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Perquimans ends season for Williamston

By By LAWRENCE KEECH, Staff Writer
HERTFORD -- The Williamston Tigers brought home some hardware from Friday night's 1-A sectional final game against Perquimans, but it wasn't the trophy the Tigers were hoping for.
A less than perfect game by the Tigers, two standout Perquimans players and officiating as different as night and day all contributed to Williamston's 74-44 loss to the Pirates in the NCHSAA 1-A boy's basketball playoffs, ending the Tigers season.
The Tigers got rebounds on just 13 of their 38 missed shots, with Perquimans grabbing 25 defensive boards. In contrast, the Pirates got 26 of their 49 missed shots.
In the first three meetings between the Four Rivers Conference rivals, Williamston was unable to figure out how to stop JSean Wilkins, who scored 21, 13 and 19 points, respectively. However, the Tigers seemed to have his number Friday night.
Wilkins was 0-for his first three shots and shot just 28 percent in the early going of the contest.
I didn't take long for Williamston to find other areas to focus its defensive effort. Shavoris Lewis was 4-for-4 in the first quarter and 5-for-5 in the first half for 10 points. The Tigers shifted their defense, which left Wilkins open and he drained a three pointer that gave the Pirates a 24-15 lead.
Williamston had been struggling to keep up already. The Tigers first four baskets were three pointers and they were 5-of-12 from beyond the arch in the first half.
With the attention off of him, Wilkins went to work, knocking down three more three pointers and a pair of free throws to finish with a game-leading 18 points. He also had six boards. Lewis added six more points to finish with 16.
As if rebounding problems and a pair of scoring threats weren't enough to keep Williamston rocked back on its heels, the inconsistency in officiating across the state was the proverbial nail in the coffin on Williamston's season.
The Tigers mounted a run to open the third quarter. In the first three and half minutes, Perquimans was 2-of-6 from the floor with no rebounds. Willaimston was 4-of-6 from the floor with six rebounds. The Pirates called for time and on the next play Williamston was whistled for a foul on a three-point shot. It was the first of five fouls that would send the Pirates to the line in the quarter and they took full advantage shooting 78 percent.
Williamston (11-11) landed three players on the bench in foul trouble and had one foul out. In all there were 41 shots at the line by the two teams, with Perquimans getting 25 opportunities. It was quite a contrast from only 29 free throws taken by Williamston and Topsail on Wednesday night -- excluding Topsail intentionally fouling at the end of the game, while trying to catch up.
Perquimans' 7-of-9 free throw shooting in the third quarter, combined with doubling up the Tigers' number of offensive rebounds, allowed the Pirates to push the margin to 51-37 at the end of the frame.
The Pirates were 16-of-25 from the line in the game, including 11-of-19 in the second half.
Meanwhile, Williamston shot just 32 percent from the floor in the second half.
NCHSAA Playoffs
Class 1-A sectional championship
Varsity Boys
Williamston (44)
Harris 6, Ewell, French, Coley 7, Tavarus Little 15, Leathers 3, Patterson 4, Burns 2, House, Wiggins 4, Rawls, Short 3, Shack.
Perquimans (74)
Titus Stepney 13, JSean Wilkins 18, Foreman 3, Shavoris Lewis 16, Woodard 7, meadows 4, Kee, William Perry 11, Overton, Billups, Privott, Burke, Johnson, White, Linton.
Williamston 13 6 18 7 -- 44
Perquimans 16 15 20 23 -- 74