In a game that wasn’t even close after the first quarter, the Hobbton Wildcats clawed the Princeton Bulldogs 68-54 Tuesday night.
In a balanced scoring attack that saw three players in double figures, the Wildcats had a 14-10 lead after the first quarter. They opened up the lead to 30-18 at the half. The Wildcats scored at will to start the second half, finishing the third frame with a 53-34 lead.
For the Wildcats, Omar Farrior had 16, Walter Thompson had 15 and Raekwon Bryant had 12. Cody Stewart finished with eight points.
“It was a good win,” said Hobbton coach Alphonza Hooper. “I scouted Princeton earlier and knew they would be tough. Princeton has some guys that can shoot the three-ball, but we took advantage of our size inside and our quickness. I think our quickness bothered them some. Plus, we mixed it up on them.”
Leading up to the game, Hooper told his team that there are three ballgames this week, “so we’ll just start with this one and get this win — a big one. We had a good crowd.”
The coach said he knew Princeton was going to come out and play a box and 1.
“It affected us some but I don’t think it bothered us that much. We just pushed the ball in transition. In the fourth quarter they went man-to-man and we just spread the court. I think we were a little more athletic than they were,” Hooper remarked. “It was a good team effort. Cody Stewart played big for us. We have been working on an overload type defense. I told the guys to be patient and pass the basketball and things will happen. We have to work on being patient and looking for the shot.”
The win pushed Hobbton’s record to 6-6 and 2-1 in conference play. The Wildcats were to travel to James Kenan Wednesday night and host Neuse Charter Friday night. Since Neuse doesn’t have a JV team, the games start at 5 p.m.