Tuesday night at Leesville, Russ Frazier’s Leesville Road basketball squad was able to extend their conference winning streak to three games and maintain their second place CAP-8 standing as they defeated Enloe 80-53.
The Pride were the favorite from the beginning as Enloe was sitting at a meager 2-6 CAP-8 record coming in. Combine that with the Pride’s knack for playing well at home and momentum coming off two straight conference wins and chances are it’ll be a good night. Not to mention, it’s been a while since Leesville has lost to Enloe.
The game started off quickly as both teams got off to good offensive starts. Thanks to early scoring from point guard Alex Hunter and a few alley-oops to guard Ben Zemonek, the Pride were able to put up 19 points in the first quarter. They matched this in the second frame, scoring 19 more points. Offense wasn’t the problem, but it was clear Russ Frazier was unhappy with his team’s defensive prowess early on.
“At the half we talked about rebounding the basketball and playing with intensity,” said Frazier. His team surrendered multiple second chance points and fast break buckets do to a lack of rebounds and finishing out the defensive possession. However, Frazier said that his team “responded well” in the second half.
It was clear that the second half would be different from the get-go. Leesville outscored Enloe 23-9 in the third quarter alone, largely in part to a remarkable shooting effort from behind the three-point line. Alex Hunter, DJ Horne, and Jalen Benjamin all finished with multiple three-point field goals made in the game, and Jonathan Mebane added another one. Frazier said his team has been working on this for a while.
“We have been working on shooting the basketball a lot, but in order to take and make good shots, we have to pass the ball well. We threw great passes tonight,” said Frazier. The Pride can thank point guard Alex Hunter for the assists, as he had seven dishes when the game ended.
The fourth quarter was much of the same, and remaining consistent, the Pride scored another 19 points as they emptied the bench and the crowd cheered for the reserves. All but two players out of the Pride’s roster of 12 scored a point in the game, and the second half defensive improvements allowed the Pride to extend their lead even further. Alex Hunter led all scorers with 25 points and 7 assists and 4 rebounds. Jonathan Mebane and Ben Zemonek both collected 8 rebounds a piece.
“We moved the ball, hit the open man, and finished plays. Everyone got involved,” said Frazier of the win. The Pride will have to re-group quickly however, as they have another game tonight against Cary.
The game is an NCHSAA endowment game, so admission for everyone will be $5.00, and PAC passes will not be allowed. The game is also the fourth game in five school days, so it will be a test of the Pride’s stamina in Loonieville tonight.
“We have to remain focused, take care of our bodies, eat right, hydrate, and stay in the moment,” said Frazier. “You have to play the game in front of you and right now we are doing that.”
Tonight’s game isn’t a CAP-8 matchup, but the importance remains. Cary is first in the SWAC, and they are not only undefeated in conference, but they are riding a 20 game win streak. The men’s game will start at 7:00 immediately following the conclusion of the women’s game.