Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.
More than anything, Tuesday night’s 91-47 rout of Raleigh Friendship Christian gave the host Greenfield boys basketball team a chance to breathe.
Before the game, it was an opportunity for the underclassmen to gather on the sidelines to watch a cast of six seniors — Creighton Lebo, Dji Bailey, Jordan Lynch, Trey Pittman, Nick Sessoms and Collin Guilford — be honored on Senior Night.
“We knew we would overpower them,” head coach Rob Salter said. “It’s kind of more to really acknowledge six special seniors for what they’ve done for us.”
The class has set the school record for the most wins over four years, and Pittman and Bailey, who played all four years of high school ball there, have won more than 100 games in their high school career, including last year’s North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A title.
“They just define what Greenfield basketball is about,” Salter said of his group of seniors. “They work hard, they really work hard. They bring it every single day. They love their teammates, they love to play the game and they’ve been in some big-time situations.”
When the game began, all six seniors found a way onto the scoreboard in their final home game. Trey Pittman scored 22, while Lynch added 12, Guilford and Lebo had 11 each, Bailey added 10 and Sessoms pitched in two more.
The first five, the starters for the night, played limited minutes, but helped the Knights out to a huge lead. Pittman, the leading scorer for the game, said he just wanted to do the most he could while he was in. He came out firing with 11 points in the first quarter.
“I was just trying to play hard,” Pittman explained. “It’s not my fault I’m playing against (that) competition. I’ve just got to go hard and do the best that I can.”
From that point on, the team struggled to reach the high-point of 16 points in the second quarter, scoring just 15 points the rest of the game.
Greenfield led by 30 at halftime and the lead climbed to nearly 50 by the end of the game. With under two minutes to play before the half, the Falcons’ leading scorer Tre Brown, at 15 points, picked up his second technical foul and was disqualified from the rest of play.
Early in the third quarter, the Greenfield reserves came into the game in relief and closed out the game, leading to 11 players who scored by the end of the game.
“It’s good for everybody to get in and get a chance to get up and play,” Salter said.
The Knights, 25-4 overall, remained unbeaten in seven 1-A Coastal Plain Independents Conference games while the Falcons dropped to 1-16 and 0-8, respectively.
Outside of honoring its seniors, the dominant win served another purpose. It was the final opportunity for the team to work out the kinks before a pair of huge games coming up.
A back-to-back road slate against Fayetteville Trinity, ranked No. 1 among NCISAA 1-A teams by Maxpreps.com and CPIC rival Wayne Country Day awaits the No. 2-ranked Knights on Thursday and Friday. Lebo, after watching the way his team put away the game early, said his team is headed into those games with the right mindset.
“I think we played hard. I think we did a lot of good things,” Lebo said. “I think we knew coming in here we knew we were just trying to get better, trying to prepare for Trinity and Wayne Country Day we’ve got coming up.
FRIENDSHIP CHRISTIAN (47)
Brown 15, Dylan Tahtinen 13, McGee 15, CJ Tahtinen 2, Perry 2.
Guilford 10, Lynch 12, Lebo 11, Bailey 10, Pittman 22, Evans 10, Paten 5, Holland 5, Sessoms 2, Woodard 2, Watt 2.
Score by quarters:
Friendship Chr. 19 13 7 8 — 47
Greenfield 32 30 18 11 — 91