WINTERVILLE — It may have been the first game of the season, but the West Carteret boys basketball team got a taste of the playoffs Monday night at South Central.
The Falcons pressed the Patriots the entire game and took advantage of a crowded and raucous gym to hold on for a 53-49 victory.
West, unfortunately, didn’t pack its “A” game for its trip to Winterville.
The Patriots had 25 turnovers, went 0-for-11 from the three-point line and 11-for-20 from the free-throw stripe. After hitting all four of their free throws in the first half, they went 7-for-16 in the second half.
South Central shot 12-for-23 from the foul line, hitting 8-for-15 in the fourth quarter.
Shane Graves led West with 15 points. Jaxon Ellingsworth was the only other Patriots player in double figures with 13.
Joe Thompson led the Falcons with 13. Omar Harris scored 11 and helped his team hold on for the win by shooting 5-for-6 from the foul line in the fourth quarter.
South Central held a 25-22 lead at halftime and outscored the visitors 28-27 in the second half.
The Patriots and Falcons are projected to be two of the top teams in the 3A east this season after bringing back most of their lineups. West went 11-3 with a trip to the regional final, while South Central went 13-1 but didn’t participate in the state playoffs after entering COVID-19 protocols.
The West girls fell 61-19 in their first game of the season prior to the boys’ matchup.
Here are results of the boys game:
West Carteret...................... 12 10 8 19 - 49
South Central....................... 9 16 11 17 - 53
WEST CARTERET (49) – Graves 15, Ellingsworth 13, R. Cummings 5, McBride 4, Montford 4, Stack 4, A. Cummings 2, Hester 2.
SOUTH CENTRAL (53) – Thompson 13, Taylor 13, Harris 11, Leitch 6, Godley 5, Raynor 3, Wright 2.