Neither school had held a basketball practice in over a week when Knightdale visited county rival East Wake on Thursday night.
Apparently the visiting Knights were better at weathering the storm.
Rikkai Ferguson’s 11 points led three players in double figures as Knightdale won the girls’ game 52-33, claiming just their third win in the schools’ last 21 meetings.
And in boys’ action sophomore Shayne Saigo poured in a career-high 26 points as the Knights held off the scrappy Warriors 63-52.
The games had been postponed from Tuesday because of the winter storm.
The return matches are Feb. 7 in Knightdale.
Melody Pritchard and Akira Wiggins each added 10 points as Knightdale improved to 10-4, 4-1 in Greater Neuse River Conference action. Zee Bowens had 13 rebounds to go with her six points.
The Knights took a 10-6 lead after the first quarter and never looked back.
“We’ve still got a long ways to go,” Knightdale coach Trent Bunn said. “But I thought we were good after not practicing for so long. Zee was really good around the rim tonight. All the girls just executed really well tonight. We want to be one of the top teams in the state, and East Wake is one of the teams we have to go through to get there.”
Knightdale’s biggest lead was 41-20 on a Paris Spivey layup with 2:24 left in the third quarter.
“I think we just got tired of losing to East,” Ferguson said. “We wanted to come out with a bang and show them what we had. Our team has really good chemistry and a competitive mindset right now.”
East Wake fell to 10-4 and 3-2. Tamira Knuckles led the Warriors with 13 points while Mikieja Covington chipped in 10.
“I thought we played fine in the first half,” East coach Toni Dupree said. “We just didn’t execute our offense all the way through the game. We still need to work on taking care of the basketball. And boxing out on defense.”
Tristian Davis had a double-double with 11 points and 10 assists for the Knights, who broke a three-game losing streak in improving to 6-7 and 3-2.
“We did a much better job on defense in the second half,” said Knightdale coach Anthony Byrd. “We put two halves together offensively tonight, and we haven’t been able to do that in a lot of games. It was a good rivalry win on the road against an East Wake team that played hard.”
Knightdale trailed 12-9 after the first period, but scored the first nine points of the second period to take the lead for good. East (3-11, 1-4) trailed only 37-34 following a Stephen Johnson free throw with 2:10 left in the third, but the Knights hit eight of 11 free throws in the fourth to seal the deal.
“I think our lack of experience kind of crept up,” East coach Gerald Melton said. “We made several turnovers that gave them and-ones. I was glad we didn’t quit. The effort was there. But they got a lot of second-chance points that really hurt us.”
Saigo scored 13 points in the fourth quarter.
“My teammates found me for a lot of open looks,” Saigo said. “I thought our team showed a lot of chemistry tonight.”