Harnett Central dropped a pair of nonconference varsity basketball games to visiting East Wake on Tuesday night.
In the girls game, a 6-0 run in the final minute gave East Wake a 45-39 win.
“We had the game and we threw it away,” said Harnett Central girls coach Chelsey Cabe. “I told the girls in practice yesterday that the two games we had lost prior to this, East Wake last time and Overhills, the three things that stand out are defense getting beat in transition and not playing well defensively, not making our free throws and turnovers. So, the three things they needed to do tonight were not turn the ball over, make their free throws and talk and play good on defense. We didn’t talk on defense, we were 0-for-6 from the free throw line and we turned the ball over.”
A pair of sophomores led the Trojans (6-3). Brittany Mills led all scorers with 18 points and had six rebounds and two blocks. Syniah McMiller recorded her first career triple-double with 10 points, 17 rebounds and 11 blocks.
“Syniah played a great game,” Cabe said. “She had a triple-double. I think she played her tail off. Brittany played a great game up until the very end where she just made some poor decisions.”
Fayth Brown had five points and four rebounds. Lyanah Molyneaux, Zykia Matthews and Lyndsey Brewer had two points apiece. Marcayla Jones had four rebounds and three steals.
Junior Kelis Carmon had 14 points to pace the Warriors (8-4).
The game was closely contested all the way through. With just under one minute remaining in the fourth quarter, Central held a 39-38 lead. But East took advantage of turnovers and offensive rebounds to end the game with six unanswered points.
A third-quarter surge propelled East Wake to a 61-55 win in the boys game.
“I just thought that they had too many easy looks at the basket,” said Harnett Central boys coach Will Gage. “It wasn’t a case of not getting back on defense. It was a case of bad half court defense. On the nights when we’re not good defensively, we’re not very good. In the second half on offense, I thought we were too many times one shot and out. And a lot of times that one shot was not a good shot. We’ve got to get better in order to compete. I didn’t think we competed as well as or as hard as we possibly could. We’ve got to get better in those areas or we’re going to get the same result.”
The Trojans (4-5) were led by a pair of seniors, as Chase Mullins had 18 points and Kasey Perkins had 15 points.
Anthony Tomlinson and Justin Perkins had six points apiece. Trevonne Williams and Jaden Meadows had four points apiece. Croix Shipman had two points.
Sophomore Javon Mercer had 21 points, senior Daveon Vick had 15 points and sophomore Zach Sloan had 14 points to lead the Warriors (8-4).
East Wake held a 23-19 lead at the end of the first quarter, but Central was able to cut it to 38-36 at the half.
With the score tied at 41 midway through the third quarter, a Vick three-pointer started the Warriors on a 13-2 run to end the third.
Central continued to battle in the fourth quarter, but was unable to cut the lead to less than six.
“We battled to the end, but defensively we didn’t give ourselves a chance,” Gage said. “We’ve got to be better defensively.”
Harnett Central travels to East Wake’s Greater Neuse 3-A Conference mate South Johnston on Wednesday before opening Tri-County Six 3-A Conference play at Lee County on Friday.