Charles City puts away K&Q
Twice in the second half, Charles City’s Panthers built double-digit leads over King & Queen’s invading Tigers only to watch the visitors pull back within one on each occasion.
But a third Panther surge proved to be the charm as the hosts pulled away in the late going and held on for a 64-56 non-district basketball triumph, raising their record to 2-0 with the Dec. 1 outcome.
“Just home-opening jitters,” Charles City first-year head coach Sharone Bailey said in attributing his team’s inability to put away the Tigers earlier in the contest.
“We missed a lot of lay-ups,” he said. “We’ve got to learn to settle down and play as a family and play as a unit. The players have to learn they’ve got to do their part and play as a team and not as individuals.”
Bailey’s Panthers scored the game’s first six points, but they found themselves trailing 9-8 early in the second quarter. The King & Queen lead, however, proved to be the Tigers’ lone foray in front for the night.
Kevin Wallace sank both ends of a bonus free throw situation and followed that with a steal and lay-in to put the Panthers up 12-9. It was a one-point Charles City lead with three minutes left before halftime when back-to-back treys launched by Wendell Jones and Trevor Jones and a Trevor Jones steal and lay-in put the hosts comfortably in front 29-20.
Two Welton Smith free throws opened the third quarter, handing Charles City its first double-digit lead at 34-24. Charles City opted for a zone defense, but the ploy backfired as the Tigers took advantage with a 9-0 run to reduce the margin to 34-33.
“I tried to give our big men some rest by going to a zone, but their shooter kept finding the spot,” Bailey said.
During the run, King & Queen’s Deonte’ Holmes scored five of his game-high 29 points to get the Tigers back in the contest.
Charles City rebuilt its 10-point spread at 46-36, but the Tigers were back within one at 49-48 with 5:35 left in the game. Michael Jefferson and Jones combined for the next two baskets to give the hosts some breathing room.
With less than three minutes to go, the Tigers had pulled within three, but Rodger Williams sank both shots in a double bonus free throw situation and, moments later, drove past Tiger center Antwon Broaddus for a lay-in and a 59-52 lead with just over a minute remaining. King & Queen never got closer than five points the rest of the way.
Trevor Jones’ 16 points, Jefferson’s 12, and Williams’ 10 led Charles City. Wallace and Wendell Jones ended with seven each followed by Vannie Spruill’s six, Smith’s four, and Cody Doan’s two.
In the JV game, Charles City made it a sweep, taking a 15-3 first quarter lead and never looking back on the way to a 43-27 win.
The victors’ Dominic Jones scored a game-high 16 points, including 11 in the opening period. Gregory Cotman finished with six followed by four each from Javon Woodley, Dominick Harris, and Dominique Williams, three apiece from Joseph Tabb and Je’von Johnson, Joshua New’s two, and Jamie Howard’s one.