Purnell Swett’s Juwan Jones answered with a 3-point bomb of his own. And then another. And then another.
Midway through the first quarter of Tuesday’s non-conference tilt at Miller Gym, the top scorers in Cumberland and Robeson County were putting on a clinic on how to score in rapid succession.
Holland and Jones each flexed 23-point efforts, but it was the Tigers who came away with a 70-63 home victory, erasing an early 10-point deficit to open the new year.
“We hung tough and I’m proud of our effort because South View is a really good team,” Swett coach Jeremy Sampson said. “I told the guys this would be a great test for us going into the conference opener (against Scotland) on Friday.”
Holland hit four 3-pointers in the game and nailed 5-of-6 free throws in the fourth quarter to help South View — which led by as many as 14 in the second half — hold off the Rams. As a team, the Tigers converted 8-of-17 shots from beyond the arc and made 13 more free throws than Swett.
“Some of Holland’s shots really set us back,” Sampson said. “We went to a zone and they shot it well. You have to give them credit for knocking down shots.”
Swett (8-3) led 31-21 with 5:44 to play in the second quarter before South View (5-6) went on a 22-2 run over the ensuing eight minutes of action to take the lead for good. The Rams trimmed a double-digit deficit in the final quarter to five with 1:03 remaining, but couldn’t get enough stops down the stretch.
Jones lit up the Tigers for 14 points in the first quarter to help Swett build a 25-17 lead. His fourth 3-pointer of the quarter as the buzzer sounded equaled the Rams’ best frame this season. Jones made four shots the rest of the way against a defense that switched from zone to a Box-and-1.
Open looks for Jones were rare after intermission as Swett sputtered on the offensive end.
“Teams are going to Box-and-1 on us because Juwan is so talented,” Sampson said. “We’ve got to do a better job of getting him more looks. He’s always allowed to shoot anytime he wants, but it has to be a good shot. It has to be a shot that’s within our team concept.”
Sampson was encouraged by his team’s performance down low against the Tigers despite being without a starting forward. Swett practiced seven times over the holiday break with a focus on rebounding and second-chance opportunities. Against South View, post players Mitchell Hill contributed eight points and seven rebounds while Michael Pipkin added eight points, five rebounds and a block.
The Rams host Scotland in Friday’s Southeastern Conference opener.
South View’s girls improve to 11-0
For the first time this season Tuesday night at South View, Purnell Swett’s girls basketball team ran into a more talented unit.
The Rams had little answers for Division I frontcourt recruits Sidney Cook and Ciera Morris as the Tigers rolled to a 73-20 victory.
South View (11-0), one of the state’s top programs, jumped ahead 16-3 after the first quarter and never looked back, scoring 14 straight points in the second before Kayla Lewis ended the run with a jumper for the Rams. Lewis finished with a team-high 13 points for Swett (9-2) which lost for just the second time this season.
Raiders sweep Mustangs
ROCKINGHAM — Richmond’s boys basketball team won its 10th consecutive game Tuesday night, running away from South Robeson in the second quarter of a 74-33 victory.
The Raiders (10-0) outscored the Mustangs (1-10) 21-10 in the second stanza to take a commanding lead they would not relinquish. Shydamion Ellerbe led all scorers with 20 points while Richmond teammates Kendo Wallace and Josh Calhoun chipped in with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
“I told the team we needed to work hard tonight,” Richmond coach David Laton said. “I wanted us to get up-and-down the court and work on our defense. I was really pleased about our ‘D’ tonight.”
Harrison Branch paced South Robeson with a team-high 12.
South Robeson’s girls team remained winless after the Raiders prevailed in the early game, 66-13.
McPhaul lifts Devils past Pinecrest
RED SPRINGS — Robyn McPhaul scored a game-high 16 points, leading the Red Springs girls basketball team to a 36-32 non-conference victory over Pinecrest Tuesday night.
The Red Devils (6-6) trailed by a slim 10-7 tally after the first quarter before outscoring the Patriots 9-4 in the second. Red Springs kept in front after each frame the rest of the way.
Jasmine Murchison chipped in nine points and Shantanna Norris hauled in a team-high 12 rebounds for the Red Devils.
Red Springs' boys fall by 22
Quinn Lowery and Julian Brown each reached double figures but the scoring dramatically dropped off from there for Red Springs, which fell to Pinecrest at home, 62-40, Tuesday night.
Lowery netted 13 and Brown had 11 for the winless Red Devils (0-11) faced a 33-18 deficit at halftime.
Traivon Williams paced Pinecrest (5-7) with a game-high 18 points. Adam Cummings added 11.
Shawn Stinson of the Richmond County Daily Journal contributed to this report. Reach Staff writer Brad Crawford at 910-272-6119 or at firstname.lastname@example.org