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The Community Christian School varsity boys basketball team’s Eric Wynn, a 6-foot-8 freshman, and junior Jimmy Forte combined for 39 points to outscore the entire Southside Christian of Clayton team in a 68-31 North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A nonconference rout in the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf gym Monday night.
Of course, that production is hardly news since Forte and Wynn are the leading scorers for a Cyclones’ squad that improved to 9-6.
But especially exciting to first-year head coach Kenneth Atkinson was a career-high 17 points and lights-out 3-point markmanship from freshman Eli Eger.
“I have been on him all year about the shooting the 3,” Atkinson said. “He’s a natural and can flat shoot it. Eli finally turned it on; his confidence is growing.”
Eger drained five shots —including his last four — from 3-point range.
“I just had it tonight,” explained the soft-spoken Eger. “I was feeling it and excited to be back playing. Coach told me to shoot the ball, and that’s what it did.”
Of his production, Eger responded: “It feels awesome; I didn’t let the team down and helped us get the win.”
The outcome left Southside, a newcomer to the NCISAA 1-A division and ranked last according to MaxPreps, with a 1-8 record. The Warriors were led by 6-8 Logan Brown with 12 points.
Wynn stuffed in a game-high 22 points, including 16 the first half, for CCS and grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked five shots. Forte added 17 points.
The Cyclones forged an 18-2 first-quarter lead but then turned sloppy and displayed suspect focus. The Warriors drew as close as nine points before Wynn demonstrated that he could score at will inside.
Sparked by Forte and Eger, CCS opened the second half with a 7-0 spurt and continued to widen the gap. The final margin was the largest, with junior Christian McFarland scoring on a steal with a handful of seconds remaining.
CCS was playing for the first time in 2019 and for the first time in two weeks. The Cyclones travel to Crossroads Christian of Henderson on Tuesday night.
“We were still a little slow on defense,” Atkinson assessed. “Offensively, we didn’t move the ball as well as we wanted in the first half but were a little better in the second half.”
Wynn spent a quiet second half with Atkinson intent upon all of his Cyclones seeing action and turning attention to the inside-out game.
“Eric is a 25-points-a-night guy if he stays in the paint,” Atkinson contended, “and he’s doing a better job of that. We wanted to concentrate more on inside-out in the second half because that has been hurting us all year.”
SOUTHSIDE CHRISTIAN (31)
McLean 3, Jewett 4, Willis 5, Harley, Brown 12, Holley 4 Penny, Williams, Dewitt, Jenkins, Dixon 3.
COMMUNITY CHRISTIAN (68)
Forte 17, Piccolo 8, Wynn 22, Eger 17, McFarland 4, Lane, Fate, Moran, Manning.
Score by quarters:
Southside Christian 2 17 9 3 — 31
CCS 18 12 23 15 — 68