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Jaguars rock Panthers

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KENLY — The North Johnston High varsity boys basketball team was no match for the top-ranked Farmville Central on Feb. 5, falling 95-55 in the Panthers’ 2-A Eastern Plains Conference home matchup.

The Panthers (6-13, 1-6 EPC) came out sluggish and fell behind 14-3. Head coach Chris Batten believes his team could’ve had a better chance had they not fallen behind so early.

“I thought we got a lot of good looks in the first quarter, but went up a little tentative instead of just attacking the basket,” Batten said. “Later in the first and second I thought we attacked, but if we had attacked early on instead of being tentative, instead of being down 10 or 11 at the end of the first quarter, we’re a lot closer to five.”

By halftime the lead had grown to 21 and in the second half the Panthers did not stop the leaking Jaguars (21-0, 7-0 EPC).

“Once they got a lead, they started sprinting out and we did a terrible job of rotating out on defense,” Batten said. “No matter how much we preached it, we did a terrible job and let them blow the game open by shooting layups and dunks. I don’t want to say we were deflated but we were rattled.”

The standout for the Panthers was the play of Rakuan Rodrigues, who finished the night with 24 points. Batten said it was nice to see him listen to the coaching staff and get a nice night against a good team. Justin Wright was the high man for the Jaguars with 22 points.

FARMVILLE CENTRAL (95)

Wright 22, Smith 20, Short 4, Owens 3, Foskey 4, Harper 17, Wilkins 8, Teel 12.

NORTH JOHNSTON (55)

Rodrigues 24, Foye 6, Hinnant 5, Vann 5, Pitts 2, Lucas 4, Hicks 3, Wallace 2, Moore 4.

Score by quarters:

Farmville Central 24 23 26 22 — 95

North Johnston 13 13 18 11 — 55

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