WENDELL — Nahjuwan Potts and Quincy Jackson had 17 points apiece, leading East Wake as the Warriors dominated visiting West Johnston 85-42 in boys’ basketball on Friday night.
Josh Siler added 11 points as the Warriors improved to 10-3, 3-1 in Greater Neuse River 4A Conference play.
Cameron Williams led the Wildcats, who fell to 4-8 and 1-3, with 16 points.
What worked: The Warriors’ pressing offense pretty much took the underdog Wildcats out of the game in the first quarter.
East led 26-12 after one quarter and 49-24 at the break. West never got closer than 12 points back after the first quarter, and the only drama was whether or not the Warriors would double the Wildcats’ final score.
“I thought we were pretty good,” East coach Darrin Stinson said. “We weren’t always spacing enough once we stole the ball, and we threw it away a couple of times. I knew West had been playing well and won some games, but I didn’t know what to expect.”
What didn’t work: West wants to run to win, and that can work against a lot of less athletic and talented teams.
But the Warriors just had too many weapons, and the Wildcats’ offense wasn’t efficient enough to keep up.
“We just had too many turnovers and were sloppy with the ball,” West coach Kris Bennett said. “They have a good press. I thought our effort was great. The shots just didn’t fall for us. And we didn’t box out and limit them to one shot like we needed to.”
Highlight reel: The Warriors obviously had more than enough offense, but one sequence in particular stood out.
With 3:45 left in the third and the Warriors up 58-30, Potts hit Jackson with a no-look pass that resulted in a layup and a foul. Jackson missed the free throw, but Potts got the long rebound and scored to stretch the lead to 32.
“We played well,” said Potts, who finished with five assists. “We did what coach said to do and played good solid defense. He told us if we pressed them we could get them out of the game. This is a good win.”
Putting up numbers: Twenty-two players scored in the game including 13 from East Wake.
Nine Warriors finished with at least four points apiece, although using the whole bench West was able to get a long list of scorers as well.
“I thought we played better than we have been,” Williams said. “We just have to convert and be more consistent. And we have to get everybody on the same page. I think we can compete with them a lot better when we play them at home.”