Jackets romp past Western Harnett, go to 5-0
Lee County crusied to its second win of the season over Western Harnett, 69-40, Thursday night and the Yellow Jackets will take a 5-0 mark into their first-ever Cape Fear Valley Conference game, on their home court again Tuesday night versus Gray's Creek.
The visiting Eagles (0-6) had little answer for the Jacket center, 6-foot-5 Dewaun McEachin. McEachin scored in the low post, off crashing the boards and with jumpers to total 24 points to go with eight boards.
Lee County head coach Reggie Peace was pleased with his big man. Just as with his whole team at this stage of the season, even with the fine record, there's more the coach is looking for.
"I've been challenging (McEachin) to get on the glass more. He ought to be getting a double-double out there every night," Peace said.
"He's getting it. He knows it's an attainable goal for him and he's trying hard," he said.
The Yellow Jackets steadily built their lead on the Eagles. A 9-0 run late in the first half pushed Lee County's advantage to 31-16. Lee County led 37-22 at halftime and kept a double-digit lead the rest of the way.
A 57-54 win versus Reidsville in Greensboro on the day before Thanksgiving is the most points the Jackets have allowed so far this season.
"We're just trying to get more consistant as a team," Peace said. "I think we're getting after it on defense pretty well and sharing the ball a little better."
"That's the Lee County way," he said. "You've got to play defense."
Western Harnett's full-court pressing troubled the Jackets in the early minutes as Lee County had more turnovers than made fied goals for part of the first quarter.
McEachin got going along with Tre'von Watson's jump-shooting and Jerry Pullum scoring, along with giving the Jackets rebounds, steals and assists.
Early in the second quarter, Pullum brought down an offensive rebound under the hoop and quickly flipped the ball to McEachin crashing down the lane for a two-handed jam.
Eagle lay-ups by Raekwon Rozier and Jalen Branch cut Lee County's lead to 22-16. McEachin scored four straight points, two from rebounding a missed Jacket free throw, then two finishing a Pullum-led fast break, to take the Jacket lead to 27-16.
When Lee County started the second half slowly, Peace made a five-man line change a couple minutes into the new half. Led by five points each by guard Richard Kersey and forward Tyler Thomas, the Jacket bench took the lead from 12 to 20.
"All the guys are buying into their roles. They're coming in and they're ready to compete," Peace said. "We have good competition in practice and I think it's really showing in games."
Watson scored 14 points. Pullum had 11 points, seven boards and five assists. Thomas added seven points and five rebounds.
Senior guard/forward Jonathan Buie led the Eagles with 15 points, 11 coming in the second half. Branch scored 10 points.
Western Harnett, in its first year in the 3A Two Rivers Conference, opens conference play at Corinth Holders on Dec. 13.
The Yellow Jackets host Gray's Creek Tuesday night and will travel to Douglas Byrd on Friday.