Wilson Beddingfield boys hand Rocky Mount its first loss 61-48
December 7, 2011Rocky Mount High School
By Natalie Sayewich, Wilson Times
WILSON - The host Beddingfield High varsity boys basketball team was out to send a message on Tuesday night, and did so with an exclamation point, exacting revenge against 3-A Big East stalwart Rocky Mount and ending the Gryphons’ unbeaten streak, 61-48.
The Bruins of the 2-A Eastern Plains conference upped their offensive production in the second half and coupled that with a stingy fourth-quarter defense that allowed them to outscore the Gryphons 16-7 in the final eight minutes.
The win gave the Bruins (3-1) a 1-1 record against Rocky Mount this season. The Gryphons (4-1) defeated the Bruins 82-70 in Rocky Mount on Nov. 29.
“Even though it was a 12-point differential at their place, we got it down to six late, but they pretty much controlled the game throughout,” Beddingfield head coach Jeremy Howard said. “We wanted to come and try to send them a message that we could play better than we did over there.
“It was hard to do against a team like that, but we were able to step it up to get consecutive defensive stops toward the end of the ballgame — which made a huge difference.”
Howard admitted the Bruins left Rocky Mount that day knowing how to break down the Gryphons’ game.
“We came in knowing what we needed to stop,” he said. “They’re physical on the boards and, probably more importantly, they’re a great transition offense, either on a made or a missed shot. We tried to stop them a little earlier and make them run some half-court offense.”
Following a back-and-forth first half in which neither team led by more than four points, the Bruins trailed 28-27. An 8-0 run bouyed by six points from senior Corey Taylor with 50 seconds left in the third quarter lifted the Bruins to a 45-37 lead, their largest.
Taylor finished with 15 points to lead the Bruins.
Rocky Mount struggled to find good shots to take in the fourth quarter as a result of Beddingfield’s tight man-to-man defense, and the Gryphons forced off-balance shots that weren’t falling.
“I’d say that’s probably the best we’ve defended here,” Howard said. “That’s a 3-A powerhouse and they’re well-coached, they’re fundamental and they just swing the ball so well and to hold them to 48 points in 32 minutes is a huge positive for us moving forward.”
In the early portion of the fourth quarter, the Bruins played four guards, which Howard feared might cost them on the block. But the guard-heavy Bruins limited Rocky Mount’s second-chance opportunities, fighting for rebounds and pushing the ball for high-percentage shots.
A 10-point lead with 3:24 remaining gave the Bruins the breathing-room they needed to spread the court and use some clock, which led to a thundering dunk from Travis Barnes on an assist from Deonta Woodard — a fitting statement of the Beddingfield win and Barnes’ double-double performance.
The 6-foot-6 junior finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds while Terrance Peterson added 11 points.
No players scored in double figures for Rocky Mount, which was led by Terrill Hilliard. Hilliard was limited to nine points coming off the bench for the Gryphons after scoring 30 in the teams’ first meeting.