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Jaguars crush North Lenoir 87-44

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Farmville Central's Justin Wright goes for the layup against a North Lenoir defender Wednesday night.

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By Junius Smith III
Neuse News

Thursday, December 6, 2018

This time, Farmville Central wasted little time exerting its will.

The Jaguars started fast and never looked back in an 87-44 win over North Lenoir Wednesday. One day after needing a late run to defeat Ayden-Grifton 91-78, Farmville Central (5-0) led for all but the first 1:20 of the contest.

"We spent a lot of time today looking at individual statistics over the first four games so guys could see what we see as coaches," Jaguars coach Larry Williford said. "Tonight we didn't shoot as many 3s and the ones we did were good. We got into transition, our hands were active for deflections and if we continue to work the sky's the limit. I'm glad everyone got in tonight and it was a great team win."

Tyreik Artis scored the game's first basket for North Lenoir (2-2), but Farmville Central responded with a 17-0 run, punctuated by a Rande Harper slam. The Jaguars shot 59 percent in the first half and forced 15 turnovers, running out to a 59-25 lead at the break.

“(Against Ayden-Grifton) we came in too relaxed and weren’t really focused,” Farmville Central’s Justin Wright said. “Today, we were determined to make a statement and we were able to get it done.”

A running clock was initiated with 5:47 left in the third after Wright’s bucket made the score 65-25. Farmville Central led by as many as 49 in the second half.

North Lenoir coach Anthony Loftin said the focus is toward the next opponent, as the Hawks can’t dwell on this game.

“We have to get on the bus, go to practice (Thursday) and prepare for Eastern Wayne Friday,” Loftin said. “Farmville Central is a very strong team and they jumped out on us. Being a smaller team, we needed to box out and we didn’t. In the first half, it was almost like (the Jaguars) were running a layup drill and we can’t have that. We’ve got to bring it every night and as a coach I didn’t prepare them well enough to play a second straight road game (after defeating Southwest Edgecombe 70-64 Tuesday.)”

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Farmville Central 64, North Lenoir 59

In the girls’ game, the Jaguars got a major contribution from their bench to defeat North Lenoir. Farmville Central coach Hollis Harper subbed out his starters just 1:52 into the game and, led by a pair of Lauryn Pitt 3-pointers and six points from Ja’Niyah Willoughby, the reserves staked the Jaguars (4-0) to a 22-18 lead after one.

“The starters came out flat and didn’t bring that energy,” Harper said after the bench contributed 39 points in the game. “I felt like the reserves came in with that intensity and it really helped us. It means a lot to be able to go 10 or 11 deep because some schools can only bring out five to seven players who can make a big contribution.”

Although the Farmville Central bench provided a spark, North Lenoir (2-2) was ready in a first half with seven lead changes and six ties. Kanijah Taylor’s basket with 2:15 left in the second quarter put the Hawks ahead 30-28, but a pair of 3-pointers from Zion Shepard highlighted an 11-0 run for the Jaguars to close out the first half ahead by nine.

Willoughby’s basket gave Farmville Central a 47-37 advantage midway through the third quarter, but the Hawks clawed back and eventually took a 56-55 lead on another Taylor bucket with 3:33 remaining.

Ja’Shyrah Carmon responded with a basket on the next possession and then Pitt hit another 3-pointer to put the Hawks up 60-56. Ashanti Lynch cut the deficit to two with 1:54 to play, but Janiya Foskey countered inside. A free throw from North Lenoir’s Integrity McPhail brought the Hawks within 62-59 with 1:21 to play, but the Jaguars milked the clock, and Pitt’s layup with 22 seconds left closed out the scoring.

“I saw a wide-open lane and I just went for it,” Pitt said. “It felt good to be able to contribute off the bench, and we just did our best to keep talking out there on the court.”

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