Pamlico to defend title against Mattamuskeet|Washington will face East Carteret for third

Published 11:52 am Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sports Editor

YEATESVILLE — Shane Whitfield’s 28-point performance in a 72-65 win over Washington on Monday night helped land the Pamlico Hurricanes in the championship game of the 30th annual WDN/PotashCorp Aurora Holiday Tournament. The Hurricanes will defend their title when they take on Mattamuskeet, a 58-51 winner over East Carteret, in tonight’s championship game.
“I think last year, after the championship game, if somebody would have told me we’d be back to defend the title, of course we’d say, ‘sure, we are,’” Pamlico coach Earl Sadler said. “But there’s a lot of people that didn’t believe we could do that.
“We’re a young team and we’re making a lot of young mistakes but, if you play hard enough, you can make up for those.”
The Lakers, getting 22 points from David Grays, used a 19-10 fourth quarter to pull away from the Mariners.
“We did a good job of finishing it out,” Mattamuskeet coach Melvin Blount said. “I think our guards did a good job. Davonte (Green) did a good job running the offense.”
Hurricanes 72, Pam Pack 65
The Pamlico Hurricanes (6-4), which got 21 points from Anthony McCray and 14 from Travis King, looked to be in cruise control after building a 14-point lead (50-36) after three quarters.
However, Taraja Langley, who reinjured a wrist at the end of the first half and missed considerable time, erupted for 15 of his team-high 24 points in the fourth quarter to lead a spirited comeback. The Pam Pack (5-6) got as close as three points (64-61), but the Hurricanes withstood the storm.
“We didn’t play with a lot of composure at times in the second half, but Washington has a good basketball team,” Sadler said. “They made that run and cut it to three and I called timeout and told the guys, ‘Don’t worry; that’s what good teams do.’
“That’s why we’re here — to play against good basketball teams. We didn’t play bad; we just played awkward.”
Lindsey Harris added 15 points for Washington, while Chris Albritton had 10 points and four blocks before fouling out with 1:40 to play.
“Sometimes we get down on ourselves and just can’t rise to the occasion,” Washington coach Joe Lawrence said. “We did show some life at the end but, really, we should have taken care of business way before that.”
Whitfield led Pamlico to a 34-29 halftime lead, scoring 16 of his 28 points in the first half.
The Hurricanes pushed their lead to 14 after a 16-7 third quarter.
Langley scored nine of his team’s 11 points during an 11-4 run, pulling Washington within 52-47. A layup by Harris off a steal made it 64-61, but Pamlico was able to hit some key free throws down the stretch.
Pamlico plays Mattamuskeet for the title at 7:30 p.m. Washington will take on East Carteret in the third-place game at 6 p.m.
Pamlico 15 19 16 22 — 72
Washington 14 15 7 29 — 65
Pamlico (72)
Shane Whitfield 28, Anthony McCray 21, Travis King 14, Boone 4, J. King 2, Jones 2, Best 1.
Washington (65)
Taraja Langley 24, Lindsey Harris 15, Chris Albritton 10, Tripp 8, Hodges 6, Chance 2.
Lakers 58, Mariners 51
While Grays was a force inside for the Lakers, Green was deadly from the outside, burying two huge 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to help Mattamuskeet knock off East Carteret.
“In the fourth quarter I think we finished it out,” Blount said. “I’m proud of the kids for the way they played.”
Grays scored 12 of his 22 points in the first quarter as Mattamuskeet (6-3) jumped out to a 17-11 lead.
The Mariners (3-4), led by coach Billy Anderson, used a 10-5 second quarter to pull within 22-21 at the half.
David Cahoon hit a pair of big jumpers late in the third, giving the Mariners a 41-39 advantage.
Mattamuskeet big man Saquon Cunningham, who scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half, tied things up with a layup early in the fourth. Green, who finished with 14 points, hit a driving layup to give the Lakers the lead for good at 43-41.
Green’s 3-pointers helped Mattamuskeet take a five-point lead, including 49-44 on the second of his two triples. After East Carteret post player, Chris Lewis (12 points), fouled out, Cunningham got inside again for a layup and a 55-46 lead.
Grays big-time slam made it 57-47 to put an exclamation point on the victory.
Corey Long added 12 points and Matthew Collins 10 for the Mariners.
Mattamuskeet 17 5 17 19 — 58
East Carteret 11 10 20 10 — 51
Mattamuskeet (58)
David Grays 22, Saquon Cunningham 15, Davonte Green 14, Byrd 4, Spencer 2, Macon 1.
East Carteret (51)
Chris Lewis 12, Corey Long 12, Matthew Collins 10, Godette 8, Nelson 5, Cahoon 4.