Friday, June 14, 2024

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Bulldogs’ rebounding contributes to win over Cummings


By Bob Sutton

Special to The Alamance News

The Williams boys’ basketball team wanted to use its brawn in the lane when Cummings visited Thursday night.

That worked well throughout most of the non-conference meeting as the Bulldogs bashed the Cavaliers 54-45.

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“We were just crashing the boards,” Williams center Sam Rhodes said. “We were just getting there. It doesn’t really matter who we play, that’s what we want to do.”

Time and time again sequences were repeated with the Bulldogs’ relentless approach paying off.

Rhodes and Milton Turner each scored 18 points, with most of their baskets from the low blocks.

“Just trying to be strong and attack the rim,” Turner said.

“Nice little layups,” Rhodes added.

There was little nice about it from the Cummings’ perspective.

“We didn’t bring the fight,” coach Chas Criss said. “We knew what the game was going to be. If you get beat up on the glass, you’re not going to win the game.”

Turner, who played the entire game, collected 17 rebounds, with 10 on the offensive end. Rhodes grabbed five of his 16 boards on offense.

“They’re going to get some,” Criss said of the rebounds. “Then their guards started getting the rebounds.”

Williams coach Jimmy Lloyd said he appreciated the tremendous rebounding efforts. He also was thankful for how Williams guards Cavion Stokes and Jaeden Smith and others navigated Cummings’ pressing tactics.

“I was very happy with the way we handled the pressure,” Lloyd said.

Williams (4-1) had a 14-2 run spanning the first and second quarters, but the Cavaliers (3-2) pulled even at 23-23. The Bulldogs outscored Cummings 7-0 for the final 1:40 of the half, with Turner providing the last two baskets for a 30-23 lead.

Rhodes scored to end the third quarter and Turner’s bucket off a rebound marked the first points of the fourth quarter, stretching the Bulldogs’ lead to 48-30. Cummings rallied to within 50-40 before, with less than two minutes left, three consecutive missed free throws followed by a missed shot and a turnover doomed the attempted comeback.

Ja’Kari Dobbins had 13 points and Kobie Stadler added nine points for Cummings.

It was Lloyd’s first game as head coach in the city rivalry.

“That’s what it’s all about,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun to coach in games like that when guys are diving on the floor.”

It was the first of consecutive Thursday night meetings between the teams, with the rematch at Cummings next week.


In the girls’ game …

Williams turned up the defense in the second half on the way to a 51-25 victory against Cummings.

“We made a point to put a big emphasis on the defense and the rebounding in the third quarter,” Bulldogs coach Jason Cheek said. “That was the whole reason (Cummings) got back in it and made a run in the second quarter.”

The Cavaliers (1-4) were held to seven second-half points. Williams (5-1) stretched its 26-18 halftime edge.

Regan Averett tallied 21 points and Jordyn Taylor had nine points for Williams. It was the second 21-point outing of the week for Averett.

“When you say the word ‘consistent,’ she is,” Cheek said.

Latisha Currie and Makiyah Pettiford both had nine points for Cummings.

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