FOR THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
The SouthWest Edgecombe Cougars season came to an abrupt end Monday night against the No. 1 seeded Northside Monarchs. The Monarchs got big plays from point guard Jamal Parker and Josh Cabrera who combined for 39 points.
The 16th seeded Cougars lost 63-36, which ends their season with a 13-11 record.
First-year head coach Anthony Burns knew his team had to play one of their best games of the season against the Monarchs, but things didn't work out like he had planned for them too.
SouthWest shot just 35 percent from the field (20-56) and didn't make a three pointer the entire game. They were 6 for 11 from the free throw line.
The big difference was the Monarchs shot 40 percent (23-58) from the field and they hit 12 of 19 free throws. They also scored 15 points off of three point baskets, which gave them the slight advantage in that stat column.
Senior Anthony Coley led the way for the Cougars with 18 points.
The Monarchs held Cougar forward Javine Hinton to just eight points and sharp shooter Devonte Williams only scored one point. Neither player was a threat from the outside as they have been in previous games.
The Cougars season was a productive one for Burns and his team. He was impressed with the way they picked themselves up after playing sluggish late in the season and dropping five straight games. They bounced back and won their final two regular season games and then beat North Pitt in the conference tournament.
The Cougars went into the playoffs as the underdog and knew they had a big challenge ahead of them. Their defensive pressure wasn't up to par and not making a three pointer in the game affected their style of play. They are use to having the three ball as part of their arsenal in the attack of their opponents.
Burns is hoping that this season will be an upward start to what he is hoping to become a rebuilding part of a successful program under him.
He started the season from scratch and installed a new offense. His team went to work from day one and followed their leaders path and began to go in the right direction.
Coley and Hinton were the two main leaders for the Cougars this season. They were asked to guide the team in a positive direction. Coley has been the emotional leader for the Cougars all season and has been instrumental in their success. Hinton played with a laid back style on both ends of the floor and used his length to grab rebounds and score on put backs.
Now that the Cougars season has ended, Burns and his returners will get back to work and rebuild on what he hopes is a positive outlook on next season.