Griffin has big night for Pack in victory

Published 4:27 pm Wednesday, December 17, 2008

By By STEVE FRANKLIN, Sports Writer
Jarees Griffin scored 23 points and logged 10 rebounds and Washington held off a third quarter rally by West Craven to escape with a 57-47 win over the Eagles on Tuesday night, in a game that Pam Pack coach Joe Lawrence called a “must win.”
The Pam Pack (5-2) jumped out to a 28-16 halftime lead as Griffin and Dakuan Spencer combined for 20 first half points.
However, in the third quarter, the Eagles put together a rally and cut the Pam Pack lead to 36-34 in the final 1:15 behind five straight points from guard Erik Highsmith.
Just when it looked like momentum was beginning to shift into West Craven’s favor, Spencer came through with a clutch shot.
The junior drained a three-pointer from the top key in the final two seconds of the third to give Washington a 39-34 lead heading to the final quarter.
From there, the Pam Pack rolled as Griffin and Taraja Langley combined for 13 points in the final eight minutes to cement the Pam Pack win.
Spencer and Langley joined Griffin as the Pam Pack’s double figure scorers. Spencer finished with 14 and Langley added 12. Highsmith was the lone Eagles player in double figures with 15.
Simpkins sparks Lady Pack win
Harmony Simpkins came off the bench in the second half to score 15 points and Washington shook West Craven late, earning a 44-29 win over its Coastal Conference foe.
The win snapped a three-game losing skid for the Lady Pack (3-4).
Washington jumped out to a 8-0 lead, but after scoring just four points in the second quarter, held ajust a 16-14 lead at the intermission.
Heading to the fourth, the Lady Pack were up 24-20, before really turning up the defensive pressure.
Washington forced the Lady Eagles to turn the ball over 12 times in final quarter as they went to a trapping full court press. With Simpkins and Jordan Cantrell harrassing West Craven’s guards, the Pam Pack came up with 10 steals in the final eight minutes. Many of them led to easy layups by Simpkins, who scored 12 of her 15 points in the final quarter.
Beth Batchelor added eight points for the Lady Pack, while Davey Ann Burbage finished with seven. Washington forward TeAmber Burke led the Lady Pack with 12 boards, as they out-rebounded the Eagles 39-26.
Tacara Jones scored 15 points to lead West Craven.
Both Pam Pack squads will return to the hardwood Friday night as they play host to J.H. Rose.
West Craven 8 8 18 13 — 47
Washington 9 19 11 18 — 57
West Craven (47)
Erik Highsmith 15, R. Cox 3, Cuthbertson 5, Hardy 3, Tate 6, B. Cox 2, N. Monk 2, Banks 5, C. Monk 2, Meadows 2 and Keys 2.
Washington (57)
Jarees Griffin 23, Dakuan Spencer 14, Taraja Langley 12, Tripp 3, Horton 3, Godley 2.
West Craven 7 7 6 9 — 29
Washington 12 4 8 20 — 44
West Craven (29)
Tacara Jones 15, Jackson 7, Sheppard 2, Picknett 2, Wetherly 1 and Nicholson 2.
Washington (44)
Harmony Simpkins 15, Batchelor 8, Grice 4, Stowe 4, Cantrell 2, Burbage 7, Burke 4.