Coastal Christian 71 Topsail 56
Brian Howell recorded a double-double with 27 points and 13 rebounds to help guide the Centurions in a 71-56 win over Topsail.
Coastal Christian dominated the paint as three players finished in double figures. Thomas Barnett went 9 of 9 from the free throw line and closed with 13 points, while Michael Parker chipped in with 13.
“They hit some shots in the first quarter and we were slow to react to everything they did early,” said Coastal Christian Coach Craig Wheeler. “I thought the guys did a good job responding defensively. We reacted quicker, rotated quicker and once you start getting stops you’re able to get out and push the tempo.
Topsail carried a 20-16 lead after eight minutes of play, but the Centurions stepped up their intensity on the defensive end of the floor and held the Pirates to 20 points over the new two frames to grab a seven-point cushion headed into the fourth quarter.
Drew Bagwell helped guide the Pirates early on with six points in the first quarter and D.J. Montano hit three treys in the first half, but Howell matched his counterparts, scoring 10 of 16 total points for Coastal Christian during the opening period.
Barnett and Parker aided their teammate into the break as Parker finished a three-point play from the charity stripe with 3.2 seconds left in the first half to make it 31-31 at the break.
Connor Norris sank his only three-pointer of the game to help spark a 12-0 run early in the third quarter, while Kameron Greene grabbed a steal and two-point bucket to close the push.
Following a basket by Owen Ellis for Topsail, Howell followed with an offensive rebound and put back and put down a two-handed flush late in the period to help outscore the Pirates 15-8 during the period.
“Brian [Howell] does a good job because he plays outside in,” said Wheeler. “He makes the defenders guard him from 21 feet because he has the ability to make that shot and that opens up the paint. I thought all guys did a good job of executing. We just gave up too many points in the first quarter.”
A one-handed baseline slam by Howell off an assist from Greene with five minutes remaining extended Coastal Christian’s lead back to 10 and Roy Holdford sank his only three-ball of the game on the ensuing possession to hold off the Pirates.
“We had a strong early season schedule so far and are playing well when we do what we do,” Wheeler added. “We just have to be committed to doing the things defensively for all four quarters.”
Alex Baker had a team-high 17 points for Topsail, who dropped to 1-4 overall. Coastal Christian improved to 4-2 on the young season.
Coastal Christian- Brian Howell, 27 points; Michael Parker, 13 points; Thomas Barnett, 13 points; Connor Norris, 5 points; Tommy Murphy, 5 points; Roy Holdford, 8 points; Kameron Greene, 2 points;
Ashley 56 East Bladen 50
Ryan Keller proved to a difference maker in the low post with 17 points to help guide Ashley in a 56-50 victory against East Bladen.
Nine different players found the scoring column for the Screaming Eagles, including Bryston Davis, who hit two treys in the first half to give Ashley a 33-19 lead at the break.
East Bladen played an even third quarter and outscored Ashley 21-12 over the final eight minutes to make it a two possession game. However, Daitreon Daye and Qadhafi Turner were key from the free throw line down the stretch to preserve the win.
Daye closed with nine points, while Turner and Davis finished with eight points apiece.
Ashley improved to 4-1 on the year.
West Brunswick 57 North Brunswick 49
Trailing by 10 at the half, West Brunswick rallied over the final 16 minutes of action to grab a 57-49 come from behind victory over North Brunswick in Leland on Tuesday.
Ty Hill dropped 20 points for the Trojans and Tyler Stanley 14 points in the win.
Hoggard 47 Trask 45
A.J. Frye led the way with 17 points as Hoggard edged Trask 47-45 on Tuesday night. The Vikings improved to 3-1 on the year.
New Hanover 79 Pender 57
Malique Jacobs led New Hanover with 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Blake Smith chipped in with 19 points in the win.
Cape Fear Academy 64 Wilmington Christian Academy 56
Grant Reed had 19 points and William Coverdale pulled down 10 rebounds as Cape Fear Academy outlasted Wilmington Christian 64-56 on Tuesday.
Henry Meyers and Tony Batchler each added 13 points apiece, while Coverdale and Ford Wright each dished four assists.
Chris Karras had 24 points for Wilmington Christian.