ROCKY MOUNT —
LEGGETT – Playing for at least a share of second place, the North Edgecombe Warriors fell apart in the second half Thursday night against the Southeast Halifax Trojans. The Warriors were tied with the Trojans in the Tar-Roanoke Conference and played like there was a lid on top of the basket in the third and fourth quarters. North Edgecombe scored just 14 points in those two quarters and were routed 56-36. The Warriors finish the regular season with a 5-16 overall record and 4-6 in conference.
"I wasn't pleased with our overall performance," Warriors head coach Mike Jones said. "We didn't capitalize off of their mistakes and that is real frustrating. That has been a weakness for us all season. We force a turnover and then we turn it right back over. That hurts."
The Warriors turned the ball over 21 times in the game, which led to 15 points for the Trojans, but the Warriors also forced 23 turnovers. North Edgecombe could only capitalize on four of them and scored just eight points on the Trojan miscues.
"We just didn't take care of the ball like we are suppose too," Jones said. "If we could just score on half of the chances we had we could have been in the game and had a chance to win."
Rodney Conyers led the Warriors with 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while RJ Battle and Ronyell McDowell each added six.
The Warriors shot the ball well in the first half when they were able to get a shot off, but things changed after halftime and they couldn't buy a basket.
Southeast Halifax came out in the third quarter and put together a 9-2 run to open the period and forced Jones to take a timeout. The Warriors scored out of the timeout, but the Trojans put together a 7-4 run after that to close out the quarter and the Warriors trailed 39-30.
The game had a major turn around in the fourth quarter. The Warriors missed shot after shot after shot. The Trojans began the quarter on a 15-0 run and with 2:35 left in the game, the Warriors scored their first basket of the quarter. They only scored six points in the quarter.
"The second half hurt us bad," Jones said. "We can't execute on open shots and we continued to make careless mistakes with the ball."
The Warriors will have plenty of time to regroup. They won't play again until Wednesday when the conference tournament begins.
Jones says he has seen improvement in his team during the past three weeks, but they fell back to their old habits and weren't playing like the Warrior team he knew could play with everyone in the conference.
"We have to regroup and get back to where we were three games ago," Jones said. "We are in a good spot heading into the tournament that we can do some damage."
Jones said with his team finishing where they did in the conference they should get an automatic bid for the playoffs.
He also wanted to thank the fans for sticking with his young group and supporting them throughout the tough season that they had.
Lady Trojans 50
Lady Warriors 34
The Lady Warriors haven't been able to find any easy way to win this season during conference action. They have won only two games during conference play and that didn't change Thursday. The Lady Trojans pounded the inside and took advantage of their height and poured it on the Lady Warriors 50-34.
"My girls did what we asked them to do," Lady Warriors head coach Marion King said. "We just weren't making the shots and we didn't get back on defense."
King's team went 9-26 from the free throw line and missed 12 lay-ups and seven shots within six feet of the basket.
They turned the ball over 21 times and after the miscues they failed to get back on defense a majority of the time.
The Lady Trojans took it to the Lady Warriors inside and scored 24 of their points inside the paint. The Lady Warriors were unable to control the glass and let their opponents get second and third chance shots.
Marquisha Tucker led the way for the Lady Warriors with 12 points and she also grabbed 12 rebounds and had two blocked shots. Shanika Scott added seven for the Lady Warriors.
They finish the season with a 9-12 record and were 2-8 in the conference.