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FAYETTEVILLE — In a battle of state champions from their respective classifications, the Greenfield School varsity boys basketball team made a run to tie Farmville Central in the fourth quarter on Saturday afternoon.
But poor defense and a string of fruitless possessions caught up with the Knights thereafter, as Greenfield allowed 34 points in the fourth quarter in a 96-83 loss in the Hoops and Dreams Showcase on the campus of Methodist University.
Greenfield (6-2), the defending North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A champion, placed all five of its scorers in double figures and used a 3-pointer by senior Creighton Lebo at the close of the third quarter to pull within 62-59. The Knights proceeded to realize a 66-66 tie later in the fourth. However, Greenfield lapsed defensively from there — including a foul on a 3-point attempt — and Farmville Central’s transition game carried the day.
“We did a great job of showing composure,” Greenfield head coach Rob Salter said of the early comeback. “But when we tied it, we relaxed. You can’t do that against a team like Farmville Central. They just killed us in transition. Defensively, we were not very good at all.”
The contest featured a high-level matchup in the backcourt, with Greenfield senior and Wake Forest signee Dji Bailey notching 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists. But the Farmville Central tandem of Terquavion Smith and Justin Wright gave the Knights defense fits.
Smith, who will attend N.C. State, incinerated the nets for 40 points to lead all scorers. Wright, bound for North Carolina Central, added 28 and noted shotblocker Leontae Moye had 11.
The Jaguars, defending North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2-A champions, improved to 2-0 with both wins coming against Wilson County competition. Farmville Central defeated Hunt in its opener 98-69 in its opener Nov. 26.
For Greenfield, Lebo added 17 points and six boards. Senior Collin Guilford had 18, with Jordan Lynch tacking on 15. Trey Pittman bucketed 15 points for Greenfield.
Despite the balanced scoreline for the Knights, Salter called the ceding of 34 points in the final period “inexcusable.”
“I don’t think our energy level was where it should have been,” he said. “Probably anytime you give up 96 points, you’re not going to win a ballgame. Thirty-four points in the fourth, that’s inexcusable. We’re a better defensive team than that.”
Greenfield returns home to face Henderson Collegiate on Tuesday and will attempt to complete a season sweep of the Pride after getting a 71-70 win in the Phenom Hoops National Showcase at Raleigh Ravenscroft on Nov. 16.
FARMVILLE CENTRAL (96)
Smith 40, Owen 2, Wright 28, Teel 8, Moye 11, Foskey 7.
Guilford 18, Lynch 15, Bailey 18, Pittman 15, Lebo 17, Holland, Evans.
Score by quarters:
Farmville Cent. 17 23 22 34 — 96
Greenfield 14 17 28 24 — 83