The Dark Horses men continued their winning streak, increasing it to eight, after Friday’s win against Wallace Rose-Hill. They beat the Bulldogs on their court by 29 points keeping their conference record spotless, the final 86-57.
“This was a really good win for us in conference play. As coaches, we felt that we might be a little sluggish coming into this one after beating No. 1-state ranked Goldsboro by 40 at home on Wednesday,” said head coach Randy Jordan.
The Horses jumped out to an 11 point lead by the end of the first quarter, doubling the offensive productivity of the Dogs. Going for 22 the defense held the home team to 11 points as they established the tempo of the game early.
Their sluggishness really started to show in the second quarter when they let the Bulldogs run with them throughout the period. Getting 15 to end the half Wallace was right on their heels with 13. They finished the half up 37-24 but ensured the win with their unbelievable third quarter play.
“We made a few adjustments at halftime, but mostly we reminded the guys of what they had accomplished up to this point in the year and to not let that slip away from them,” continued Jordan. “Man, did they respond in the third quarter.”
Respond was an understatement as the Horses went for 32 points in the third period. The defenses adjustments were just as strong with them allowing only two extra points from Wallace with 15.
“We came out and played with intensity and teamwork in the third period. We scored 32 points, held them to 15 and really did a great job on both ends of the floor,” said Jordan. “We shared the ball on offense and looked for the extra pass. We were unselfish and got everyone involved.”
“On defense, we simply stopped reaching, kept Wallace in our traps and converted turnovers into points. When we do those things, we are pretty good as a team,” he added.
The Bulldogs were finally able to outscore the the Horses in the fourth but it did little to change the end result. Finding 18 points to end the game they had their best showing on offense. With the defense cutting down the scoring by Clinton to 17 the game was to far in their favor as the Horses came out on top.
“We got excellent efforts off the bench by Jalen Owens with a career high 14 points and no turnovers. Also from Tymair McIntyre, Carson Ellis and Austin Fussell,” replied Jordan. “As we keep saying, our bench is getting better and better every day and that is nothing but a positive for us over all.”
Dewan Lesesne was the lead man with 20 points, eight rebounds, three assists and six steals. Owens was behind him with his career-high night of 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting.
Kris Williams and Xzavier Howard were the other two leading scores for the night, they each ended with 10. Williams also had five assists and five steals while Howard had six rebounds and two steals.
“We are excited about where we are at this point in the season and what we were able to accomplish this past week,” said Jordan. “It was a great week for Dark Horse basketball, but it just seems that the guys are focused on the conference season and are not looking past anyone on our schedule.”
“It is an old cliche, but right now we are taking them one at a time,” concluded Jordan.
The Dark Horses are now 13-1 overall and 4-0 in the conference as they extend their win streak to eight. They hit the court again Thursday when they take on Spring Creek on the road.
Reach Michael Hardison at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.