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Pirates’ great effort not enough, remain winless in 4-A NAC play

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WENDELL — The Corinth Holders High varsity boys basketball team played possibly its best game of the season Friday night against Rolesville, but the Pirates couldn’t get the 4-A Northern Athletic Conference win at home.

Behind a late third-quarter run that pushed their lead to insurmountable, the Rams beat the Pirates, 74-59. Corinth Holders, which dropped to 5-13 overall, remains winless in the conference in four tries. Rolesville exited 13-4 in all games and 2-2 against league foes.

The Pirates led 6-2 before the Rams ran off 14 straight points, leading first-year head coach James Jenkins to call a timeout to get his Pirates back on track — and he did as they closed the quarter on a 9-0 run.

“There was definitely a size differential and them not shooting the ball well helped us pack it in and help in the post and to help rebounds,” Pirates head coach James Jenkins said.

The Pirates made it a point to attack Rolesville 6-foot-7 junior center Brandon Johnson, who picked up his second foul in the second quarter. Corinth Holders sophomore forward Jacob Poole and senior forward Tyler Wooten took advantage of Johnson’s absence with 11 and six points, respectively, in the first half.

“We wanted to try to shoot free throws so going at them as much as possible helps us get to the line, and in turn helped get them in foul trouble,” Jenkins said. “Anytime you can get 6-foot-7 off the floor, that helps.”

Corinth Holders went into halftime trailing just 34-32. Both teams traded baskets and turnovers early in the second half, but Rolesville took advantage when Jenkins pulled Poole and junior guard Marcus Bland off the floor with three minutes left in the quarter. The Rams capitalized with a 10-2 run to push their lead to 56-46 going into the fourth and the Pirates would not get within 10 again.

“It hurt the most,” Jenkins said. “One of our keys to the game is to limit unforced turnovers, and when they pressed we had a few turnovers there and they got to rolling. We believe huge in momentum. They hit a 3 at the end of the quarter and it kind of sucked the life out of us.”

Johnson ended up with a game-high 23 points for Rolesville while the Pirates were paced by Poole’s 13 points.

The loss hurts, but Jenkins was encouraged by his team’s performance against one of the best teams in the state.

“It really lets our guys know that we can play with anybody,” Jenkins said. “We were right there and a few of our mistakes prevented us from getting the W.”

ROLESVILLE (74)

Green 6, Williams 4, Cooper 8, Long 7, Mazi 2, Mathis 9, Kaiser 13, McLeod 2, Johnson 23.

CORINTH HOLDERS (59)

Wooten 9, Bland 8, Stephens 12, Poole 13, Kornegay 2, Cozart 3, Harris 10, Tilton 2.

Score by quarters:

Rolesville 16 20 20 18 — 74

Corinth Holders 15 19 12 13 — 59

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