PINETOPS – The SouthWest Edgecombe Cougars took advantage of the North Edgecombe Warriors missed shots and turnovers Tuesday night and cruised to an easy win. The Cougars waltzed to a 70-30 victory.
Cougar captains, senior forward Anthony Coley led all scorers with 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds while Javin Hinton chipped in 16.
SouthWest head coach Anthony Burns said things were coming together very well. He has installed a run and gun type of offense that takes a lot of running and energy, which his team did had a lot of against the Warriors.
"It has been a lot of trust building along the way for us to get to where we are," Burns said. "With a new system and new style and everything being new to the kids they are picking up on it fast. It has taken a couple of weeks to get to where we are but we are getting there."
The Cougars are beginning to understand what Burns expects from them and what level of competition he wants them to play at in the run and gun offense.
"I have played in an offense like this before," Coley said. "I enjoy running the floor like we are doing now. I didn't expect that in the beginning. Some points I do get tired but I feel the way we run in practice I can finish most games."
After having just an eight point lead after one quarter, the Cougars came out with more intensity in the second and blew the game wide open. They opened up the quarter on a 7-0 run with Hinton and Fabrion Bandy hitting a jumper apiece and Coley making a layup and one of two free throws. After the Warriors hit a hit a free throw, the Cougars went on 5-0 run behind a three pointer from Coley and a couple of free throws. SouthWest had a commanding 37-15 lead at the half.
" I love defense and I think we stepped it up against them," Burns said. "If we keep that up and I think that is where our energy is coming from then we will be alright."
The Cougars starters continued their tear in the third quarter with Coley and Hinton adding to the margin. With more than four minutes left in the quarter and the Cougars leading 46-21, Burns began to sub his starters and gave some other players some playing time.
"We were aggressive on defense in the beginning but we let up and they took advantage of that," Warriors head coach Mike Jones said. "Our offense just wasn't there for us and we were turning the ball over too much. We just got out of control."
SouthWest turned up the defensive pressure and forced the Warriors to turn the ball over 18 times in which the Cougars capitalized them into 18 points.
The bright spot for the Warriors was Rodney Conyers. He led the Warriors with 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
"Rodney gave us a great performance," Jones said. " I want him to be patient and I look for some great things from him."
Jones has to do some discipline to do today at practice, because a couple of his players got out of hand in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Clifton Dickens and senior Okaveon Cooper were trash talking some of the Cougar players after a foul. After the free throws on the foul shot, Cooper turned and gestured to one of the officials and in turn received a technical foul.
"We have to do some cleaning up on this team and probably suspend some players for their actions," Jones said. "I will talk with our administrators and see what needs to be done for these actions. We can't do things like that. That is just down right disrespectful to authority. It just won't be tolerated at North Edgecombe."
Lady Warriors 41
Lady Cougars 25
In girls action, the Lady Warriors took advantage of the Lady Cougars turnovers in the fourth quarter and blew the game open en-route to a 41-25 non-conference win.
MarQuisha Tucker led the way for the Warriors with 14 points, while Shanika Scott added 12.
The Warriors and Cougars both played shaky through much of the first three quarters, but the Warriors got their offense clicking in the fourth and pulled away. Tucker was the bright spot in the fourth quarter. She used her size and inside presences to take advantage of the shorter Cougar defenders. Scott was the go-to player on the outside as she hit three three-pointers and added a couple of layups.
Montana York led the Cougars with eight points.
Turnovers were the key to the Cougars downfall. They turned the ball over 32 times and North Edgecombe took advantage and turned the mistakes into 17 points.
The Warriors turned it over 28 times, but the Cougars just couldn't find a way to score on the offensive end of the floor.