East Wake was just too talented to allow Clayton to compete.
Tamira Knuckles poured in a career-high 24 points as the Warriors ripped the improving Comets 76-36 on Tuesday night in the Greater Neuse River 4A girls’ basketball conference opener for both teams.
The win improved Toni Dupree’s Warriors to 6-1 overall, while Clayton fell to 2-4.
Clayton scored the game’s first five points, but the Warriors went on a 12-0 run and were never again threatened.
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The Warriors led 41-22 at halftime.
Cincinnati-bound senior post Angel Rizor added 14 points for East Wake, while Maiya McCoy and Dahja Williams chipped in 10 each.
“I liked how we made adjustments against the defense,” Dupree said. “We had several other players step up tonight. I’ll be expecting to see that defense again.”
They said it
“We had a good game plan to go a little triangle-and-two,” Clayton coach Marlon Lee said. “We wanted to throw them off. But we had to block out and we had to rebound, and then we had to take care of the ball. We had too many turnovers. They have a lot of seniors and a Division I prospect.”
After Clayton took a 5-0 lead, East scored the next 12 points – five from Knuckles and four from Mikieja Covington – and led the rest of the way.
Three who mattered
Tamira Knuckles, East Wake: The junior forward had a career-high 24 points with a game-high seven rebounds.
“I thought I played pretty good, but I missed a lot of layups,” Knuckles said. “We’re all playing as a team and working hard, and that’s what we need to do to win.”
Angel Rizor, East Wake: The senior center had 14 points with five rebounds and three steals.
“We started off slow but we got better toward the end,” Rizor said. “Those defenses don’t bother me. I just need to be more aggressive and take care of the ball better.”
Au’shonna Langley, Clayton: The senior guard led the Comets with 13 points.
By the numbers
7: Rebounds by Knuckles.
10: Points by East Wake’s Maiya McCoy and Dahja Williams.
13: Points by Langley.
14: Points by Rizor.
24: Points by Knuckles.
40: East Wake’s largest lead.
East Wake hosts Garner on Friday night.
The Comets’ next game is Wednesday against visiting Harnett Central. The next home game is against Garner on Dec. 17.