Douglas Byrd Ties Vike Boys for Third Place
Things did not go quite as planned for the Union Pines boys’ basketball team Friday in Fayetteville.
Too many turnovers and poor execution on the defensive glass by the Vikes led to a blowout victory for the homestanding Douglas Byrd Eagles.
With the 80-66 3-A Cape Fear Valley Conference defeat, Union Pines (8-9 overall) also lost its stronghold on third place in the league standings, by falling to 3-4 in conference play overall. Conversely Douglas Byrd (5-9, 3-4) climbed its way into a tie for third place with the Vikes. The Eagles also won the earlier league contest between the schools by a 63-50 margin in Cameron, giving them the tiebreaker in state playoff seeding priority.
“As a team sometimes we do not handle pressure well,” Viking head coach Nick Boney said after the game, “and it showed tonight in the way the guys played. Douglas Byrd pressured us pretty good and we just backed away from it.”
Featuring a balanced scoring attack, a high pressure man-to-man defense and some serious crashing on the offense boards, head coach Phillip Hart’s 12-player deep Douglas Byrd squad seized control of the contest early and never swayed from there.
“Tonight was the best complete effort from start to finish I have seen out of my guys this season,” said Phil Hart. “The energy level we showed really stood out for me. I thought we had a little more energy then they (Vikings) did.”
Through one quarter of action Union Pines only trailed 14-11, but then Byrd opened the second frame with a 14-4 surge that seemed to be the deciding factor in the tilt.
“We have had the energy all year but have struggled to put the ball in the bucket,” said Hart. “What got us going is when De’Ante Carmichael hit those two threes early in the second quarter — that seemed to light a fire for us and we just kept on attacking from there.”
Carmichael scored eight of the Eagles first 12 points in the second frame. His second three of the period put Byrd up 22-12 at the 6:03 mark. From there the home team’s lead grew to 33-19 at the 3:20 mark on a trey by Julian Clay.
At the half Union Pines trailed 39-26. Viking leading scorer Parris Manning watched a vast majority of the opening two quarters from the bench as a spectator due to foul trouble. The senior captain picked up his third personal less than three minutes into the second period.
“As a coaching staff we knew we needed to box out on defense in this matchup against Byrd,” said Boney. “I knew that they (Eagles) were going to miss (some) shots and the only way we could be successful was to limit them to one look at the basket per possession.
“If you look at our effort on the defensive boards tonight it was not there. We were not going up strong with two hands, we kept fumbling the ball, we did not consistently box out and it led to them (Eagles) getting lots of second and even third chances when they had the ball.”
Manning picked up his fourth foul at the 6:33 mark of the third period. When he exited the game Union Pines was down 42-30. A pair of free throws by junior Shane Davis cut the margin to 10 at 42-32 with 5:57 remaining on the third-period clock, but from there it was all Byrd for the remainder of the frame.
The Eagles closed the quarter on a 23-12 run to take a 65-44 lead into the fourth period, with 15 of those points coming via the offensive glass or after Union Pines turnovers.
With 5:34 left to play, Union Pines managed to trim the deficit to 67-53, but it would be as close as the Vikings would get.
In an especially strong showing Vike junior guard Braxton Ross led all scorers with 24 points — including four dunks on the night — to go along with three steals and eight rebounds. Lashun Brower joined his backcourt teammate in double figures with 16 points on top of five steals and seven boards. The next highest scorer for Union Pines was junior 6-foot-5 big man Kendrick McRae, while Manning mustered just four, well below his 19.7 per-game season average.
Including Carmichael, the Eagles had three players finish in double digits. Demeeko Jones led the team with 13, while Dominic Dickerson had 10.
Union Pines returns to action Tuesday against Overhills (3-11, 1-6) at 7:30 p.m. in Spring Lake.
Union Pines 11 15 8 22 — 66
Douglas Byrd 14 25 26 15 — 80
Union Pines: Ross 11 2-5 24, Brower 6 4-6 16, McRae 2 2-4 6, Davis 1 3-3 5, Maness 2 0-0 5, Manning 1 2-2 4, Steadwell 2 0-2 4, Williams 0 2-2 2. Totals 25 15-24 66.
Douglas Byrd: Jones 6 1-1 13, Carmichael 4 2-3 12, Nickerson 4 2-2 10, Clodfelter 3 2-2 8, Clay 3 0-0 7,Bailey 2 1-2 6, Massenburg 2 2-4 6, Samuels 2 2-2 6, Lewis 2 0-0 5, Sanchez 2 0-0 4, Murray 0 2-2 2, Hillman 0 1-2 1. Totals 30 15-20 80
Three-point goals: (UP) 1 (Maness); (DB) 5 (Carmichael 2, Bailey, Clay, Lewis).
Contact F.W. Manning II at email@example.com
More like this story