The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC


December 16, 2013

Cougar boys blister Vikings

PINETOPS — PINETOPS – The SouthWest Edgecombe Cougars used pressure defense and forced the Tarboro Vikings to turn the ball over 38 times Friday night. SouthWest scored 22 points off of those mistakes and went on to rout the Vikings 74-37.

"Our game plan was to come out and play tough defense," SouthWest coach Anthony Burns said. "It's tough to beat a team who plays tough defense and we played that way tonight (Friday)."

Cougars (6-2) sophomore forward Quantellas Norwood scored a game-high 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while senior Fabrion Bandy added 14 points.

"Quantellas and Fabrion continue to have big games for us," Burns said. "We keep riding them and they just keep producing. They are really stepping up and taking on their rolls real well."

Tarboro (0-3), playing in only its third game of the season under first-year coach Reggie Bess, had trouble scoring. Bess called set plays, but his team wasn't sure where they were suppose to be and that caused them to make mistakes, that SouthWest in turn scored on.

"We have an issue right now with guys running the plays," Bess said. "We have a new coach, new system and guys are transitioning, but eventually we have to get there. We can't keep using that as an excuse."

The Cougars jumped out on the Vikings early. Leading 17-5 after the first quarter, the Cougars went to work on the inside. The Cougars put together a 4-0 and 6-0 run behind Bandy and Norwood's inside presence and opened the margin up in the second. SouthWest led 38-19 at halftime.

SouthWest missed 10 free throws in the second quarter and that concerned Burns.  They had a three minute talk during halftime and it was all about foul shots. SouthWest shot 19 of 44 for the game from the free throw line and Tarboro was 16 of 30.

"We missed a whole lot of free throws and we talked about that at halftime," Burns said. "Those are give me points and we have to make those."

SouthWest went on an 11-2 run to start the third quarter and forced Bess to call a timeout with SouthWest leading 49-21. The Cougars came back out and put together a 9-5 run to close out the quarter and led 58-26.

"I am very pleased with our performance," Burns said. "We are getting to a level that we need to be at, but we need to continue to work on just getting ourselves better each day."

The Vikings didn't have a player score in double-figures. Senior Maliek Hudson led the way with eight points.

Bess is concerned about his team's inside post play and he expects that to get better as they continue to work together.

"We have to become more aggressive right now," Bess said. "We are lacking in the post and aren't physical enough. That has been the issue in all three games,  because we can't maintain in the post."

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