Whitley, Bowes lead Victory over Cornerstone

Jan. 25, 2014 @ 03:47 PM

Rev. Ricky Easter isn’t sure where his Victory Christian boys team was in the first half. But the Eagles coach knows it came to play in the second half of a 66-48 win Friday over Cornerstone Christian.

Victory trailed 21-12 at halftime before outscoring the visitors from Roanoke Rapids 28-8 in the third period. The Eagles outscored Cornerstone 54-27 in the second half of the Christian Athletic Association of N.C. Conference victory.

“They did come out in the second half and play ball,” Easter said of his bunch. “First half, I don’t know where they were. But our team showed up in the second half.”

Victory improved to 2-0 in league play and 3-2 overall.

The Eagles were led by Wesley Whitley’s 22 points and Christian Bowes had 21 points.

Easter pointed to an acrobatic Bowes finish in the third quarter for bringing Victory to life. The senior guard came up with a steal before driving inside and converting a lay-in with his back to the baseline, as he was fouled. Bowes’ free throw got the home team within four points.

“When they got fired up, they didn’t back down after that,” said Easter.

Bowes scored nine points in about three and a half minutes as Victory started the second half on a 17-2 run.

“He’s fast, he’s quick,” Easter said of Bowes. “He gets a lot of steals for us in just about every game. Those plays really got the team fired up.”

Whitley, who finished with four triples, put the Eagles ahead for good on a 3-pointer with 5:25 to play in the third period and Victory took a 40-29 lead into the fourth period after Darin Stevenson nailed a deep 3 not long before the buzzer sounded.

Victory stayed hot from the outside in the fourth as Max Blackwell drained a 3 less than 10 seconds into the quarter.

All Eagles from there.

Victory shot 8-of-21 from 3-point range in the second half, improving on a 2-of-16 mark in the first.

The deeper Eagles outscored Cornerstone in bench points 17-1, led by eight points from Que Jones.

“Each game we’re getting a little better and it seems like we’re getting a little more mature,” said Easter.

Next up for Victory is Round 2 against Crossroads Christian, in a non-conference match Friday at Crossroads.

Contact the writer at kholtzman@hendersondispatch.com.