Greenwave boys finish unbeaten season with 46-12 victory

by | Feb 13, 2020 | Dunn, News & Features

A steal by Nathan Vecellio was one of few highlights for Highland.
(Dunn Area Sports Photo/John Lucas)

Dunn’s boys basketball team put the cap on an undefeated season as part of a sweep of visiting Highland in the middle school basketball season finale on Wednesday.

The games were a make-up from Thursday, when Harnett County Schools canceled all after-school activities due to the threat of severe weather.

Dunn’s girls gutted out a 32-27 win in a close battle against Highland, giving Dunn its first winning record in several years.

JaNiah Smith paced the Greenwaves (7-5) with 15 points.

Chyna Massey and Evie Eller had seven points apiece. Massey’s blocks and Eller’s rebounding were also major factors in the win for Dunn.

Stephanie Davis had two points and Unique Cooke had one point.

Najiha Allen led the Vikings (8-4) with 11 points.

Arianna Stuart had eight points. Makayla Owens had four points. Marva Arnold had three points. Alexandria Williams had one point.

The game was a tight, back-and-forth battle throughout, with Dunn holding a 22-19 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

After Smith scored to push the lead to five, Owens and Stuart scored to cut it to just one. But Dunn responded with an 8-2 run, capped by a score from Massey to extend the lead to seven. Dunn’s defense stepped up the rest of the way, allowing just two points over the final minutes of the game.

Dunn’s boys ended a perfect season with a 46-12 rout over Highland.

“When we played our core guys, I thought they played hard and really competed on the defensive end,” said Dunn boys coach John Gage. “We were a little sloppy offensively coming out, but they really settled down. Just like we’ve been doing all season, our defense created our offense. And I can never question their effort. They just played really hard. I’m proud of them for that.”

Dunn’s boys came up just short of a conference title last season. This year, the Greenwaves not only won the Harnett County Conference championship, they did so with a perfect record.

“I’ve just got to give it to the guys,” Gage said. “They came out and they competed every night. I’m tremendously proud of them. They do what they’re supposed to do in the school building and then come and work hard in practice and it shows on the court. They just play really hard as a team.”

ZyQuan Smith had 12 points to lead the Greenwaves (12-0).

Ro’mello Pegues had eight points. Nick Roberson had six points. Ahmad Morris had five points. Qua’Shaun Williams had four points. Camrien McNeil, Matthew Strickland and Demarblaz Devane had three points apiece. Diontae Williams had two points.

“We’re just so balanced,” Gage said. “I think that’s been the key. When you play defense like we do, it creates transition and that sets up a lot of different guys to score. That’s really been the difference this season is we just are a really balanced team.”

Michael Vecellio had four points to lead the Vikings (1-11) and Tramir Gordon, Gabriel Casteel, Perry Haley and Brian Seymore had two points apiece.

Dunn dominated the game, outscoring Highland 9-2 in the first quarter, 16-1 in the second and 19-0 in the third. Highland found some offense in the fourth quarter, outscoring Dunn 9-2.

Matthew Strickland shoots a 3-pointer for the Greenwaves.
(Dunn Area Sports Photo/John Lucas)

Ahmad Morris scores in a 46-12 win for Dunn on Wednesday.
(Dunn Area Sports Photo/John Lucas)

ZyQuan Smith scores as the Greenwaves complete an unbeaten season.
(Dunn Area Sports Photo/John Lucas)

Highland’s Michael Vecellio scores in the final game of the season.
(Dunn Area Sports Photo/John Lucas)

The unbeaten Dunn boys basketball team is pictured. Seated in front, from left, are Demarblaz Devane, Diontae Williams, Joshua Cameron and Ro’mello Pegues. On the middle row are Coach John Gage, Zaylin Armstrong, Ezekial Dixon, Ke’Quan Kenner, manager Garo Sheats, Camrien McNeil, Chandler Miles, Qua’Shaun Williams and Cade Ouber. On the back row are ZyQuan Smith, Matthew Strickland, Nick Roberson, Avery Ellington, Ahmad Morris, Will Watson, manager Jerell McNeill and assistant Justin Walker.
(Dunn Area Sports Photo/John Lucas)

Evie Eller secures a loose ball for the Dunn girls.
(Dunn Area Sports Photo/John Lucas)

Makayla Owens scores for visiting Highland on Wednesday.
(Dunn Area Sports Photo/John Lucas)

Arianna Stewart gets a basket for the Highland girls.
(Dunn Area Sports Photo/John Lucas)

Chyna Massey blocks a shot for the Greenwave girls.
(Dunn Area Sports Photo/John Lucas)

The Dunn girls celebrate after winning a close contest to close the season.
(Dunn Area Sports Photo/John Lucas)


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