Cavaliers cruise past Western Harnett
Senior Juwon Jackson scored 20 points, all 20 coming in the first three periods, to lead Southern Lee to a 60-43 win at Western Harnett as both squads opened their Cape Fear Valley Conference campaigns Tuesday night.
The Cavaliers (2-4, 1-0) got a big lead over the Eagles (1-9, 0-1). Western Harnett worked its way back into the game by halftime before the Cavs had to regain control and get a big lead which was perfectly safe down the stretch. Jackson, the Cavalier power forward, was key both times Southern Lee put everything together.
After the Eagles got out to a 4-0 lead, Jackson scored Southern Lee's first six points. Three quick Cavalier hoops in a row, thanks to Eagle turnovers versus Southern Lee's pressing, with two hoops by Jackson then a lay-up by Charles Wicker, made it 8-4 Cavs.
Freshman guard Noah Mellette drained a three-pointer, then seconds later, finished a Cavalier break with a smooth pull-up jumper for a 16-9 Southern Lee lead. Mellette's jumpers were part of a 13-0 Cavalier run to a 23-9 lead early in the second quarter.
The Eagles fought back through the rest of the half, playing most of the half without their leading scorer, forward Jonathan Buie, who picked up three early fouls. Elliott Terry scored five points and Da'sean Hazelrigg added four points for the Eagles. Southern Lee held on to a 27-22 edge at halftime.
Getting the ball inside, usually to Jackson, keyed the Cavs regaining the front foot. Jackson drove down the lane for a hoop, then scored in the post off an out-of-bounds play, for four straight points and a 33-23 Cavalier lead. The Cavs kept going to as much as a 19-point lead a couple times in the fourth period.
Jackson finished with 20 points, five rebounds and four steals. Mellette scored 12 points. Center Justin McKinnon, who also benefitted as the Cavs looked inside a lot after halftime, finished with 11 points. Damian Brown led the Cavs with eight rebounds. Christian Locust had five assists.
The combination of Southern Lee's defending and foul trouble held Buie to three points. Hazelrigg led the Eagles with 12 points. Terry had 11 points, five rebounds and four blocks.
Western Harnett has another conference game Friday night at Gray's Creek. Southern Lee gets set for its first meeting with Lee County this season, at Lee County Saturday at 6:30 p.m.