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Bulldogs blow past Cougars

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SMITHFIELD — Princeton High head varsity boys basketball coach David Cobb feared after more than three weeks without playing basketball his players would be rusty — and they were. But, in the second half, the rust came off and Princeton got a shiny 82-48 road win over 1-A Carolina Conference foe Neuse Charter on Monday night.

Even though the Bulldogs (10-1, 2-0 Carolina) never trailed in the game, Cobb was unhappy with the team’s play in the first half. He said the team was trying to play too much one-on-five basketball by all five of his players, which he attributed to having last played Dec. 14.

“I saw probably two-and-a-half quarters of rust,” Cobb said. “We didn’t play well as a team early. We were trying to do it all with one man. All five of them were trying to do that. I thought in the third quarter we came out and hit the open man, passed the ball, made the cuts.”

Behind the aggressive attack of sophomore guard Jaheim Taylor, the Bulldogs jumped out to a 39-24 lead at halftime. Taylor had 13 points at halftime and finished with a game-high 26. The shifty, dead-eye shooter said he was really ready to play Monday night after a 24-day hiatus.

“I was really anxious to play,” Taylor said. “I don’t like taking long breaks from hooping.”

Cobb said his team started moving the ball the way they were supposed to, and it led to a 25-point fourth quarter. Princeton is now 9-0 when they score 70 or more points. Freshman guard Nayshin Waller tossed in 17 points. Senior Colby Sullivan dumped in 14 points, and sophomore Tyreese Joyner also contributed nine points.

“The pressure of the defense helps us a great deal,” Cobb said about his offense. “If we run our offense, we’re going to score. We just have to get back to that.”

Cobb said his defense was also rusty, but it was still stifling to the Cougars (2-8, 0-2).

Neuse Charter have now lost seven straight games dating back to November. Despite the continued slide, Cougars head coach Dustin Squibb said he was encouraged by his team’s effort in the first half. Squibb said he estimated his team missed about 20 layups and free throws in the first half that would’ve made it a closer game in the second half.

“We knew that coming into tonight would be a test early on in our conference,” Squibb said. “We were pleased early on with how we executed at some points in the game, but we got to continue to get better. It was certainly a good measuring stick with one of the better teams.”

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Senior Josh Marshall led the way with 14 points, and Jackson Hester chipped in 12 points.

 

PRINCETON (82)

Taylor 26, Waller 17, Sullivan 14, Joyner 9, Wilkins 2, Pearce 5, Garris 7, McPhatter 2

NEUSE CHARTER (48)

Marshall 14, Hester 12, Ledbetter 4, Denton 7, Aryer 1, Whitney 2, Tucker 7, Gaskins 1

 

Score by quarters:

Princeton 21 18 18 25 82

Neuse Charter 12 12 14 10 48

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