Florala claims win over Kinston; Lady Wildcats fall short as Kinston pulls away late

Published 3:42 pm Wednesday, January 24, 2024

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Florala boys’ and girls’ basketball teams hosted Kinston for an area matchup with the teams splitting the two contests.

Florala 68
Kinston 52

The Wildcats and Bulldogs battled closely for one period, but a strong second period gave Florala a lead that they would hold for the remainder of the game, claiming a 68-52 victory.

Kinston outscored Florala in the first period by one point. Kinston’s Colby Tew and Michael Thompson led the Bulldogs in the first period with five points each, including a three-pointer for Tew. Helping Florala keep pace was Christian Greasham who scored six in the period with Rayshon Coleman helping by going four-of-four at the free throw line. It was Kinston that held the edge after one period, 14-13.

The second period would prove to be the difference for the Wildcats. Coleman got hot, sinking four buckets with two of those coming from beyond the three-point arc. He had 10 points in the period. Adding to that total was Jonathan Neal who added five points, including a three-pointer, while Noah Bryant and Jeremiah Stone each hit shots from three-point range. Florala outscored Kinston 24-11 in the period as the Wildcats took a 37-25 lead going into the half.

Kinston would outscore Florala, 15-12, in the third period. The Wildcats continued to be hot in three-point range with Bryant hitting two and Neal adding another. At the end of the third, Florala led Kinston 49-30.

The Wildcats finished Kinston off with a strong final period, outscoring the Bulldogs 19-12 down the stretch. Florala proved to be strong at the free-throw line, sinking seven of eight. Greasham was good for four free throws while also adding six points. Dalton Jackson added eight points in the fourth period.

Greasham led the Wildcats with 18 points in the game with Coleman close behind at 17. Jackson finished with 12 points, Bryant had 10, and Neal added eight.

The Wildcats improve to 17-6 overall and 6-1 in 1A Area 2.

Lady Wildcats 37
Lady Bulldogs 50

The girls’ teams battled closely through three periods, but it was Kinston that pulled away down the stretch with strong free throw shooting as they claimed the 50-37 victory.

Both teams came out cold on the offensive side. Lauren Norris hit the only shot for Kinston in the period while Kyndra Anthony hit a three-pointer and Alysaa Thames was good for four points for Florala, giving them an early 7-4 edge.

The Lady Bulldogs got their offense going in the second period with six different players scoring, including three-pointers by Trinity Carnley and Kaley Norris. Anthony led the Lady Wildcats with four points in the period while Payton Murry, Abbie Boldin and Thames each added points. The Lady Bulldogs outscored Florala 18-11 in the period, giving Kinston a 20-18 lead going into the half.

The Lady Wildcats took the lead back in the third period, outscoring Kinston 11-8. Thames was good for six points while Boldin contributed three points and Anthony chipping in a bucket. While the Lady Wildcats took a 29-28 lead going into the final period, Norris helped the Lady Bulldogs stay close, hitting four free throws, which would prove to be the difference as she remained perfect through the remainder of the game.

While Boldin hit a three-pointer for the Lady Wildcats in the fourth and Thames added three more points, it was Kinston that pulled away, scoring a total of 22 points in the period. Of those points, nine came from the free-throw line where the Lady Bulldogs went 9-for-13, including Norris being perfect at the line, contributing five points off fouls in addition to a three-pointer and two more buckets for a total of 12 points in the final period as they went on to the 50-37 win over the Lady Wildcats.

Thames led Florala with 16 points. Anthony finished with 11 and Boldin added eight points.

With the loss, the Lady Wildcats fall to 8-13 overall and 3-4 in 1A Area 2.

Both teams will play their final area games of the regular season on Thursday, Jan. 25, at Brantley.