Pack clashes with KnightsPublished 8:12pm Wednesday, December 12, 2012
WILLIAMSTON — Washington coach Steve Flowers demanded toughness from his players and they responded as the Pam Pack came up with key fourth-quarter stops to top a feisty Riverside team 61-54 on Tuesday.
In the two teams’ first meeting of the year the Pam Pack needed an extra session before edging out the Knights 72-70. On Tuesday, it looked like it was going to be déjà vu all over again as Washington clung to a 44-43 lead heading into the fourth.
However, Pack guard D.J. Bell tallied seven points in the final eight minutes and Washington outscored Riverside 17-11 to avoid overtime.
“(Riverside) is a tough matchup for us. We have to play hard and smart. We did some things that were not so smart, but the key word all week was toughness and I thought we showed toughness down the stretch,” Flowers said.
Washington (4-1) was led by James Austin who scored a game-high 19 points but struggled to keep his emotions in check and flirted with being called for a technical on several occasions.
“Sometimes he lets his emotions get ahold of him and we have to get him out. That’s one of the things we did tonight that was just not smart,” Flowers said.
Early on it was the Knights (3-4) that showed toughness as they fell behind 24-12 after the first but bounced back to go on a 17-6 run in the second to cut the Pack’s lead to 30-29 at the break.
“We had a good comeback in the second quarter We could have given up in the second,” Riverside coach Bobby Williams said. “I think sometimes if you battle back from a big deficit and you get back in it and fall behind again it’s hard to get over that hump.”
Junior forward Daniel Everett led the Knights with 13, while Mario Moore added 11.
The Knights took a brief lead in the fourth but Washington quickly recovered to gain the advantage again.
Last year Riverside looked to 6-8 center Marcus Freeman when the game was on the line, but with the graduation of Freeman, Williams is looking to see which of his players on his current roster will step up to fill his void.
“We have to grow up and find a leader. Right now we don’t have a leader,” Williams said. “It was a tight situation at the end of the game and our leaders are in the corners waiting for someone else to make a play. We have to have somebody step up and make a play.”
The Knights will look to rebound on Saturday when they host East Carteret, while the Pam Pack will be back on the hardwood Friday night at Jacksonville.
Knights 61, Pam Pack 42
A suffocating press by Riverside took the wind out of Washington early as the Knights ran past the Pam Pack 61-42 on Tuesday.
Riverside pressed from the opening tip-off and hampered Washington’s backcourt for four quarters as it improved to 6-0 on the season.
After rolling past the Pam Pack in the team’s first meeting of the year a little over a week ago, Knights’ first-year coach Kirby Maness stressed the importance of not looking over Washington in the rematch.
“One of the big things we talked about was not having a mental letdown. Since (Washington) played us they have played a lot of teams tough,” Maness said. “(Sheema) Blount is a heck-of-a player and we wanted to limit her as best as we could.”
Riverside was able to do that for the better part of three quarters it held the Pack junior to six points heading into the fourth quarter where she scored another six points to finish with a team-high 12 points.
The Knights were led by forward D’asya Wilson who tallied a game-high 16, while Dasia Moore scored 11and Jayln Brown added 10.
It was on a Wilson basket two minutes into the game that Riverside took an 11-4 lead. That lead would grow to 22-9 midway through the second quarter when Dabrieka Burnett scored on a fastbreak basket.
Washington would cut the deficit to 35-23 by halftime but could never overcome the Knights or their press.
“We worked on it for a couple of days but Riverside does a great job with their pressure,” Washington coach Allison Jones said. “At times we would break it and get decent looks at the basket and then the next few times we just didn’t execute the press break that we put in. We just lacked some consistency in trying to break that press and I think that hurt us tonight.”
Washington will look to bounce back on Friday when it plays its Coastal Conference opener on the road against Jacksonville, while Riverisde will be at home Saturday against Northampton.
Washington 8 16 6 13 — 42
Riverside 16 19 11 15 — 61
Pam Pack (42)
Shaneen Midgette 9, Jefferson 6, Blount 12, Copeland 3, Midgette 2, Boston 3, Walker 4, Alligood 2.
D’asya Wilson 16, Dasia Moore 11, Burnett 7, Cooper 1, Jalyn Brown 10, Slade 4, Rodgers 9, Gaddy 4, Alexander 3.
Washington 24 6 13 17 — 61
Riverside 12 17 15 11 — 54
Pam Pack (61)
James Austin 19, Stephon Moore 10, Bell 9, Copleand 8, Green 9, Burke 7.
Rodgers 2, Bethea 7, Parker 2, Mills 6, Daniel Everette 13, Whitehurst 8, Brown 2, Mario Moore 11, Byrd 2.