The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Sports

December 17, 2012

Viking boys, girls squeak by Warriors

TARBORO — LEGGETT – The North Edgecombe Warriors were coming off of a 40 point loss in their last game and still trying to find their identities throughout the entire team, but they made a big stride Friday night against the Tarboro Vikings. The Vikings were coming off of a 39 points loss and their coaching staff on the other hand is still trying to find players who can give them 100 percent the entire game and listen to the coaching staff. They want players who want to be team players and not individual performers.

The Warriors made the biggest stride between the two teams Friday, but came up on the short end and fell 60-55 to the Vikings in non-conference action. The Warriors are still trying to get their first win of the season and the Vikings improved to 3-5.

Tarboro continued to struggle on the defensive end rebounding the ball. North Edgecombe grabbed 22 offensive rebounds and scored 16 points on second and third chance opportunities. The Warriors beat the Vikings in almost every stat column available, but just couldn't score at the right times.

"We continued to struggle on the defensive end rebounding the ball," Tarboro head coach Craig Savage said. "We can't give teams that many chances on their offensive end of the floor and definitely not give up that many offensive rebounds to an opponent."

Both teams struggled with turnovers. Tarboro committed 26 and North Edgecombe had 20. The Warriors were able to capitalize their opponents turnovers into more points then the Vikings. North Edgecombe scored 16 points off of turnovers while the Vikings only scored nine.

"I am glad we won, but I am not happy about our overall performance," Savage said. "We shot horrible from the free throw line – we got lucky to get the win shooting like that. We got beat on the boards once again. We have just got to get better all around."

Tarboro shot 34-61 from the free throw line and missed 12 down the stretch in the fourth quarter alone.

Tarboro led 27-26 at the halftime, but both teams were playing careless ball. North Edgecombe's downfall was turnovers and Tarboro just couldn't rebound the ball on the defensive end of the floor.

"I told the guys at halftime that the game wasn't over and we had to continue to fight," Savage said. "I told them we had to play even harder because they had cut into the lead and we were only up by one."

Turnovers and missed chances hurt the Warriors in the third quarter. They missed three straight shots on one possession then missed two consecutive shot jumpers on another possession. Tarboro took advantage of the missed Warrior shots and turned them into points. North Edgecombe turned the ball over four times and three were on consecutive possessions in the quarter. The Warriors battled back through their mistakes and cut into the Vikings lead a little at a time. As time was expiring to end the third quarter, Ronyell McDowell hit a basket at the buzzer to tie the game at 44-44.

After Tarboro missed four straight free throws to start the quarter, the Warriors took advantage of that and scored on a Cooper layup and then Rontarious Graham hit one of two free throws to give North Edgecombe a 47-44 lead. Maliek Hudson hit a jumper for Tarboro, then Quentin Roberson hit two of four from the free throw line to give Tarboro a 48-47 lead with 5:20 left. The Vikings then went on an 8-0 run and the Warriors weren't able to play catch up the remainder of the game.

Kelvin Jones led the Vikings with 19 points, while Roberson added 14 and Hudson chipped in 13.

North Edgecombe had their scoring spread out. They had five players to score at least seven points or more. Graham led them with 11 and Jalen Deans added 10.

Savage still has players that don't want to listen to instructions coming from him or the coaching staff and he said that has turned into a big problem.

"We are going to fix that problem and take care of it with discipline in practice," Savage said. "We made some very crucial mistakes even though we won. We want to correct the mistakes but some of the players act like they don't want the mistakes fixed so we are going to fix them ourselves."

Savage said he did see a few positives, because a couple of players were tough on the boards and battled for him.

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