Tigers hold off Pack in OT|Williamston girls cruise to victory

Published 9:20 am Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sports Editor

WILLIAMSTON — Williamston played some bonus basketball for the second consecutive night and, for the second straight time, came out with an overtime win.
After watching Washington storm back from a 15-point deficit to force overtime, and seeing the Pam Pack score the first three points in the extra session, the Tigers used an 11-0 blitz to capture an 87-83 victory Wednesday evening.
“Between the end of the fourth quarter and overtime, what we talked about, after being down on ourselves for giving up that big lead, was that it was still a tie ball game,” Williamston first-year coach Bobby Williams said. “It was going to come down to who was going to go hardest in the next four minutes (of overtime).
“We hit our free throws (6 of 8) in overtime and we hit our free throws most of the night. I thought that was huge early to help build the lead.”
K.J. Brown paced six Tigers (3-1) in double figures with 19 points. Kiyon Coffield added 15 points, while Keanan Bond had 13, Demonte James 11, Devonte Speller 10 and Laquan Speller 10.
Chris Albritton led the Pam Pack (3-3, 1-0 Coastal Conference) with 23 points. Taraja Langley had 19, while Brandon Tripp and Ridge Hodges netted 17 apiece.
It was a career-high for Hodges, who missed overtime after fouling out in regulation.
Washington coach Joe Lawrence was proud that his team, which notched a conference win at West Craven a night earlier, was able to battle back.
“Some teams would have gave up, but we fought back,” Lawrence said. “That showed the fight in them.”
Williamston raced out to a 7-0 lead and led 19-11 after the first quarter. Brown scored nine of his points in the opening quarter.
A fadeaway jumper by Coffield gave the Tigers a 21-11 lead early in the second before Washington rallied. A layup by Hodges pulled the Pack within 33-27 at the half.
Another Hodges layup made it 45-41 in the third, but the Tigers used a 14-4 run to end the quarter, building a 59-45 lead thanks to consecutive three-points plays by Laquan Speller and James.
Washington turned up the intensity late in the fourth, causing a number of turnovers which led to easy baskets. The Pack outscored the Tigers 14-5 in the final couple minutes to force overtime. A basket by Tripp with 23 seconds to play gave Washington a 74-73 lead, its first of the game. Devote Speller’s driving layup 10 seconds later gave Williamston a 75-74 lead.
Keane Graham hit one of two free throws with six seconds left to knot the game.
Coffield had a chance to win it, but his shot from the wing at the buzzer was off the mark.
Albritton’s three-point play gave Washington a 78-75 lead to start overtime. However, Brown hit a bucket and then two free throws to give Williamston the lead for good at 79-78, and ignite the 11-0 spurt.
Lawrence believes his team can learn from the loss.
“If we can get those little things taken care of, the pump fakes and the bounce passes and missing seven or eight layups, I think we can be a competitive basketball team,” Lawrence said. “Our chemistry is kind of coming together.”
Washington plays host to Jacksonville in conference action Friday.
Williamston opens Four Rivers Conference play at home Friday.
Williamston girls roll
Williamston raced out to a 19-0 lead, getting eight points from Katie Paschal, en route to a 64-37 win over Washington in girls action.
Paschal, who finished with 28 points, had as many points as the Pack (1-5, 0-1 Coastal Conference) at the end of the third quarter. Paschal didn’t play in the fourth.
“We played great defense tonight,” Williamston coach Hughes Barber said. “Our defensive intensity early really led to most of our first-half points.”
Williamston (4-0) led 39-10 at the half and 59-18 after three as Washington never threatened.
Kristen Williams paced the Pack with seven points.
“We were just satisfied with the win (Tuesday) night (over West Craven), but we came here focused and not ready to play,” Washington coach Allison Jones said. “I think Kristen Williams played hard.”
Hayley Stowe, who sat the bench for the final 12 minutes after twisting an ankle in the third quarter, and Shaquana Rascoe had six points apiece.
Lakkeya Morris finished with 13 points for the Tigers, while Cassie Harrell had eight points, 10 rebounds and six blocks.
Pack JV boys win
The Washington JV boys, getting 25 points from Trey Harris, won 67-63 in overtime.