Williamston gets 28 points from Everett in state playoff loss

Published 5:44 am Tuesday, February 24, 2009

By By STEVE FRANKLIN, Sports Writer
WILLIAMSTON — Williamston held West Columbus’ high-scoring offense in check for the first quarter of Monday night’s NCHSAA Class 1A opening round playoff game.
The final three quarters were a different scenario.
Despite scoring a season-high 89 points in the playoff opener, the Tigers simply couldn’t keep pace with the Vikings’ potent offense, which connected on 63 percent of its shot en route to a 94-89 triumph.
Williamston jumped out to an early 20-14 lead after one quarter of play, before West Columbus erupted for 33 points in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers kept up with the Vikings for most of the second quarter, but in the waning minutes, West Columbus went on an 8-0 run to take a 44-37 lead with 34 seconds left in the half.
With less than five ticks left on the clock, Williamston managed to narrow the gap to 44-40 on a free throw by K.J. Brown and a subsequent rebound and putback by Javon Beach.
But West Columbus managed to rush the ball up court in the final five seconds, and just as the buzzer sounded, Vikings’ guard Nathan Long buried a 20-foot three-shot that extended the lead back to seven.
Early in the third quarter, West Columbus was able to stretch the lead to 11 points, before the Tigers made a late charge. Williamston went on a 14-5 run in the final four minutes of the third, tying the game at 63-63 on a bucket by Derek Everett with 32 seconds left.
Once again though, West Columbus responded with a basket just before the buzzer as Marcus Wallers corralled an offensive rebound and buried a five-foot floater with less than two seconds left to put the Vikings back in front.
It was a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish again.
West Columbus stretched the lead back to as many as nine points late in the fourth as the Vikings got hot from the free throw line, making 19-of-24 attempts in the fourth quarter. Guard Christ Stephens set the tone at the stripe as he connected on 13-of-17 free throw attempts in the fourth, including going 9-of-12 in the final 90 seconds to seal West Columbus’ win.
The Vikings connected on 24-of-34 free throw attempts in the game, while the Tigers made good on 20-of-28 attempts.
The Vikings also dominated the glass, out-rebounding the Tigers, 47-26 on the evening.
Williamston got 28 points from Everett, 22 from Brown, 18 from Kylan Harrell and 11 from Kiyon Coffield.
Stephens led five West Columbus players in double figures with 24 points. Archie Smith added 21 points, including five three-pointers, while Truman Vareen finished with 14, Kendall Bullock had 13 and Long chipped in with 11.
West Columbus (14-10) will host Plymouth (13-7) in Wednesday’s second round action, while Williamston closes its season with a 9-16 mark.
West Columbus 94, Williamston 89
West Columbus 14 33 18 29 — 94
Williamston 20 20 23 26 — 89
West Columbus (94)
Christ Stephens 24, Archie Smith 21, Truman Vareen 14, Kendall Bulock 13, Nathan Long 11, Welley 7, Geathers 4.
Williamston (89)
Derek Everett 28, K.J. Brown 22, Kylan Harrell 18, Kiyon Coffield 11, McGhee 4, Griffin 4, Beach 2.