Red Level falls in nail-biter to Kinston

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Red Level Tigers gave a strong effort on Tuesday night, but fell in both varsity basketball games to Kinston.




In the first game of the evening, the Red Level Lady Tigers fell behind early and couldn’t find a way back into the game against the Kinston Lady Bulldogs.

Kinston started the game off strong and took a 12-1 lead into second period.

Red Level got a strong basket from Natalie Feagin to get things going in the second period. Feagin was fouled on the shot and knocked down the free-throw to make the score 16-5.

After another basket from Feagin, Maggie Wilkerson dialed in from downtown to cut Kinston’s lead down to 20-10.

Maggie Wilkerson sets up a play for the Lady Tigers. Josh Dutton/Star-News

Maggie Wilkerson sets up a play for the Lady Tigers.
Josh Dutton/Star-News

Wilkerson came right back with what looked to be another 3-pointer, but her toe just touched the line as she buried the shot.

Jayln Poindexter then knocked down a pair of free throws with five seconds left in the half.

At halftime, Red Level trailed 24-16.

Kinston came bursting out of the gate in the third period and held a 44-22 lead heading into the final frame.

Red Level’s Ziy McClain found magic from behind the arc as she knocked down three-straight 3-pointers to keep the Lady Tigers fighting.

Kinston was about to hold on for a 55-31 victory.

“With these girls, every game we are adding experience to an inexperienced group,” Red Level head coach Allen Catrett said. “I’m seeing a lot of girls take small steps in the right direction. We just really need more minutes under our belt. The outcome was a loss, but the girls are getting a lot better with each game.”




In the final game of the night, the Kinston Bulldogs held off the Red Level Tigers for a 58-55 win.

Kinston came out big with a pair 3-pointers to start the contest.

Ontaryo Nearor got the first four points for Red Level, but at the end of the first period Kinston was on top 19-11.

For the second period in a row, Kinston knocked down a 3-pointer to start off.

Nearor followed with a put back on offensive rebound, and was fouled in the process. Nearor hit the free throw for an old-fashioned 3-point play.

Red Level continued to fight hard, and cut the Kinston lead to 29-25 heading into halftime.

Nearor got things going in the third period with another offensive board and put back to make it a one-score game.

After a Kinston bucket, Kade Green buried a 3-pointer to trim the Bulldogs’ lead down to 1-point.

Jacob Catrett then fired in a great pass down low to Nearor who went up for an easy basket to give Red Level a 32-31 lead.

Things quickly began to unravel for the Tigers as Kinston went on an 11-0 run to go back on top 42-32.

The Tigers then got a spark on another 3-pointer from Green, but Kinston was still on top 45-41 heading into the final period.

Red Level started the fourth period strong and cut the Bulldog led down to 47-45, but another big run from Kinston left Red Level trailing 54-45 with just over four minutes remaining.

Red Level kept fighting and cut the Kinston lead to 55-53 after a fastbreak layup from Chance Russell.

The Tigers had several opportunities to take the lead over the final minutes, but turnovers and missed free throws spelled disaster for Red Level.

“That’s how you don’t play basketball right there,” Catrett said. “Turnovers plagued us all night. It’s like we would get right back in the game and then we would go through a very cold spell. Missed layups, missed free throws and costly turnovers really cost us. Those are things that you can’t do late in the game. When you fight back and get the lead near the end, you can’t let it go.”

Nearor led the Tigers with 22 points on the night.

Green finished with 11 points and Russell had 10 points.