Eagles finish regular season in style

Feb. 21, 2014 @ 11:42 PM

Warren County turned its defense up a notch in the third quarter Friday at Southern Vance, ending the frame on a 24-7 run.

Tyler Thompson capped the rally with a 3-pointer just before the third period buzzer, giving the Eagles an advantage too great for Southern to overcome on its Senior Night.

The 74-53 win pushed Warren County’s 2-A Northern Carolina Conference record to 11-3. The Eagles would have finished second in the league regardless of Friday’s result following Bunn’s win over Southern on Thursday.

Bunn entered Friday with only one league loss, which came to Warren County.

Southern trimmed a 10-point deficit to 1 about midway through the third quarter before the Eagles’ full-court pressure created some problems.

“The defensive intensity really turned it around for us there,” said Warren County head coach Wanda Thompson.

“We just didn’t take our time,” Southern head coach Greg Ackles said. “They’re an athletic team. They’re fast, quick, get to the ball. But I think we threw unnecessary passes and didn’t come meet the ball like we should have.”

Tyler Thompson’s 3 made it 53-35 after three quarters. He finished with 15 points and Charlie Williams led the Eagles with 21 points. Dennis Waddell had nine points and seven rebounds.

Warren County led 27-19 at halftime.

“To come out tonight and light it up like that and shoot well, it gives us a good feeling going into Monday night,” said Wanda Thompson.

Monday marks the first round of the state playoffs for the Eagles, who started the week with a loss to Bunn, setting back hopes for a conference title. Warren County defeated N.C. School of Science and Math on Thursday.

Southern’s chances of making the postseason aren’t great and that was evident in an emotional exchange between Ackles and senior Ty-Traveon Roberts, who finished with 24 points and nine rebounds. Ackles subbed Roberts out with about a minute to play.

“I thanked him for letting me be his coach,” said Ackles, “thanked him for giving me everything he had. He’s the best pure athlete I have ever coached. He tried and that’s all I can ask for.”

Johnny Hawkins added nine points, five rebounds and four assists for Southern, which dropped to 9-13 overall and 6-8 in league play.

Shawn Henderson, Jeremiah Williams, Qualik Shearin, Tiquay Harrington, and Tra Winston joined Roberts in the senior class.

Contact the writer at kholtzman@hendersondispatch.com.