The Tarboro Vikings had a hard time finding a way to score and just couldn't find an answer to stop the Nash Central Bulldogs explosive offensive attack Wednesday night. The Bulldogs defeated the Vikings 81-43.
"We have to give credit to Nash Central, because they came out and played really well," Tarboro head coach Craig Savage said. "They didn't miss many shots and we couldn't make many."
The Vikings had a hard time stopping Bulldogs big man Nathaniel Pittman. He exploded for 28 points in just three quarters of action. Guard Jaquan Wilkins was also unstoppable as he added 17 points.
The Vikings shot poorly from the field and fired up a bunch of three-pointers early on in the game and couldn't get any shots to fall. They weren't running any type of offensive plays and were firing shots up from long range. They were unable to score from inside as well. Tarboro shot 18 three's in the game and fired up eight in the first quarter alone.
"Shots just weren't going in for us," Savage said. "We were calling plays and we just weren't getting in to it. They did a good job against us defensively by stopping our offense. We have to keep working."
After a fast start by the Bulldogs, that forced Savage to take two timeouts in the first quarter. His team played with frustration throughout most of the game, which started in the first quarter, because Pittman exploded out of the gates and scored 19 of the Bulldogs 26 points in the first quarter.
"I told them our shots weren't falling and I told them to share the ball," Savage said. "I told them to get the ball inside and see if we could get something to work in there. We fired up too many three's and they weren't falling."
Tarboro was unable to get any type of momentum in the game. Savage substituted players throughout most of the game to try and find some players who could get some kind of rhythm going for them. It didn't work though, because the Bulldogs continued to pour it on.
Tarboro turned the ball over 24 times and that led to 18 Bulldog points.
Savage was pleased with the production he got from players who came off of the bench. He said they mixed it up well while they were on the floor and showed some positive signs.
"The guys who came off of the bench gave us a good lift," Savage said. "I thought those guys played really hard when they were on the floor for us."
Lady Bulldogs 41
Lady Vikings 36
Missed lay-ups, free throws and careless turnovers continued to plague the Tarboro Lady Vikings as they were defeated 41-36 by the Nash Central Lady Bulldogs.
Tarboro missed 12 lay-ups throughout the game and were 5-14 from the free throw line. The lay-ups that were missed were at a crucial point in the game when Tarboro had a chance to tie the game or either take the lead, but they couldn't convert on the opportunities when given the chance.
Lisa Jones led the way for the Vikings as she scored 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
The Vikings began to go inside and take advantage of Jones' strength in the second and third quarters, when she scored 14 points in those two quarters. She was able to maneuver through the Bulldogs bigs and get to the basket and make things happen.
The Vikings were tied heading into the fourth quarter, but Ni'ya Styles continued her dominating performance and helped the Bulldogs pull away. She finished the game with 27 points. Nash Central started the quarter on a 9-1 run before Tarboro was able to score a basket in the fourth, but the Vikings kept it close as they were able to score a couple of quick baskets.
Down the stretch, Tarboro had numerous chances to cut into the lead and were unable to score, because of careless mistakes where players were unable to catch passes down low on wide open opportunities under the basket.
Kharlil Perry added six for the Vikings, while Nyasha Savage and A'Jah Williams each chipped in five apiece.
Tarboro is back in action Friday when they travel to play Farmville Central in an Eastern Plains Conference showdown.