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Jeremiah Deans, a multi-talented, 6-foot-3 junior, outscored the entire opposing team in igniting the host Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf varsity boys basketball team to a 67-30 rout of archrival North Carolina School for the Deaf in ENCSD’s Barney Williamson Gymnasium on Thursday evening.
The left-handed Deans, with an impressive array of shots and moves, blistered the nets for 41 points en route to a triple-double that included 11 rebounds and 11 assists. Deans also recorded six steals and functioned as the point guard at least half the contest.
But as far as Deans was concerned, an occurrence with slightly over three minutes remaining represented his most significant achievement in the Fighting Hornets’ sixth win againsts five losses.
All alone in transition, Deans executed his first dunk — much to the delight of the small turnout.
“I feel great,” Deans said, with interpretative help from ENCSD Athletic Director Leonard Baker. “I thank the people for supporting me. I have been working hard on my dunking.”
Deans unsuccessfully attempted a second dunk moments later.
He flashed a grin and explained: “I was exhausted.”
Deans was complemented by juniors Alfonza Robinson and scrapping Naheim Carlton with 12 and eight points, respectively.
Morgan Evans, a 6-4 forward, paced the Bears of head coach Tom Crohn with 16 points. Elijah Parker added eight points.
Trailing 5-2, the Hornets resorted to full-court pressure and seized the lead for keeps with a 9-0 tear led by Deans and 6-4 senior Joshua Eason. Leading 23-9 after one quarter, ENCSD opened the second quarter with a 10-0 spree. By halftime, Deans was outscoring the Bears 20-17.
The second half was a formality with Deans accounting for 21 of ENCSD’s 32 points. ENCSD was on the verge of building its lead to 40 points and enforcing a continuous clock until Walter Giron ended the Bears’ drought.
“I try to stay humble,” Deans expressed. “I just focused on my game — nothing different. And I’m trying to get ready for the Mason-Dixon Tournament.
“We did OK, but we struggled at times with communication and taking control of the game. They depend on me, but I’m trying to depend on the boys, too.”
Deans was joined by head coach White in acknowledging ENCSD wanted its second win against NCSD to be decisive. White pointed out the Hornets were playing for the first time since the Christmas break and had practiced just three times.
“Wonderful!” White remarked. “Well, not wonderful but not bad for the first time since the Christmas break. We were pretty smooth and Jeremiah outscoring their entire team was fine with me. We wanted to press to start the game to get steals and easy baskets so we could get control of the game.”
Added Deans: “This was easier than the first time. It was our first game back then and we had just five players. We had just played our homecoming football game and didn’t have time to get ready. They’re a better team now.”
So are the Hornets — with just six players available.
During football season, the schools combined to form one team.
“It’s our rival game (in basketball),” White declared. “We’re at opposite ends of the state. The friendship is finished.”
Evans 16, Giron 2, Futral 2, Hernandez 2, Kelutaw, Righter, Anderson, Parker 8, Rodriguez, Camacho.
Eason 5, Brayboy, Butler 1, Robinson 12, Deans 41, Carlton 8.
Score by quarters:
NCSD 9 8 8 5 — 30
ENCSD 23 12 13 19 — 67