The Swansboro boys basketball team went 2-0 last week, including a 25-point win over Croatan at home.

The Pirates defeated the Cougars 81-56 on Thursday, Jan. 26, to improve to 14-3 overall and 4-2 in the 3A Coastal Conference.

Add to that, the Bucs got a gift the next night when White Oak defeated West Carteret to give both teams a 4-1 league record and give Swansboro another crack at first place in the future.

“We have been trying to work on our communication and our defense,” Swansboro coach Brett McFarland said. “Tonight, we took a step in the right direction but we still have a long way to go to get ready for West (Carteret) and White Oak.”

Croatan dropped to 10-7 overall and 1-4 in the conference with the loss to the Pirates.

Against the Cougars, the Pirates found the long ball early and leaned into it. They came into the game averaging just four three-pointers per game, but they sank 12 against the Cougars. Eight of those treys were hit in the first half.

McFarland was surprised by the outpouring of treys in the game. The Pirate squad is a tall one, and one that specializes in points at the rim.

“It’s not part of our main offense and it’s not something they work on in practice,” he said, “but they were definitely falling for us tonight. I wasn’t going to tell them to stop shooting.”

Jeremiah Eubanks led the way with four treys in the first half alone, helping him finish the night with a game-high 21 points. Jermaine Cunningham finished with 14 points and Elijah McCallister scored 12.

When the game started, both teams traded buckets through the first three minutes. Then, Swansboro went on a 14-0 run that forced the Cougars to try and match the pace of offense from beyond the three-point line.

Ironically, Croatan is the team that has leaned all season into the long ball – it is averaging seven per game – but when the shots aren’t hitting, the team struggles to produce consistent buckets.

The offense currently averages 52.6 points per game, a tough total in a conference that includes West (77.5 points per game), Swansboro (61) and White Oak (60).

“When we do it right, it looks really good,” Croatan coach Scott McBride said. “But then we go back to our old stuff and we get our butts kicked. We still have some work to do.”

Luke Green led the Cougars in scoring with 11 points.

Swansboro will host Dixon (5-13 overall) on Friday, Feb. 3.

Email Zack Nally at

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