Saints' varsity boys drop season opener

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DUDLEY - Pay attention to the little things.

Play with energy and intensity.

Opposing coaches Dwight Smith of Southern Wayne and David Elmore of Charles B. Aycock offered those nuggets of wisdom after their varsity boys’ basketball clash Friday evening.

Fourth-quarter turnovers, lack of boxing out and 13 missed free throws proved costly for the Saints in a season-opening, 46-38 loss to the Golden Falcons.

“For the first night in our [new] gym, we did OK,” Smith said. “I can’t take anything away from those guys [at Aycock], they out-hustled us, got rebounds, second shots and they finished at the free throw line.”

Aycock held a two-possession lead at halftime and kept that advantage throughout the second half.

When Southern Wayne threatened to make a late fourth-quarter run, Elmore employed the pressure defense - not necessarily to cause turnovers, but to “wake up” his own team.

“I made a little adjustment…thought if they’re going to lack intensity on defense the only way I can pick it up is to go against what we really don’t like to do - full-court pressure on teams,” Elmore said.

“I felt like that was a way to get them energized, get the intensity up and it ended up working for us.”

The Golden Falcons (1-1 overall, 1-1 ECC) coerced the Saints into consecutive turnovers and converted both miscues into transition buckets. A four-point lead suddenly swelled into an eight-point cushion with just under two minutes left in regulation.

Forced to foul, Southern Wayne (0-1, 0-1) watched hopelessly as its county rival became the first visiting team to emerge victorious in the Saints’ new, $6 million home.

Trevor Reid (10 points) and Malijah Dixon combined to drain five of six free throws in the closing seconds and sealed Aycock’s ninth win in the series since 2006. The Saints lead 21-9.

Ashton Peronzini paced CBA with 12 points.

Tyrek Faison knocked down a game-high 14 for the Saints, who entertain Eastern Wayne on Tuesday. Tip-off is immediately after the JV boys’ game, which starts at 3:30 p.m.

Southern Wayne’s varsity girls are in quarantine until Jan. 13 due to a positive COVID-19 test.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Additional pictures from the game can be found on the Mount Olive Tribune Facebook page.

FRIDAY'S BOX

Southern Wayne (0-1, 0-1)

Chris Carmon 2, Naydavion Pemberton 6, Jabri Pearsall 5, Paul Francis 5, Don Boseman 2, Tyrek Faison 14.

C.B. Aycock (1-1, 1-1)

Ashton Peronzini 12, Kamran Prince 8, Jaidyne Dunn 3, Conner Batts 2, Trevor Reid 10, Malijah Dixon 8.

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