Drought costs RamsPublished 2:33pm Monday, January 16, 2012
CREEKSVILLE- A three and a half minute scoring drought midway through the fourth quarter here cost the Northampton County-East Rams a victory over the Jaguars of Rocky Mount Prep on Friday .
With five minutes left in the game, the Rams had worked to develop a 12-point lead, but an intensification of their full court pressure defense, allowed the Jaguars to claw their way back into the game and eventually overcome the Rams 92-85.
With five minutes left and the Rams holding a 76-64 lead, Dante Samuels, who had a game-high 39 points, ignited a 15-0 run by the visitors allowing them to take a 79-76 lead at the 1:58 mark.
Following Samuels basket, Gary Smith hit three straight hoops and a free throw. James Bonds, Jacob Barrett,and Samuels added baskets.
Turnovers and a sudden inability to have the ball drop through the hoop marked these three and a half minutes for the Rams as their lead slowly dissipated.
The drought was finally stopped by consecutive field goals by the Rams’ Travis Wiggins giving the Rams an 80-79 lead at the 1:19 mark.
The Jaguars then clinched the victory by hitting 9-of-10 free throws over the last 1:14 as turnovers again plagued the Rams.
Northampton jumped out to an early four-point lead midway through the first quarter led by Tremaine Bowser’s two three pointers and a basket giving the Rams a 12-8 lead at the 4:58 mark.
Following a free throw by Samuels and a basket by the Rams’ Evans Grant, the Jaguars used the strength of an 8-0 run to take a 17-14 lead with 2:38 remaining in the first quarter.
Two field goals by Samuels were offset by baskets by Travis Whitehead, Wiggins and a three by Bowser leaving the teams tied at 21 as the quarter ended.
The Jaguars started the second with a basket by Samuel and two free throws each by Quashun Coppedge and Samuels sandwiching a basket by the Ram’s Grant to take a four point lead at the 7:03 mark.
A 10-point run ensued for the Rams as a basket by Wiggins and four straight baskets by Jamal Williams gave the home team a 33-27 lead at the five minute mark. Over the remainder of the quarter, the Rams added to their lead and took a 41-34 lead into the half.
The third quarter saw the Rams slowly add to their advantage and by quarter’s end they held a 64-54 lead.
The fourth quarter began with a dunk by the Rams’ Chris Bishop which seemed to ignite the crowd, but it may have also awakened the Jaguars as they began to pick up the defensive intensity.
Each team went on small runs with neither team gaining an advantage until the five-minute mark when the drought began.
Samuels led the Jaguars with 39 points followed by Smith’s 17 and Bonds’15.
The Rams were led in scoring by Williams’ 24, Grant’s 16 and Bowser’s 15.
The Rams will step back into the Tar-Roanoke Conference as they host KIPP Pride on Tuesday night.