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Injury-plagued senior Rieshod Baines is becoming healthier by the day.
So is his game.
The 5-foot-10 Baines tossed in a season-high 18 points and received plenty of support in the Community Christian School varsity boys basketball team’s 75-61 North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A/2-A Coastal Independents Conference victory against St. Thomas More Academy of Raleigh in Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf’s Barney Williamson Gym on Tuesday night.
Junior D.J. Atkinson, a transfer from Hunt High, poured in 24 points and all nine Cyclones scored. CCS, a 1-A league member, improved to 3-1 in the conference and to 6-3 overall.
The 2-A Chancellors, paced by sophomore Andrew Baxley with 23 points and 6-foot-5 Jonathan Shamine with 10 rebounds and nine points, departed 2-2 in the league and 2-6 overall.
“I’m not 100 percent, but I’m back,” commented Baines with a grin. “I’m feeling better. My shot was feeling good in warm-ups and my teammates were trying to get me open.”
Baines rewarded his teammates’ efforts by draining a pair of 3-point shots among his eight first-quarter points. Baines and Atkinson accounted for all of the Cyclones’ points the first seven minutes.
St. Thomas More bolted to a 10-5 start before the Cyclones took their first lead at 14-13. Trailing 15-14, CCS closed the opening quarter with an 8-0 run to surge out front for keeps.
The Cyclones utilized their superior speed and deadly shooting (10 of 15 from the floor in the second quarter) to build a 43-23 cushion on a steal and resulting basket from senior James Pender. The Cyclones’ advantage stretched to 62-36 in the third quarter when senior Avery Winstead drained a 3-point shot. CCS connected on 8 of 14 shots from the floor in the third quarter.
“We played good defense,” Baines explained the runaway, “and (head) coach (Micah Baines, Rieshod Baines’ uncle) said they could not keep up with us and, every time we got the ball, we needed to push it.”
Remarked Chancellors assistant coach Bill McCullers: “They had good speed, but our defense was not very good. We have played better.”
“Our speed and playing under control were key factors,” Coach Baines emphasized. “This was our second game of the week and there were a lot of positives. And we worked on a lot of negatives.”
CCS welcomes Crossroads Christian of Henderson in Williamson Gym on Thursday night.
ST. THOMAS MORE 61)
Ligowski 3, Eason, Baxley 23, McCullers 5, G. Shamine, Sullivan, Neguib, Eastmann, Moran 3, J. Shamine 9, Rodriguez 18.
COMMUNITY CHRISTIAN (75)
Baines 18, Atkinson 24, Evans 8, Pender 4, Winstead 8, Williams 8, Scott 2, Lane 1, Dixon 2.
Score by quarters:
St. Thomas More 15 15 17 14 — 61
CCS 22 23 20 10 — 75