By LAWRENCE KEECH
CHOCOWINITY -- Williamston coach Steve Gilmore was expecting a tough challenge from top-seeded Perquimans, but the Pirates weren't playing much like a No. 1 seed when they stepped on the court at Southside High School Wednesday night for the second round of the Four Rivers Conference Tournament.
Stepney didn't mention anything about taking good shots -- a fact that might have gone overlooked since the Pirates (21-3) trailed only once, that being on the first basket of the game.
Perquimans shot just 31 percent for the game, missing 49 of its 71 shots. And despite Stepney's speech, the Pirates didn't get much better on their second-half rebounding -- hauling in 23 in the second half after getting 21 in the first.
Perquimans also made more turnovers in the fourth quarter than the rest of the game combined, but by that point, the Pirates were up 18 and were in little danger of seeing Williamston (9-10) make a comeback.
Williamston was not that lucky.
The Tigers had only a slightly higher shooting percentage (38.7) than Perquimans and went 21 and half minutes without an offensive rebound.
Of the 30 shots missed by Williamston, the Tigers got only 11 offensive rebounds -- nine the first quarter and two in the final 2:30 of the game.
Gilmore said he wasn't surprised by the lack of boards.
Williamston trailed by 10 early after a 7-0 and 5-0 run by the Pirates, but cut it to 30-24 at the break.
Stepney wasn't happy with that margin.
Jashawn Wilkins turned in seven of his 14 points in the third quarter to help boost the Pirates' lead to 14 (47-33), which proved to be too much for Williamston to overcome.
Wilkins scored all of his points in the second half, while teammate Shavoris Lewis added six of his 15. Lewis lead all scorers. Terrel Woodard also hit double figures for the Pirates with 13 points, and got a double-double with his 11 rebounds.
Darius Coley paced Williamston with 10 points.
If Southside's boy's basketball team loses tonight against Plymouth, Williamston and Southside will play Friday at 4:30 p.m. at Southside High School to determine the tie-breaker between the two teams for the third playoff seed. If Southside wins, it garners the spot out right.
Darius Coley 10, Little 4, Leathers 2, Harris 5, Short 4, Shack 5, Patterson 8, House 4, Wiggins 4, Bryant, French, Ewell 3, Coffield, Goss, Thomas.
Shavoris Lewis 15, Stepney 9, Terrel Woodard 13, Perry 2, Jashawn Wilkins 14, Foreman 5, Key 2, Billups 1, Meadows, Overton 2, Johnson 3, Linton, Privott, White.
Williamston 10 14 9 16 -- 49
Perquimans 12 18 17 20 -- 67