Eastern Wayne split its home playoff games in the opening round of the state tournament Tuesday night as the boys held on for a 74-58 win over Western Alamance to keep their season alive.
“At this stage, all you’re trying to do is win the game and play again,” Eastern Wayne Head Coach Bill Manning said after the game when he learned his team will host Terry Sanford in the second round Thursday. “The only game that matters is the next game.”
Eastern Guilford, the 26-seed, ended the sixth-seeded Warriors girls basketball team season in a 51-42 upset. The Wildcats (14-12) will visit Rockingham County Thursday.
After the first half ended knotted at 19, Eastern Guilford started the second with an 11-1 run and never trailed again behind a 22-point effort from junior Jazmin Harris, who passed the 1,000 point mark during her 10-point fourth quarter.
“She’s a big time player,” said Wildcats coach Chuck Kirkpatrick, adding that when she plays well, it helps get others involved. “They feed off of Jaz.”
Eastern Wayne cut the deficit to three before the beginning of the fourth quarter, but then spent the next six minutes without a field goal, not scoring a basket until there was less than two minutes remaining.
Nyesha Best had 14 points for the Warriors (17-9) while Treycie Ford and Myesha Best scored 10 each.
Eastern Wayne leapt out to a 16-0 lead in the first quarter and began the second on a 9-0 run as the home Warriors scored in spurts on the way to a first round home win over Western Alamance.
Eastern Wayne (12-14) got to the charity stripe 25 times in the final quarter, hitting 13 and leaving coach Bill Manning a little frustrated, despite his team’s ability to close out.
“That was probably the biggest disappointment is we missed so many free throws,” he said.
Wesley Case, who finished with 19 points, hit 6 of 9 free throws in the final quarter to keep the game out of reach for Western Alamance (11-12), while Yeonte Royal scored 14 of his game-high 24 in the second half. Eric Agee contributed 23 points for Eastern Wayne.
Darius Pinnix led Western Alamance with 21 points while Jadyn Neal added 14.
Manning said once Eastern Wayne (12-14) spread the floor after halftime it pushed the visiting team to play man coverage from behind.
“When we spread the floor, we forced them out of their zone,” he said. “We could afford to do that because we had the lead.”