WILSON — One of Chris Davis’ philosophies is stressed daily to his Corinth Holders boys basketball team. You don’t have to do it right now, you just have to do it right.
The Pirates found themselves wanting to pick up their first win of the season at the expense of Wilson Hunt Thursday, but didn’t execute down the stretch and instead fell, 50-46.
The loss dropped the Pirates to 0-7 as they attempt to rebuild from graduations absorbed from last season’s 22-3 edition.
Hunt, missing three players due to the NCHSAA 3AA football playoffs, improved to 2-0.
What worked: Patience paid off in a deliberate style on offense as the Pirates kept the tempo at a steady pace. That pace kept the Warriors, who wanted to run, in a half-court game, keeping the Pirates within striking range throughout the night.
The Pirates led only once, at 15-14 on a first-period 3-pointer by Butler Collins off a dish by Kalen Cooper. But they never trailed by more than seven – at the end of the first half on consecutive Warriors baskets creating a 31-24 deficit, and on a trey by Orlando Dickens late in the third period for a 36-29 differential.
But behind the double-figures scoring of Ki-Yon Walden and Dymon Walker and the floor play of Hampton Smith, Alan Forrest and Walker, the Pirates drew even twice in the final three minutes. They had the ball with a chance to go ahead in the final minute.
“We’re looking for what we can do on the offensive and defensive ends,” Davis said, “And what we can be comfortable in. I think we found some stuff we can count on down the road.”
Davis said the Pirates were a little more deliberate on the offensive end, but he wants the team to be even more patient.
Statistically speaking: Walker led the Pirates with 16 points, while Walden added 14. Cooper led the way for Corinth Holders on the boards with six rebounds; Walker added five.
Hunt placed three players in double-figures scoring, led by Quan Kent who tallied 12. Keenon Tabron and Dickens chipped in 10 each. Ra’Shod Shipman led Hunt with eight caroms.
What didn’t work: Execution down the stretch.
Corinth Holders had possession of the ball twice in the closing minute, once with an opportunity to take the lead and again with a chance to tie the game or go ahead only to turn the ball over.
With 1:06 left to play, Tabron picked off a pass in the lane and drove the length of the floor for a lay-in that gave the Warriors a 46-44 lead.
On the Pirates’ subsequent possession, Tabron’s quick hands stole a similar pass, only to be fouled at the hoop. It resulted in two made free throws for an insurmountable lead with 17 seconds left.
Unsung heroes: Smith and Forrest. Davis said both players are expected to contribute. Smith came through with three assists and as many rebounds, while Forrest provided the Pirates with valuable playing time.
Quotable: “We’re still not perfect,” Davis said. “We’re still getting out of sets that are looking easy and looking to go quickly into motion.
“But we need to be a little more cognizant of what we are trying to do in terms of moving the ball, setting screens and being more efficient on what we need to do as a unit.”