South rallies, keeps first place conference standing

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

BOILING SPRING LAKES—South Brunswick won its ninth straight conference basketball game by beating North Brunswick 43-36 Friday night.

Center Reggie Cobia’s ankle injury has healed and he outjumped South’s Joey Hines for the tip-off this week by a good 6 inches, and North was in total control of the game early. The Scorpions hit the boards harder and ran and passed, while the Cougars looked tired and could not find the basket. Cobia was everywhere on defense, rebounding and scoring (eight points).

Tyshon Walker hit a 3-pointer midway through the first quarter for the Scorpions. He scored 11 points for the game. The Cougars all looked as if they had been out all night—and in fact they had. The night before they were in Whiteville winning another game and did not reach the South Brunswick campus until 11:35 p.m.

A.J. Ferguson, who on Wednesday signed with North Carolina State for a full scholarship for football, was asked to change his jersey and leave the game because of blood on his uniform. A technical on South did not help matters as Walker made the free throws.

Cobia stole the ball and hit a jumper from the corner. The Scorpions, playing the run and gun, were extremely confident, while the Cougars, though frustrated, tried to stay within their patient game. At the end of the first quarter it appeared the game was going the way of the girls games earlier that night, as North led 15-4.

Cobia continued blocking shots and nothing was going right for the Cougars, although Ferguson scored twice inside within three minutes. It was a fast-paced quarter, but both teams missed many missed shots. The half ended with North ahead 21-13.

Scoring by Demontez Lennon (six points) and Anthony Gaines (seven points) helped keep the Cougars at bay. A few free throws by Montez Loman (four points) helped the scoring for South in that quarter, although as a team, the Cougars were 3-9 from the free-throw line as the half ended.

At the start of the third quarter, Ervin Hall hit a 3-pointer, Ferguson scored in close when Cobia went out to cover Joey Hines (six points). Brian Urbina hit a short jumper for the Cougars.

Good defense by Hines and Ferguson helped keep Cobia away from underneath, but the real story was the defense put on by the backcourt men. Urbina and Loman (five rebounds) found their second wind and were playing smart basketball, as was Rashawn Jenkins (one point and three important assists). Hall hit another 3-pointer and was everywhere on the defensive end. He finished with 21 points.

At 1:36 of the third quarter, aggressive play by both teams had five players touch the ball but kept losing it to their opponents Hines grabbed a rebound, his 14th of the evening, and he fed Hall, who stepped back and hit another 3-pointer. That cut the North lead to 27-24.

Shawn Martin hit a 3-poiner from the left corner for the Scorpions to quiet the Cougar side of the gym. Lennon, the quickest guard on the floor, kept the Cougars from running the floor a number of times, but Hall hit another 3-pointer after Hines hit a jumper to give South a 35-34 lead.

Loman stole the ball and was fouled, and Hall was fouled on the next play and South went ahead 39-34.

“A good game down to the wire,” said Ferguson, who finished with nine points and six rebounds. “We were kind of sloppy the first half while they (North) played good. Ervin made a key steal and had some threes, but overall, it was a good team effort, doing what we practiced.”

“Our guys were drained from last night,” South coach Dan McGougan said. “Our defense did not play very well in the first half. Ervin started to catch his second wind, and I could tell by the look on his face that he wanted to get going, but he was struggling. But I don’t think I took him out of the game last night.

“Our team is emotional, especially with neighbors and cousins playing against each other. You have to allow the players a little emotion. Our defense really got us energized. They (North) did not get anything the last minute of the game.”

In the JV game, North defeated South 60-45 as Wayne Bryant came off the bench to lead all scorers with 16 points for the Scorpions.