High School Sports

Smithfield-Selma jumps out, cruises to road victory over West Johnston

Smithfield-Selma’s Isaiah Watson (23) shoots over the top of West Johnston’s Wade Eatmon (20).
Smithfield-Selma’s Isaiah Watson (23) shoots over the top of West Johnston’s Wade Eatmon (20). newsobserver.com

The Smithfield-Selma boys basketball team put together a solid opening quarter of play to get into the driver’s seat as they squared off against West Johnston last Monday night.

The Spartans were able to take a double-digit lead after the first quarter and cruise to a 79-60 win over the Wildcats.

Raequan Smith and Rashad Potts led the Spartans’ offense initially but it was Smithfield-Selma’s advantage on the boards that allowed the visitors from the Two River 3A Conference to stretch their lead.

“Defensively, we forced them to take a lot of the shots that we wanted them to take but we just didn’t clean them up,” West Johnston coach Scotty Williams said. “You’ve got to give Smithfield-Selma credit because they really went to the boards tonight. I think that’s where the real difference in the game was.”

Marquise Longmire collected eight rebounds while Josh Raiford amassed half a dozen rebounds despite each being in foul trouble early on.

Ten different players scored for the Spartans (7-4), who will now focus much of the rest of their attention towards the Two Rivers Conference regular season.

“It’s still early and I like where we are right now,” said Smithfield-Selma coach Matthew Cuddington. “ If we can get some people to step up off the bench to give us points and play good, solid defense…who knows? We might do pretty well in conference.”

Turning point

The first quarter: although the Spartans were firing on all cylinders to end the opening period with 22 points, West Johnston created more than its fair share of opportunities to stay close as they marched to free throw lane 14 times. However, the Wildcats (0-8) converted just five of those shots and feel behind by 15 points at the end of the quarter.

Three who mattered

Raequan Smith, Smithfield-Selma: Smith hit his first shot of the night and remained in the zone en route to a 19-point performance to lead all scorers.

Adam Steen, West Johnston: Steen led the Wildcats with 14 points and also brought down six rebounds.

Malik Frazier, Smithfield-Selma: The senior point guard pitched in with 13 points but was also a disruptive force on the other side of the court for the Spartans.

They said it

“Defensively, we can be a whole lot better than we were tonight,” said Cuddington. “Tomorrow is going to be a defensive-focused practice. We gave up way too many easy baskets. When we pressed we didn’t have the right rotations.”

Unsung Hero

Rashad Potts, Smithfield-Selma: With teammates Marquise Longmire and Josh Raiford in early foul trouble, Potts came off the bench with some much-needed instant offense. Potts scored all 12 of his points in the first half to help the Spartans build a 45-30 halftime lead.

By the Numbers

20: Missed West Johnston foul shots.

5: West Johnston players with at least eight points.

10: Points scored by West Johnston’s Brandon Chesnutt.

4: Players in double digits for Smithfield-Selma.

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