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Atkinson’s assists lead BCC to victory over Lenoir

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By Lamar T. Stephens

  After splitting two games against top-10 teams at the Panhandle Shootout in Marianna, Fla., the Brunswick Community College men’s basketball team returned home to face Lenoir Community College Dec. 8. Sophomore guard Devon Atkinson scored 13 points and had 12 assists as BCC rallied to beat LCC 94-84 and improved to 6-5.

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“I just felt like I had to get everyone going and get the people that needed the ball in their hands so we could get on a roll,” Atkinson said. “Also, I had a bad first half, so I told myself I had to slow down and let the game come to me.”

Three Dolphins scored at least 21 points: Chris Smith, 23; Latrell Royster, 23; Alan-Michael Thompson, 21.

Lenoir attempted to go to the post off the opening tip, but Atkinson came up with a steal and pass to Smith for the bucket and a 2-0 lead. Off a Lancers’ miss, Thompson raced down court for a breakaway one-handed jam that put the Dolphins up 4-0.

Not to be outdone, Corey Callier led the Lancers on a 15-4 run, and that caused BCC coach Walter Shaw to call an early timeout with 14 minutes, 55 seconds left in the half.

Drives to the bucket for easy layups by Callier and Marquez Jones kept LCC in control and led to another BCC timeout when it was trailing 29-16 with 10:54 left in the half.

After the timeout, the Dolphins began to gain control. Smith grabbed a rebound and took it all the way for the layup. Substitutes Michael Coger and Royster helped BCC cut the Lancers’ lead to six points with 9 minutes left. Three-point shots from Aaron Baker and Royster cut the lead to three points at the 6:45 mark. A driving layup by Atkinson put the Dolphins ahead 35-33.

LCC regained the lead with an array of jump shots, but a highlight of the half was a baseline thunderous dunk from Royster with three minutes left, and that cut the LCC lead to seven points.

The Lancers continued their good first half play by closing with a 10-0 run for 50-49 lead. To slow down the hot-handed Callier, who scored 18 points in the half, the Dolphins began the second half in a 3-2 zone defense to stop penetration and defend the outside shooting.

The teams traded baskets until a slam by Thompson gave the Dolphins the lead with 18:15 left. The lead didn’t last long and caused BCC to call a timeout with 14:42 left when it trailed by four points.

Atkinson then helped BCC take the lead for good. On a fast break, Atkinson made a behind-a-back pass to Smith. He was fouled on the layup, and the three-point play tied the score 66-66. Atkinson assisted on the next three buckets: an assist to Thompson for a layup and two assists to Royster for two buckets, one that was a baseline flush.

Mister Height and Corey Thompson responded for the Lancers by hitting consecutive 3-point shots to trim the BCC lead to five points.

That caused Shaw to switch his defense to a full-court press, and BCC built its lead to nine points with 7:25 left. Atkinson hit three shots and then scored on a layup. Baskets from Smith and another dunk from Thompson pushed BCC’s lead to nine with 3:33 left. Free throws secured the victory.

For the Lancers, Corey Callier scored 22 points and Dallas Best 14.