WILSON – Rocky Mount High is used to dribbling out the clock. Just not like it did Friday.
In a matchup of the Big East Conference’s two heavyweights, the Gryphons were humiliated by Wilson Hunt, 86-58, at Hunt High School.
Five players scored in double digits for Hunt, which overwhelmed Rocky Mount with defensive pressure. The Gryphons struggled to advance past half court for much of the night.
“We want to dribble instead of pass over (the press),” Rocky Mount coach Mike Gainey said. “We’re not looking to go to the center. We’re looking to dribble, dribble, dribble. That has been Rocky Mount’s Achilles Heel for the past couple years.”
Hunt (10-3, 2-0), on the other hand, rarely settled for a shot it didn’t like.
The Warriors scored 25 points in the second quarter but led by only nine at halftime thanks to six Rocky Mount three-pointers in the first half. There was no such kickback in the third quarter from the Gryphons (8-4, 1-1), who allowed 31 points as the Warriors seemingly did whatever they wanted.
Dante Battle scored 20 points to lead the Gryphons, who still haven’t found a rhythm, Gainey said.
“We still haven’t been on a constant schedule. We have too many breaks in our schedule,” Gainey said. “But that doesn’t make an excuse for how we played (Friday).”
Rocky Mount High 55, Wilson Hunt 51
Carmen Richardson pumped her fist as the buzzer sounded, and the Gryphons celebrated with her: Another tough win on the road.
Hunt made back-to-back threes late in the game, the second coming with 1:01 remaining, to tie the game at 51, but the Warriors inexplicably fouled Richardson on the next possession, and she made the two resulting free throws.
“We had a good trap, and they broke it. Then, we went to man, but it was not the time to foul,” Hunt coach Wayne Hardy said. “So that really hurt us.”
The Warriors (6-6, 0-2) had two chances inside of six feet on the next possession but could not score.
Richardson scored 21, and Takeyra Thomas added 12, all coming from fast breaks. Rocky Mount (8-4, 2-0) forced 24 turnovers with a tough man-to-man defense.
“Personally, I like man-to-man defense better,” Thomas said. “I like man better because it gives me more chances to stop the ball and do the things I can do.”
Wilson Hunt 86
Rocky Mount High 58
RMH 15 19 17 9 – 58
WH 16 25 31 14 – 86
RMH: Dante Battle (20 points); Isaiah Alston (15 points); Immanuel King (9 points); Brod Caudle (8 points); Kenaz Cooper (3 points); Jaquell Bryant (2 points); Thomas Cooper (1 point).
WH: Keenan Tabron (20 points); Quan Kent (19 points); Justin Jefferson (16 points); Josh Willingham (12 points); Jaylen Gilliam (11 points); Ra’Shod Shipman (6 points); Justen Williams (2 points)
Rocky Mount High 55
Wilson Hunt 51
RMH 12 15 12 16 – 55
WH 15 13 9 14 – 51
RMH: Carmen Richardson (21 points); Takeyra Thomas (12 points); Tamara Harper (9 points); Michelle Gainey (5 points); Keyanna Spivey (4 points); Ashley Hatfield (2 points); Tiara Hinton (2 points)
WH: Alexus Williams (17 points); Dani Harris (15 points); Briquanna Anderson (6 points); Kayla Batts (5 points); Kianna Ballard (3 points); Nakeisha Jones (3 points); Destinee Hinnant (2 points)
Nick Piotrowicz can be reached at 407-9952 or npiotrowicz@ rmtelegram.com