Kent County leads wire-to-wire, beats North Caroline
RIDGELY — Leading for all but 24 scoreless seconds at the beginning of Thursday’s game, the Kent County High boys’ basketball team evened its record with a 7463 win on the road against North Caroline.
The Trojans, now 1-1 overall, 1-0 North Bayside, are off until Monday, when they play their home opener at 5:30 p.m. against North Dorchester North Caroline, which lost on the road against Pocomoke on Tuesday, is now 0-2, 0-1; the team visits longtime rival Easton at 5:30 p.m. Monday.
“This is how I knew we could do it,” Kent County head coach Sobaye Scott said. “We played together; we played solid, and we remembered to help each other out.
“It wasn’t anything like this [Tuesday at Wicomico],” Scott added. “We came out OK that night, scored like 10 points the first 3½ minutes, inside, no real long-range stuff, but then started trying to shoot threes, and the next thing you know we lost. ... Tonight, we stayed within ourselves, made good decisions shooting.”
She’Mar Turner’s layup, with 7 minutes, 36 seconds to go in the first quarter, put the guests ahead to stay at 2-0. Turner added another bucket 24 seconds later off a feed from Marcquan Greene, and the Trojans never looked back.
Leading by as much as nine points in the second quarter, Kent County hit a snag as that period wore on, though, when North Caroline assembled a run.
Trailing 29-20 with 4:38 to go in the half after a twohanded dunk by Manny Camper (27 points, 10 rebounds), the Bulldogs, shooting just 8-for-23 from the floor to that point, began finding the bucket.
A layup by Ja’Mion Franklin (11 points, 11 rebounds) with 4:18 to go began the run, the home team’s 13-6 spurt making it a one-possession game, at 35-33, going into the break.
But the Trojans started the second half just as they had the first, by showing more control.
An 11-4 run opened up their lead to nine points again, at 46-37, just 3 minutes into the third. Four points by Takai Caulk, who finished with eight, and two more Turner buckets fueled the flourish.
Kent County stretched its lead to 51-40 by the 2:30 mark of the third before the Bulldogs again closed it up.
“We’ve just got to get more production out of our bench,” North Caroline head coach Steve Perry said. “Right now, we’ve got three guys producing, and ... we’ve got two freshmen out there, starting, seeing a lot of time.
“We’re going to have to work on everything in practice Friday,” Perry added. “We need to sit down with them, look at some tape, and go over what needs to be fixed . ... We’re just not getting the job done.”
For their part, the Trojans seemed in just the opposite situation.
“We told them after losing by 10 points to Wi-Hi Tuesday, ‘you’ve got to be the ones to dictate your decisions on when to shoot,’” Scott said. “And today they did. They did a lot better deciding how and when to make a shot . ... I’d say tonight, they dictated that 75, maybe 80 percent of the time. It wasn’t anywhere near that much the other day.”
Camper, last year’s North Bayside Player of the Year, agreed with his coach’s assessment.
“Oh, we did a lot better tonight than we did [Tuesday],” Camper said. “It feels a lot better, too, to come over here and win this. We’ve just got to keep playing like a team, giving help on defense, making smart choices.”