Firebirds come through with win vs. Fike
By Charles Alston, Graphic Correspondent
WILSON -- Southern Nash's boys traveled to Wilson Fike Friday night and came away with a 70-58 upset win over the Golden Demons.
Junior guard Marcus Howard popped in 21 points, while seniors Kwamaine Battle added 15 and Bryan Tabron chipped in with 10 to allow the Firebirds to pull off the NEW 6 Conference shocker.
The victory moved Southern Nash into sole possession of third place in the league (7-13, 4-4 NEW 6) with Fike still sitting in second place, but only by one game (14-7, 5-3).
A 19-2 Southern run that bridged the opening two quarters got the Firebirds the type of momentum it need to pull off the victory. Tim Brathwaite's 3-point buzzer-beater gave Southern a 36-28 halftime lead.
Fike's Jeremy Atkinson, who lit the Firebirds up for a career-high 34 points in their earlier meeting, got half that much Friday night -- and most of it came at the free throw line. Atkinson's 17 points was followed by Jarred Hinton's 15.
Fike's girls withstood a high-scoring effort from Ladybird Alyse Hall to record a 54-43 triumph.
The sophomore fired in 29 points on the evening, but it wasn't enough to stop the balanced attack of the Lady Golden Demons (13-8, 4-4). Barksdale Thompson and Tramicka Jones each popped in 13 for Fike, while Briana Virgil had 12.
Southern stands in a second place tie with Rocky Mount at 5-3 in league play and 13-7 overall.
NNSH: Friday was not Northern Nash's night on the court.
Both varsity teams traveled to Pinetops only to see NEW 6 foe SouthWest Edgecombe record a sweep. The Knights suffered a 52-50 defeat to SWE, while the Lady Knights were pounded 64-25.
In the boys' game, last year's Conference Player of the Year Eugene Jenkins looked like he wanted a reprise of that title. He popped in 19 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and handed out 10 assists for a rare triple-double. Jenkins scored 12 of the Cougars' last 17 points to bring them back.
Northern (7-15, 1-7) actually led 15-4 after the opening period and was ahead 41-35 at the start of the fourth.
Senior Brian Thomas knocked in 29 points for Northern. Michael Hilliard added 11.
The Lady Cougars (16-2, 8-0), who clinched the NEW 6 regular season title with the conquest, kept Northern winless in league action after setting the stage with a 27-9 outburst in the first period. SWE led 41-18 at intermission.
Playing without second leading scorer Dominique Hudson (foot injury), SouthWest got 18 points from twin sister Monique. Monique Williams added 15. No Northern player scored in double figures, but the Lady Knights (4-18, 0-8) were led by Ally Stephenson with seven.