Vanguards searching for winning formula

Dec. 18, 2012 @ 10:02 PM

Vance-Granville continued its trend of competitive losses over the weekend, dropping games to Mid-Atlantic Christian and Johnston Community College.

The 71-67 loss to Mid-Atlantic came in the Vanguards’ home opener at Aycock Rec Center Friday before an 80-56 defeat on the road in Johnston County Saturday.

“We’re getting more and more competitive, we’re just not finishing games off,” said Vance-Granville coach Mike Rotolo.

The Vanguards (2-9) trailed Mid-Atlantic by seven at halftime, but rallied back to take a six-point lead with two minutes to go.

Mid-Atlantic converted a 3-pointer in the final minute with no time left on the shot clock to take a one-point advantage. The Mustangs put the game away at the free throw line.

“We just couldn’t make the plays down the stretch that we needed to,” said Rotolo.

Anson High School product Ezekiel LaGrande led the Vanguards with 20 points, Justin Martin of J.F. Webb had 19 and Granville Central’s Khadier Fulcher finished with 16.

Vance-Granville was down eight at halftime in Smithfield, but knocked down four consecutive 3s to take the lead.

The game was tied at 50, but Johnston ended the game on a 30-6 run.

“We ran out of gas,” said Rotolo. “We just fell apart, didn’t finish the game.”

Martin was the high scorer for the Vanguards with 21. LaGrande and Fulcher both had 12.

Vance-Granville returns to action Jan. 9 at home to Southside, Va. Community College.

All of the Vanguards’ second semester games are scheduled to be played at Aycock after the team played nine of its first 10 games on the road.

“Hopefully this will be the difference maker and get us over the top,” said Rotolo.

 

Contact the writer at kholtzman@hendersondispatch.com.