Rams hang 90, sweep Pam Pack

Published 11:20 pm Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Improvement is the name of the game for a Washington team that has lost six of its first seven games to open the season. After losing 68-29 in Snow Hill on Nov. 22, the Pam Pack was looking to perform better at home against a formidable Greene Central squad.

It lost, 90-64, but found some positive takeaways. Washington’s offensive effort was the most points conceded by the undefeated Rams.

“Washington put up the most points we’ve given up all year with good shooting,” Greene Central coach Charles Harris said. “We’ve got to do a better job to contest those shots, but those gentlemen take it one game at a time.”

Washington coach Steve Flowers said, “I told the guys that I think that’s the best team we’re going to see all year. … I thought we put up a fight. We did score the ball a little better, and we also cut down on turnovers than what we had last time over there.”

Washington came out ready for a battle. The game was chippy early on. Sharwan Staton drilled a shot from behind the arc to give the Pam Pack a 3-2 lead, which was its only advantage of the evening. Harvey McCullough’s mid-range jumper tied it at 5-5 early on, but the potent Rams offense exploded on an 18-0 run after.

Imajae Dodd, a 6-foot-7 Rams forward, worked the Pam Pack down low. Meanwhile, Rajlyk Elbert and Torrence Clark were able to knock down shots from the perimeter to add fuel to the fire.

“They start going down to eight, nine, 10 deep on their bench and they’re still bigger than my starters,” Flowers said. “They’re just big.”

Much like the last meeting, that size differential made all the difference. Washington played a stay-at-home defense for much of the first half, preventing Greene Central from getting the dunks it used to dominate last time.

That fell apart once Washington consulted its bench. Once the starters were out, Dodd was able to throw down a trio of thunderous dunks late in the second. It helped push Greene Central’s lead to 53-24 at halftime.

“That’s out inexperience. When you start going to the bench, you’ve got guys that have never been out there and never seen that,” Flowers said. “They didn’t know what to do, so you’ve got to go with starters for longer. They get tired, and it’s more dunking.

Washington nailed 11 3-pointers for its best offensive performance of the season. While the team has been finding its groove from beyond the arc, it needs to round things out.

“The last few games, we’ve hit them fairly well, but we’ve got to find something else,” Flowers said. “We can’t just life and die by 3s.”