Nash Central erased a 12-point deficit to take its first lead of the game with 3:29 remaining, and from that point, it was chaos – which is exactly where SouthWest Edgecombe feels comfortable.
The Cougars’ press created havoc during the game’s final stages, Quatavius Harris hit four key free throws and SouthWest Edgecombe survived for a 56-51 victory Friday at Nash Central High School.
“I was trying to get it to be controlled chaos,” SouthWest Edgecombe coach Anthony Burns said. “I felt like if the game had been controlled too much, we would have lost it because it was just wild.”
SouthWest Edgecombe (11-3) was able to beat the Bulldogs (4-8) for the second time this season, though Friday’s contest was far more frantic. After Nash Central’s Jack Williams hit two free throws to tie the game at 44 and the Bulldogs earned a stop, the lead changed hands on four straight possessions.
With the Cougars holding a one-point edge, Nash Central made a mistake on an inbounds play, leading to a steal and eventual lay-up by SouthWest Edgecombe’s Quay Wooten.
Harris went 4-for-4 from the free-throw line inside the final two minutes, and Nash Central couldn’t come any closer.
“We called a timeout to set up an inbounds play, and one guy didn’t do what he was supposed to do,” Nash Central coach Renny Taylor said. “That has been the story of our season so far.”
As the Bulldogs struggled to even enter the ball into play, the Cougars felt right at home employing a full-court trap. Even when Nash Central was able to inbound the ball, outlet options often were nonexistent.
“We just make sure that guard doesn’t get the ball,” said SouthWest Edgecombe’s Fabrion Bandy, who scored a team-high 15 points. “We want them to give it to a big man, then we’ll take it from him.”
Aaron Spivey scored 21 points in the losing effort for Nash Central.
Jason Jones added 10 for SouthWest Edgecombe, which has no choice but to stay with the press, Burns said.
“We have to. We don’t have the size,” Burns said. “We have to use the entire floor.”
Nash Central 50 S.W. Edgecombe 31
Krystal Atkinson scored 11 points and added 18 rebounds to pace Nash Central past SouthWest Edgecombe on Friday.
In a game with more than 40 turnovers, the Bulldogs’ rebounding was the difference.
They outrebounded the Cougars, 58-28.
Teleyah Owens led SouthWest Edgecombe (3-11) with 14 points.
Myia Spivey added 10 points and eight rebounds for Nash Central (9-3).