One win was easy, and one was really tough.
But Wakefield got the sweep it wanted Friday night, winning twice over Sanderson in Cap-8 4A Conference basketball on the Wolverines’ court.
Tyler Wilson and Trae Smith combined for 47 points, leading Wakefield to a 75-70 overtime win in the boys’ game.
The victory, which ended a three-game losing streak, improved Wakefield to 9-8 overall and 2-5 in conference play. Sanderson, which had won the teams’ first meeting of the season 63-53 at home on Dec. 9, dropped to 8-9 and 3-4.
Never miss a local story.
In girls’ play, Jada Peebles poured in 23 points to lead the Wolverines to an easy win and a sweep of the season series. Wakefield took the lead from the outset and won 65-24 in a contest that finished with a running clock.
Wakefield’s boys trailed almost the whole way before rallying late and dominating the overtime period.
“The first time we played them their press just killed us, and we did a much better job tonight,” said Garrett Stevens, who is in his first season as the Wolverines’ mentor. “We’ve had some of our best practices of the year this week. I think that helped us play well in those extra four minutes.”
The Wolverine girls improved to 8-7, 4-3 in conference play with their sixth straight win in the series. Sanderson (3-13, 0-7), which won only one game last season, has lost four straight games.
“We didn’t play very well at Sanderson, and we talked about jumping out early,” Wakefield girls’ coach Art Wollett said. “That’s why we started in a full-court man-to-man press. We wanted to create some turnovers and get layups. Their girls play hard.”
Wakefield’s next games are on Tuesday night at Enloe.
Sanderson’s next games are at home on Tuesday night against Heritage, the first of four home conference dates in eight days.
Peris Pavlinac added 13 points and Gabby Donaldson 10 for the Wolverines, whose top three scorers were sophomores.
Wakefield, which won the first meeting 48-31 at Sanderson on Dec. 9, scored the first 13 points of the game and never looked back.
“We’re playing hard and working hard,” the Spartans’ first-year head coach Delano Tavares said. “But that wasn’t our best effort. Sometimes if we get off to a slow start it gets to us. Wakefield hit everything early in the game and we got down. This is the best conference around, and you have to come ready every day.”
The Wolverines led 41-6 at halftime behind 17 points from Peebles, the daughter of N.C. State football and sprint great Danny Peebles.
“We played good defense,” said Jada Peebles, who is already committed to play for the Wolfpack in three years. “We wanted to turn up the defense and shut them down a little bit. That was a lot better defense than the first time we played them.”
The game was played with a running clock after Pavlinac’s layup with 57 seconds left in the third made it 55-14.
Lauren Plakke had seven points to pace the Spartans, while Faith Hoover had four points and led her team with seven rebounds.
“The first half set us back a little bit,” said the senior Hoover, one of a set of triplets on the team along with her sisters Hannah and Emily. “If we had played as well in the second half as we did in the first it would have been a different game.”
Wakefield had lost three straight in the series, and for most of the game it looked ready to lose the fourth.
But 10-for-26 free-throw shooting proved to be Sanderson’s downfall.
“You’re not going to win many games with numbers like that,” veteran Spartans coach Mike Shaw said. “We gambled a little bit in overtime and got behind. I like that we keep getting better. We’ve got a tough week next week. And in this conference any team can beat anybody on any given night.”
Trent Dunn, who led the Spartans with 24 points, had Sanderson’s first seven points. That gave the visitors a lead that eventually stretched to seven on five occasions.
But the Wolverines clawed their way back, finally going up 50-49 on Joe Ortiz’s 3-pointer with 6:57 to go.
After going into overtime tied at 61-61, the hosts began the extra period with a 10-5 run. Sanderson then had the ball once with a chance to tie, but with the Wolverines up 71-68 Wilson’s jumper with 15 seconds left stretched the lead to five.
“I thought we played really good defense,” Wilson said. “Joe (Ortiz) gave us some really good minutes on (Azel) Greenwade. We did a good job on their guards and were able to slow them down.”
Sanderson had four players in double figures, as Azel Greenwade and Jacob Feinstein added 11 each and Cameron Russ 10.
“We did some good things,” Russ said. “We just have to eliminate the bad things. We’re a better team than we showed tonight. They got a lot of rebounds and second-chance points and we can’t allow that to happen.”