By Caryn Grant
RALEIGH After falling to Enloe a week ago, Knightdale coach Battle Watkins wanted his team to grow as it prepared for a rematch with the Eagles.
The Knights did just that, using lessons learned Friday to walk away with a 76-59 win in nonconference play.
A week prior, the Knights were on the opposite end of a 77-74 loss to Enloe (4-2) at Knightdale.
“They came to our place and shot 70 percent in the second half and burned up the nets, and we played very poor defense,” said Knightdale coach Battle Watkins of the Nov. 30 game. “(Tonight) we were committed to forcing them to take more difficult shots. ... Of course it helps when you shoot the ball well on the other end too.”
Both teams came out firing from long range, trading 3-pointers in the opening minutes of what looked to be the makings of a shootout.
The Knights were able to grab a 18-14 lead in a back-and-forth first quarter and eventually widening the the margin to 13 in the second half.
Enloe junior Pervis Louder looked to keep his team in contention, scoring his team’s first eight points of the fourth quarter, but each time the Eagles looked to sway the momentum, sophomore Ronshad Allen-Shabazz or junior Kaelon Weldon was there to silence the crowd and extend the Knightdale (5-2) lead.
“They made shots and we didn’t,” said Enloe coach Tommy Moore. “A lot the credit goes to them. They gave us very few shots.”
Ten Knightdale players made a mark in the scorebook, led by Allen-Shabazz, who scored a game-high 22 points, and Weldon with 17.
Dominique Lee led the Eagles with 15 points, and Louder added 14. The week before, Lee and Louder combined for 49 points at Knightdale.
Watkins was pleased to see his team stick to and execute the game plan, coming away with a convincing win in the rematch.
“You study a loss and you learn from your mistakes, so I’m really proud of the fact that our guys learned and were able to make the necessary changes,” Watkins said.