this young team, they wake up a little bit and realize they’re not as good as they think they are.”

Millbrook 97, Laney 29

Laney’s first nine possessions told the story of the entire game. The Bucs turned the ball over on eight possessions, leading to 15 points. From there, Laney remained stuck in reverse, resulting in a loss to Millbrook.

Millbrook (7-2) led 29-4 after the first quarter and 54-16 at halftime. The Wildcats shot 62 percent (38 of 61) from the field and 57 percent (12 of 21) from 3-point range.

Chris Clemons led the way with 17 points and Carlee Clemons added 14, including a pair of monstrous dunks.

“I was really happy with the energy we came out with,” Millbrook coach Scott McInnes said. “Offensively, that was about as good as we can be.”

Laney’s (7-4) 25 turnovers led to 38 Millbrook points.

Staff writers Eric Detweiler and Vince Nairn and freelancers Tom Grady and Tim Hower contributed to this report.