East Carteret rains threes in rout of Southside

Published 10:50 pm Wednesday, January 28, 2015

DAVID CUCCHIARA | DAILY NEWS BEHIND THE ARCH: Guard Jacque Brown shoots a three pointer over Southside center Donshae Tatum in Wednesday’s loss to East Carteret.

BEHIND THE ARCH: Guard Jacque Brown shoots a three pointer over Southside center Donshae Tatum in Wednesday’s loss to East Carteret.

CHOCOWINITY — Even on an off night, the chances of stopping the defending 1-A state runner up and Coastal Plains Conference champion is a daunting task. On Wednesday, Southside limited turnovers and laid it all on the line, but could not stop the hot hands of the East Carteret shooters, as the Seahawks fell, 82-50.

“I knew they were going to shoot and I knew we weren’t going to play man-to-man very well with them,” said head coach Sean White. “They are definitely quick from top to bottom. We basically tried to stay in a 3-2 as much as possible, cover the perimeter. The 3-2 is supposed to be able to cut down on some of the penetration too, but when they spread out and have three guys on the perimeter on one side, what can you do?”

Whether it was from the perimeter, in the paint or in transition, East Carteret put on a show in front of an animated visiting crowd and stuck to the signature Billy Anderson kind of basketball that led them to the title game last season. Returning four of five starters from that team, the Mariners are the unrivaled favorites to win the conference and make another run in the postseason.

Spreading the floor is a term often overused in high school basketball, but it’s been the blueprint to the Mariners’ success through the last calendar year. When the talented Seahawks backcourt was drawn to the perimeter, forwards Ty Simmons and Brennan Lewis capitalized in the paint. When Southside closed inside, Simmons and Lewis kicked out to the perimeter, where the Mariners, contested or not, drained three pointers — five in the first quarter alone.

Guards Rashan Moore and Donshae Miller, coming off a memorable performance against Northside on Monday, tried to work in unison early. However, East Carteret’s lock tight pressure at half court made it difficult to run any effective plays. Southside was outscored, 26-10, in the first quarter, but managed to construct some offense through the next eight minutes.

Moore hit a pair of open looks and Miller began to find open teammates in transition, like Phillip Smith, who worked his way to the rim for two hard earned buckets. Nevertheless, the shooting continued on the other end, as Jacque Brown hit from the perimeter and Simmons shot lights out in the paint. East Carteret led comfortably, 45-25, at the half.

East Carteret coach Billy Anderson began to work his reserves into the game in the third quarter and while the onslaught of three pointers was dampened, the team’s pure speed resulted in continued production. And with astute defense, Southside was limited to just six points in the third quarter.

“We got outshot, outplayed on offense,” White said. “Defensively, we struggled a little bit, but we’ll take what we can from this and learn. Hopefully when we go to their place we’ll be able to defend a little bit better. Hopefully they’ll be off. “

With the game virtually over, former Washington guard Aaron Smith and the rest of the Southside reserves got an opportunity to play against elite competition. Smith scored five through the final eight minutes, while center Donshae Tatum finally managed to work his way to the line after an exasperating night.

Despite the loss, White sees this game as a valuable test heading into the next stretch of games.

“I don’t think a game like this hurts,” White said. “We played a spectacular game Monday night and we had a lot of practice yesterday trying to prepare for this. We have the bottom half of the conference coming up next — Bear Grass, Jones and Lejeune — so it’s a little bit of a break before we get back into the top three, the next cycle through the top three.”

Moore finished with a team-high 16 points, while Miller notched nine points and five assists. For East Carteret, Brown recorded a game-high 21 points.

With the loss, Southside drops to 10-4 (4-2 CPC) and will face Bear Grass in Williamston on Friday.