Pam Pack boys lockup playoff spot

Published 6:23 am Friday, February 15, 2008

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
Washington coach Joe Lawrence and his basketball team don’t have to wonder if they will make the playoffs anymore as the Pam Pack’s 66-44 win over West Carteret on Friday guaranteed them a spot in the NCHSAA state playoffs.
The win came on a night when Washington (11-8, 7-7) honored its seniors, and what better reward for all their hard work than a trip to the postseason.
Seniors Daquan Daniels and Cor-J Cox led the way as they helped the Pam Pack take a 15-9 lead over the Patriots in the first quarter.
The second quarter didn’t go as smoothly as the Pam Pack offense hit a lull and was out-scored 19-6 to go into halftime down 25-24.
After only scoring nine points in the second quarter, Washington’s offense came out on fire after the break to tally 26 points in the third.
Dakuan Spencer (12 points) got the ball rolling when he drove to the hoop, sliced through the Patriots’ defense and finished with a left-handed layup to put the Pam Pack up 29-27.
That hoop was the beginning of an 17-4 run that was capped off when Cox nailed a mid-range jumper to make it a 42-31 ball game.
Daniels exploded during the pivotal third quarter as he racked up 13 points on a variety of shots to tally a game-high 23 points.
Cor-J Cox finished with 15.
Center Jared Belknap paced the Patriots with 16 points and was a force in the paint all night for West Carteret.
Lawrence said the key to the Pack’s third quarter run was an adjustment the team made on defense.
Instead of having his team fight through picks, Lawrence had them switch off. The move shutdown the Patriots’ offense and opened up the Pam Pack’s.
In between the boys and girls games, Washington honored its senior girls and boys basketball players as well as its cheerleaders. Lawrence said he was proud of the way his seniors (Lee Godley, Derrick Mallison, Rodney Cogdell, Jamar Moore, Colby Modlin, Cox and Daniels) have played this season.
Next up for the Pam Pack is the Coastal Conference Tournament, the team is still waiting to learn when and where it will play.
The Pam Pack girls improve their odds
With its convincing 71-45 win over West Carteret on Thursday the Pam Pack has improved its odds of making a NCHSAA state playoff appearance and potentially upped its seeding in the Coastal Conference tournament.
Senior Samantha Smith turned in a stellar Senior Night performance as she led all scorers with 25 points in the Pack (12-11, 7-7) win.
Pam Pack coach Allison Jones said her team’s win kept them in the playoff hunt.
The Pack opened Friday night’s game by taking a 16-11 lead and seemingly got better as the game went on.
Haley Stowe (16 points), Harmony Simpkins (14 points) and freshman Beth Bachelor (10 points) each scored in double figures for the Pack, which closed out the game out-scoring the Patriots 22-8.
Jones said her team is beginning to jell.
Jones said the play and leadership of her seniors Courtney Cox, Morgan Alligood, Jessica Rogers and Smith has vital to the team’s growth.
West Carteret 9 16 12 7 — 44
Washington 15 9 26 16 — 66
Patriots (44)
Jared Belknap 16, Bryant 1, Zach Sowell 10, Wilson 8, Fox 9.
Pam Pack (66)
Cor-J Cox 15, Cogdell 8, Mallison 2, Dakuan Spencer 12, Daquan Daniels 23, Godley 4, Griffen 2.
West Carteret 11 13 13 8 — 45
Washington 16 15 18 22 — 71
Patriots (45)
Moore 6, Gray 9, Pearle 4, Brown 6, Bell 8, Billings 8, Mansfield 2, Morris 2.
Pam Pack (71)
Haley Stowe 16, Grice 3, Samantha Smith 24, Harmony Simpkins 14, Beth Bachelor 10, Cox 1.