Wrestling event scheduled for August 21 in Rowland
GREENSBORO – It didn’t take long for Lumberton’s presence to be felt at Monday’s East-West All-Star basketball game at Greensboro Coliseum.
The two pirates in the game, Matt Locklear and Charlie Miller, scored several baskets in a 20-point run east to the start, leading the East team to a 116-92 victory.
“We knew coming into the game the coach said he wanted us to jump on them from the start,” Locklear said. “We started hitting shots, we started hitting shots at the start, and then we had some big saves. It was fun; we went up 20-0.
Miller scored 3 points and was credited with a layup after serving as a goaltender, both in the opening two minutes, before Locklear hit an out and free throw for a 3-point play, then went on to made a quick layup to give the East their 20-0 lead with 6:11 left in the first quarter of the 40-minute game. East led 39-15 at the end of the quarter.
“We had a huge first quarter,” Miller said. “We started hitting punches, and then we started to draw a lot of energy out of it, and we started to hang on D and in transition.”
As part of their 18-point, five-rebound night, Locklear hit a pair of layups early in the third quarter, then made two free throws after being fouled in an out attempt. He also managed two blocks and a flight in 22 minutes.
“It means a lot, I’m just proud to bounce the ball and everything, and everything else goes through the flow,” Locklear said.
Locklear hit a backhand early in the fourth, then with less than five minutes to go he had a quick break opportunity with no defender near him; the crowd, who wanted a dunk, moaned when Locklear simply dropped the ball, eliciting a smile from Locklear.
“It wasn’t me (to soak it); I just had to take the colon, that’s it, ”Locklear said. “I could have done it, but I just took the colon.”
Miller struggled on the ground after his hot start, finishing 4 for 11 overall and 3 for 9 from distance, but had two triples in the last minute. He scored 11 points with two assists and two steals in 16 minutes.
“I hit a few to start, and then I got cold for a minute,” Miller said. “It was good to hit a couple at the end and leave on a high note.”
West reduced the East’s lead to seven points at the start of the fourth before the East pulled away for the 24-point victory. Terquavion Smith, a NC State signatory from Farmville Central, was named MVP after scoring 30 points with seven rebounds, five assists and three blocks in 30 minutes.
UNC Pembroke signatory Bradlee Haskell of Pinecrest scored 16 points with four assists and three steals in 26 minutes.
“It was a little different; I just had to feel the game and then involve my teammates and have fun with it, ”said Haskell. “It was a fun experience; I’m ready to see what college has for me.
TJ Eichelberger of St. Pauls played in the girls’ game; the Fayetteville State signer struggled from the ground and went scoreless in the 87-66 East loss.
Eichelberger, who was the Bulldogs point guard his first two years and still frequently handled the ball from the goalkeeper position as an upper-class student, said her role with the East side in as a keeper playing the ball was a big adjustment.
“It was different for sure,” Eichelberger said. “I learned that playing without the ball is something I’m going to learn to do, because I’m used to having the ball, and I see that I struggled without touching. I have to figure out how to play through this; it taught me something. Being here was fun, but I also learned a lot about myself that I need to work on.
Eichelberger was 0-for-5 overall and 0-for-2 on 3-point attempts; she took three rebounds in 20 minutes.
The West side outscored the East girls by six or more in each of the first three quarters to build a comfortable lead all the way down the home stretch. Emily Carver of West, a signatory from Enka Appalachian State, scored 10 points with nine rebounds and four assists to win MVP honors.
Although she didn’t have the game she statistically hoped for, Eichelberger still enjoyed the experience.
“It was fun meeting new people,” said Eichelberger. “We hung on just like that; it turned into a family environment very quickly.
The experience itself was also what Locklear and Miller, who are both signed to the post-graduate Flight 22 squad, will take away from their participation.
“The last three days we’ve been on the move, we haven’t had any time to rest,” Locklear said. “We trained three times in two days and were able to play tonight. But it was really fun playing against everyone and playing with our team, everyone was good. Playing with Baby T (Smith) he was a fun teammate to play with.
Part of that experience was playing at the Greensboro Coliseum, which hosted the 1974 Final Four and hosted 49 ACC tournaments between the men’s and women’s events.
“It’s fun to know they’ve played ACC tournaments here, legends have played here before,” Locklear said. “It was a fun experience, something you never forget.”