Washington uses size, depth to down Seahawks

Published 11:50 pm Monday, December 19, 2016

PINETOWN — Washington went on a 10-0 run early in the first quarter of its tournament-opening game with Southside. The Pam Pack never looked back in a lopsided 78-52 win over a Seahawks club that’s just beginning its campaign.

Four different players scored on the quick spurt. Jirah Woolard sparked it with a 3-pointer, and Sharwan Staton followed with one of his own. Malik Bell nailed a long 2 from the baseline. Harvey McCullough then dished it to a wide-open Thomas Edwards under the basket, who put the Pam Pack ahead, 16-4.

Southside coach Sean White called a timeout to settle his team down after it fell behind by 10 with just under three minutes left in the opening period. The Seahawks stopped the bleeding shortly after by closing the gap to five, 21-16, by the end if the first.

“The first thing I said was, ‘This looks familiar, doesn’t it?’” White said. “We were down 14-4 when I called a timeout against Lejeune (on Friday). We organized things. We made a couple of adjustments that we needed to make.”

Washington took advantage of the smaller Seahawks to extend its lead to as many as 13 in the second quarter. They were able to work the ball into the paint and get baskets in transition.

“We were able to out-rebound them and we know we can run,” Washington coach Steve Flowers said. “We’ve got a lot of speed and a lot of quickness. If we can rebound, we can get out running.”

Demetrius Ebron and Brandon Sullivan drilled triples before the end of the half to cut Southside’s deficit to 34-27.

“I told the guys at halftime that I was pleased with how they were playing defensively,” White said. Southside conceded over 90 points to Lejeune in its season opener. “Rebounding was a whole lot better than it was. In my opinion, (Washington) was a whole lot bigger team than Lejeune was.”

Marshall Medlock receives a pass, turns and immediately puts it up for a bucket.

Marshall Medlock receives a pass, turns and immediately puts it up for a bucket.

The Pam Pack once again pulled away, though. It got three easy baskets in transition to help in building a 44-29 lead after the halftime break. The Seahawks have relied on their speed early in the season, but positioning left them unable to get back on defense quick enough.

“We’ve got to get better at defending the break,” White said. “I think that was mainly because we were out of place on offense. The guys weren’t up top where they were supposed to rotate.”

Washington used its depth advantage to completely take over in the fourth. Tayevon Blackledge, Mark Halbert, Bell, Edwards and Corey all knocked down shots from long range in a 27-point fourth quarter.

“They didn’t have a lot of depth,” Flowers said. “If they get in foul trouble or start getting tired, we’re going to score. I don’t take a lot of positives away from that one because we still had a lot of turnovers and missed a lot of free throws.”

The win punches Washington’s ticket to the first-place game on Tuesday against Terra Ceia. Southside moves on to play Northside for third.