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Williams Bulldogs avenge earlier defeat, beat Patriots at Southern Fri. night


By Bob Sutton

Special to The Alamance News

Emphasizing defense turned out to be the right approach for the Williams boys’ basketball team Friday night.

The Bulldogs kept host Southern Alamance in check, particularly in the fourth quarter of the Central 3-A Conference game, to come away with a 56-44 road victory.

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“They locked down and played really good defense,” Williams coach Jimmy Lloyd said of his team.

Some timely offense didn’t hurt the Bulldogs (10-6 overall, 3-4 Central 3-A Conference). It was the second time in January that Williams ventured into a county rival’s gym and spoiled the fun.

“We want these kinds of games,” Lloyd said.

This result avenged a two-point home loss to the Patriots.

“It was special,” said Bulldogs forward Brian Williams, who scored 15 points. “We had to step up our game. We shouldn’t have (lost the first meeting).”

Williams’ Brian Williams

[Story continues below photo.]

Will Cooper, right, of Williams lines up for a shot against Southern Alamance.

Southern’s Chris Epps scored 14 points and Jordan Moore had 10. The Patriots (11-8, 4-3) were hindered by Tyler Moore’s foul trouble. He picked up two fouls on the offensive end in the game’s first 2:32, and then was dinged with his third with less than two seconds left in the first half.

Milton Turner scored 10 points for the Bulldogs, but his defensive work taking charges might have produced a bigger impact.

Williams’ Milton Turner

“The crowd was into it and we used that for our momentum,” Turner said of embracing the rowdy environment.

Williams reserve Will Cooper drained two 3-pointers, doubling his season output. The senior converted on a tiebreaking four-point play – something he said he had never previously pulled off – early in the fourth quarter. That sparked a 14-0 run that also included Cavion Stokes’ 3-pointer and Sam Rhodes’ basket in the lane.

The Patriots had only two fourth-quarter points until Jordan Moore’s three-point play with 1:11 left.

“The difference was (that) they got easy looks and we had to work for the ones we got,” Southern coach Dylan Eppley said. “Then we got to put the ball in the basket.”

Southern Alamance basketball coach Dylan Eppley

Southern was a game behind first-place Orange when the week began, but a stunning loss at Western Alamance and the inability to sweep Williams changed the complexion of the conference race.

“It’s definitely a competitive league,” Eppley said. “If you’re not firing on all cylinders, this can happen.”

The Patriots won in overtime a week earlier at Eastern Alamance.

“We had a little bit of the high spirits and didn’t come back down to earth until the Western game,” Eppley said.

Williams has won two straight, also topping host Northeast Guilford 54-39 in Wednesday night’s non-conference game with Williams scoring 12 points and Rhodes notching 11 points.


Girls’ game

Southern Alamance used a patient approach and carved up the Williams defense with second-half passing in a 39-29 victory.

“We were very deliberate in running offense.” Patriots coach Will Robinson said. “When we run offense, we play well.”

Morgan Isley’s 13 points, Madison Brouillard’s 12 points and Sunny Yarnell’s 11 points provided a chunk of the scoring. Sarah Kathryn Maness had 10 rebounds.

Part of the plan for the Patriots was to keep the place controlled and prevent the Bulldogs from playing at a brisk clip. The score was 14-14 at halftime.

Southern (8-11, 2-5) scored the last five points of the third quarter for a 26-21 edge.

The outcome avenged a 14-point road loss from earlier in the month.

Williams (12-6, 3-4) had a four-game winning streak snapped despite Regan Averett’s 17 points.

The Bulldogs were coming off Wednesday’s 66-61 victory at Northeast Guilford.

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