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SHALLOTTE—After losing two of its previous three games and threatening to undo a season of good works, the Brunswick Community College men’s basketball team restored some order.
The Dolphins put together a 31-6 run in the second half and rolled to a 101-74 victory in Sunday’s home finale against Guilford Technical Community College.
BCC led by five at halftime and pulled away shortly after the break by scoring 16 unanswered points. The Dolphins followed that up with an 11-0 spurt that extended their lead to 30 points.
“Brunswick is a second-half team,” said sophomore guard C.J. Hailey, who finished with 16 points.
“The first half sometimes starts off a little rocky because we have to get in our rhythm, but once we start pushing the ball and we start hitting open shots it’s contagious. It’s like a ripple effect. Everybody just starts hitting and everybody gets in a rhythm.”
Richard Shepherd and Leon Spencer scored 20 points apiece and Jeremy Basnight had 14 for the Dolphins.
With the win, BCC improved to 15-3 in the Carolinas Junior College Conference and 25-4 overall and moved to within one game of clinching first place in the CJCC North Division.
Two weeks ago, the Dolphins were 13-1 in conference play and appeared to be a lock for the division title and first-round bye in the league tournament. But losses to Louisburg and Cape Fear made Sunday’s game a must win.
“We put ourselves in a situation last week where we had to win these two games (Sunday and Monday vs. Roanoke-Chowan) to lock up first place,” said BCC coach Walter Shaw.
“For Guilford it didn’t really affect their place in the tournament. For us it affects it a lot more. We’ve got to make sure we solidify our place and try to get everybody back and healthy and get ready to roll.”
BCC knocked down 13 three-pointers against Guilford Tech, including eight in the second half. Basnight made four three-pointers and Shepherd and Hailey had three apiece.
Guilford Tech was the team hitting three-pointers at the beginning of the game. The Titans made five shots from long distance in the first 10 minutes and led by as many as seven points.
Marcus Short made four three-pointers right out of the gate and scored 18 of his game-high 25 points in the first half.
BCC trailed 32-31 before Spencer and Basnight led the Dolphins on a 12-6 run in the final 5:31 of the first half.
After Short made his fifth and final three-pointer 32 seconds into the second half to cut BCC’s lead to two, the Dolphins went on a tear.
Hailey, Shepherd and Spencer led the way as BCC outscored the Titans 40-12 in a span of eight minutes.
The Dolphins led 83-53 with 11:05 remaining, and Guilford Tech never got closer than 22 points the rest of the way. BCC finished the regular season with a 10-1 home record.
Guilford Tech sat several injured players Sunday and only had seven in uniform.
“They were without their best player who got hurt. We didn’t realize that until game time,” Shaw said.
“We were able to take advantage of their lack of depth. They did give us a time early because they went with all guards and hit a bunch of threes, but we felt their legs wouldn’t be able to last.”
T.J. Holman scored 16 points and Alex Moore had 14 for Guilford. The Titans slipped to 10-9 in the conference and 19-11 overall.
Guilford 38 36—74
Brunswick 43 58—101
Guilford scoring: Short 25, Holman 16, Moore 14, Spencer 8, Kosh 7, Martin 2, Magwood 2.
Brunswick scoring: Shepherd 20, Spencer 20, Hailey 16, Basnight 14, Holley 8, Smith 6, Foster 6, Waters 4, Jones 4, Hovermale 3.
Doug Rutter is the sports editor at the Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or at email@example.com