Jan 24, 2009
RALEIGH — Enloe received about as much as it could handle from Leesville Road in a 72-60 Cap 7 win Friday. With all teams having played the first half of conference play, Enloe continues to lead the charge at 7-0, while Leesville sits in the middle of the pack at 3-4.
The final 12-point margin is deceiving as the game was nip-and-tuck through three and a half quarters, and the Pride lead 52-44 with less than two minutes left in the third.
The fourth quarter belonged to the Eagles, though, as they outscored the visitors 24-8, relying on pressure defense and key plays from Jerome Garret and Melvin Tabb.
Still down four points early in the fourth, Garret decided to take matters into his own hands at the 5:32 mark. With a determined look on his face, he started out on the left wing charging his way to the basket with a defender on his hip and another waiting for him at the goal. Undeterred, he commenced to dunking over the two defenders, and let it be known his team was on their way back.
The Eagles’ man-to-man pressure, coupled with Leesville’s inexperience, were the deciding factors in the Pride fading down the stretch.
“We just panicked and showed our youth and inexperience,” Pride coach Roderic Brewington said. “They upped their pressure and we panicked. Harrison George is the only guy on the team that has played varsity. We’re not that veteran savvy kind of team, we haven’t been there before.”
George came into the last quarter with a whopping 24 points, but nearly vanished offensively under constant harassment from Eagle defenders wherever he roamed. George was dominant early on, knocking down three 3-pointers and several mid-range jumpers in the first half. But in the fourth was limited to one jump shot and 1-for-4 at the foul line. He finished with 27 points, 13 rebounds and two blocked shots.
Enloe continued their onslaught midway through the fourth, led by Garret as he added two more baskets of his own and a dunk by Tabb polished off a 13-0 run and give Enloe its largest lead to that point, 61-54.
Leesville kept it close at 63-60 off a layup by Dillon Smith with 1:30 to go, but the Pride didn’t not score again. Enloe hit four straight free-throws in the last 30 seconds to ice it.
A tandem that broke Leesville’s back near the end was the Eagles’ Courtney Pulley to Tabb for an uncontested layup or dunk. This hookup occurred three times in the last four minutes and proved to be a back breaker for the Pride.
The game was very much back and forth as the Enloe led 17-16 after one, and 36-33 at halftime on the strength of a 35-footer by Pulley as time expired.
Enloe head coach Tommy Moore said the game took the route he thought it might.
“This is pretty much what we expected,” he said. “Both teams came out a little rusty early, but started playing better as the game wore on. We haven’t play in a week due to the snow and holiday, so we’ve only practiced one time.”
Garret paced Enloe with 22 points, along with Tabb scoring 20 points, seven rebounds, and four blocked shots. Pulley had 12 points and six assists. Breon Key chipped in 12 points and five assists for Leesville.
Enloe (18-1, 7-0) takes on Wake Forest-Rolesville at home, while Leesville (10-9, 3-4) hosts Broughton next Tuesday.
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