The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Sports

January 9, 2014

Bandy's 23 leads Cougars

PINETOPS — PINETOPS – After not touching the court or a basketball for four days since their last game, the SouthWest Edgecombe Cougars came out like a ball of fire on the offensive end of the floor Wednesday night against Eastern Plains Conference foe the Washington Pam Pack. Second-year coach Anthony Burns didn't see all positives, but he was impressed with the 79-45 win.

"The win was very impressive, but the performance was subpar in my opinion," Burns said. "I think we could've played better on both ends of the floor. We did win though and played well enough to do that."

Senior forward Fabrion Bandy had the hot hand for the Cougars. He finished with a double-double in just three quarters of action, scoring a game-high 23 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

"I just went out there and gave my team the best that I had," Bandy said. "I thought my shot would be off since we hadn't practiced this week, but my shot felt good so I kept shooting."

Bandy was right on target and played like he hadn't skipped a beat. He said he felt it when he scored on two consecutive put-backs in the first quarter. Bandy missed just four shots in the game and scored 10 of the Cougars 23 first quarter points.

"It feels good to get a win to start conference play because we can build from it," Bandy said. "We don't want to be like last year's team and go backwards. We want to move forward and keep things positive."

SouthWest used tough defensive pressure right from the start. After scoring on their open possession, they used a full court press to force turnover and after turnover in the first quarter and build an 11 point cushion. Washington committed 24 turnovers in the game.

"We came out early and scored some quick points and used our defensive pressure to force mistakes and scored off of them," Burns said. "We were hungry after the ball around the rim and on defense."

The Cougars started a little sloppy in the second quarter, but with 5:50 remaining in the first half, they used a 9-0 run to extend their lead to 34-18 with 2:12 left.

After a Washington timeout, the Cougars closed out the half on a 5-2 run to lead 38-20 when Quantellas Norwood hit a shot with one second left before halftime. Norwood scored eight points and grabbed seven boards and Quay Wooten added 11 points and four boards.

In the third quarter, SouthWest gave up some second chance baskets, but they would come back down the floor and answer right back. Bandy hit a three and scored on two straight put-backs to add to the Cougars lead in the third. After three quarters, the Cougars had opened their lead up to 32 points.

"I wasn't pleased with us giving up those second chance baskets," Burns said. "We let them score some easy baskets, but at the end of the day we turned around and scored right back and we won so that's what counts. We have some work to do and we will get there."

SouthWest was 14 for 24 from the free throw line and turned the ball over just 12 times.

"We have to continue to practice hard everyday," Bandy said. "We need to stay focused and keep our chemistry going."

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