The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Sports

December 10, 2012

Vikings sweep Warriors on hardwood

TARBORO — With both teams coming off of a loss heading into Friday nights action, the Tarboro Vikings took advantage of the North Edgecombe Warriors miscues and turned them into points. The Vikings outmanned the Warriors and defeated them 56-41.

"We played really well considering the performance we had Wednesday night," Tarboro head coach Craig Savage said. "Our shots were falling and things seem to be going our way. We finally rebounded the ball and didn't get out hustled."

Turnovers plagued both teams the entire game, but Tarboro was able to capitalize on the Warriors miscues and the Warriors couldn't take advantage of the Vikings mistakes. Tarboro turned the ball over 28 times and the Warriors had 23 turnovers. The advantage went in the Vikings favor on turnover opportunities, because they turned the mistakes into more points then the Warriors did.

This was only the Warriors second game of the season and they are still trying to find their identity. Their offense was shaky from the beginning, but they stayed focused and continued to play within themselves. They answered their coaches challenge in the second half and picked up the pace and played up to his expectations in the final 16 minutes of the game.

"We picked it up in the second half," Warriors head coach Mike Jones said. "I gave them a defensive challenge at halftime and asked them to come out and be more aggressive in the second half. I wanted them to talk on the court, because we lacked that in the first half."

Jones said his team is still trying to learn each other, because they are a young team with minimal varsity experience. The Warriors only have two returners from last years team.

Tarboro jumped out to an early 18-7 lead to end the first quarter behind stellar performances from Maliek Hudson and Kebronis Bailey. Bailey had six and Hudson added five in the quarter.

In the second quarter Hudson continued his attack on the Warriors defense and added seven  in the second. He finished with 12 points. Tarboro had a commanding 36-12 halftime lead.

North Edgecombe fought back in the second half, but couldn't find a way to stop the Vikings offensive flow. Kelvin Jones heated up in the second half for Tarboro and picked up where Hudson had left off. He scored four points to close out the quarter after he hit a three point basket from the wing and then he hit one of two free throws to close out the quarter. Tarboro led 44-25 after three.

Jones continued to fire it up in the fourth quarter. he took control of the game midway through the quarter and reeled off six straight points which included a three ball from the right wing. Jones finished the game with 16 to lead all scorers.  

Rodney Conyers was the go to guy for the Warriors while he was on the court. He left in the second quarter after cutting his right hand on the goal. He went up to block a shot and his hand got caught in the rim on the way up. He managed to finish the game with 11 points and seven rebounds and had three blocked shots. Ronyell McDowel chipped in nine in the losing cause.

"This was a tough loss for us but we are working to get better everyday and we will get there," Jones said. "I just want these guys to listen and learn as we go."

Savage was happy with his teams win, but he wasn't pleased with their overall play. The Vikings have been battered all season with turnovers and being out rebounded. This was the first game that they were able to out rebound their opponents.

"I am glad for the win but we have to quit making so many crazy mistakes," Savage said. "We have preached turnovers all season long and had just went over it in practice Thursday. These guys need to quit making these careless mistakes. We have to cut down on them. Our passing is careless which is leading to the turnovers. We are trying to be too fancy on the court."

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