By Bob Sutton
Special to The Alamance News
Williams had some new looks with its boys’ basketball team Tuesday night.
The Bulldogs liked how it turned out against visiting Eastern Alamance.
Williams rode a sturdy defensive effort in a 49-38 victory in the Central Carolina 3-A Conference.
“The hustle was there,” Bulldogs coach Tommy Cole said. “The intensity was there.”
Williams (5-7, 1-2 Central Carolina 3-A Conference) has won three of its last four games, the latest coming in a steamy gym. It was the fifth time the Bulldogs held a foe to less than 45 points.
“Everyone is starting to become a leader in their own way,” Williams forward Milton Turner said.
Cam’ron Jones turned in a 10-point, 12-rebound effort, while teammate Jaelan Brown delivered six assists. Ty Lagana entered the starting lineup, and the senior forward posted nine points.
With a grueling part of the schedule in the past – the last five losses for the Bulldogs came against teams with a combined 40-8 record – there could be brighter days ahead for Williams.
“I told them to start having fun,” Cole said. “Just relax.”
Tuesday night’s result came just days after leading scorer Johntez Raspberry, a senior, left the team.
“After losing a key player, just coming together,” Turner said. “The team is just coming back together. We’re a team. We’re going to build from it.”
Williams built an 11-point lead in the opening minute of the second quarter, forcing all sorts of Eastern turnovers.
Eastern (8-4, 1-1) lost for the third time in its last four games. The Eagles had makeshift lineups because of players who missed practice time.
“We didn’t have the continuity,” coach Brad Costa said.
Jalen Alston had nine points, and Michael Reaves and AJ Weaver both scored eight for Eastern, which trailed 27-12 at halftime. The deficit reached 20 points.
“You’re playing against a good defensive team,” Costa said. “We missed some around the rim.”
In the girls’ game, Williams pulled away for a 49-33 victory to set up an even bigger matchup Friday night, when Western Alamance visits for a Central Carolina 3-A Conference showdown.
The Bulldogs (9-3, 2-1) received a boost from Briahna Scott’s 14 points and seven rebounds, Regan Averett’s 10 points and five rebounds and Jainasia Bailey’s 10 points.
Eastern (6-6, 0-2) hit a rut in the third quarter and didn’t recover. Makayla Thompson led the Eagles with 13 points.
Western (12-1, 2-0) topped Cummings 73-43 in Tuesday night’s home non-conference game.