Yes we can: Raiders earn historic sweep

Published 10:34 pm Saturday, January 17, 2009

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
BELHAVEN — On Friday Pungo proved it would be pushovers no longer as it swept Tarheel Independent rival Terra Ceia on Friday for the first time in over a decade.
The last time the Raiders took two from the Knights Bill Clinton held court in the Oval Office, but last night Pungo adopted the motto of President Elect Barack Obama and headed into Belhaven with a “Yes we can” attitude as the boys won 54-52 and the girls took a 53-46 victory.
Two late three pointers by Terra Ceia’s Jacob Latham threatened to turn the “Yes we can” into “not again” as the second Howell trey trimmed the Raiders’ fourth quarter lead to 53-52 with 27 seconds left on the clock.
Pungo (2-12) refused to lose its grip on the game and provided some staunch defensive stands to hold off the Knights (2-15).
Raiders’ first-year coach Jason Blanton said he was thrilled his team could leave Belhaven with a win.
Chris Smith was a key factor in that strong finish as he exploded for tallied five fourth-quarter points.
It didn’t hurt to get off to a fast start either. Pungo’s Joseph Braddy netted seven first quarter points en rout to a game-high 18. Teammate Zack Credle didn’t heat up until the second quarter, but scored seven in a decisive third quarter in which the Raiders out-scored the Knights 16-7. Credle finished the game with 14.
Davenport finished with eight points, while John Lilley led the 12 points and Blake Butcher added 11.
Raiders balance beats Knights
Pungo’s historical sweep over Terra Ceia would not have been possible if the girls’ team did not set the tone with a 53-46 victory.
The Raiders’ exhibited excellent balance on offense and discipline on defense which allowed them to expand a three point fourth-quarter lead into a seven point win.
Tess Smithwick was unstoppable in late in the game as she used her size and quickness to tally six points in the final eight minutes to keep the Knights at bay.
Smithwick (10 points) was one of four Raiders to finish in double digits. Jordan Dunbar scored a team-high 12 points, while Brinkley Johnson and Jodi Rose each added 10.
Rose and Dunbar came up clutch in the third quarter where they helped Pungo go on a 14-9 run.
It’s been two years since the Lady Raiders (11-3) were able to dethrone the Knights and on Friday Pungo coach Melanie Sawyer was happy to be on the winning side of the rivalry again.
Jillian Van Essendelft did her best to deprive the Raiders from victory as she poured in seven fourth-quarter points, but the rest of the team could only muster two in the final eight minutes.
Catherine Smith had a big third quarter as she tallied seven points, and finished with a game-high 15 points.
Mariah and Jillian Van Essendelft added 11 points each for the Knights (6-7).
Both teams will be back in action on Monday, as the Knights host Bethel and the Raiders hit the road to play Albemarle,
Pungo 12 11 16 15 — 54
Terra Ceia 11 15 7 19 — 52
Raiders (54)
Joeseph Braddy 18, Zack Credle 17, Mann 4, Armstrong 7, Smith 7.
Knights (52)
Davenport 8, Blake Butcher 11, John Lilley 12, Howell 8, Boerema 5, Van Essendelft 2, Latham 6.
Pungo 12 14 14 13 — 53
Terra Ceia 14 14 9 9 — 46
Raiders (53)
Jodi Rose 12, Tess Smithwick 10, Brinkley Johnson 10, Jordan Dunbar 10, Kim Clayton 6, Mizell 3.
Knights (46)
Mariah Van Essendelft 12, Jillian Van Essendelft 11, Jackson 9, Catherine Smith 15.