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Lions secure important win over Russell / January 28, 2013
The Halifax County Middle School boys’ basketball team secured an important win over Russell Thursday night, by a 36-30 count.

The win gives the Lions first place in the conference, with both teams entering the contest with one loss.

The win also gives HCMS valuable momentum heading into the Southside Middle School tournament, which starts Wednesday.

Russell had the early edge, with strength in the paint. HCMS made defensive adjustments and clawed back to make it a three-point game at the half (Russell, 20-17). Tyren Clark had made his presence felt down low, scoring eight points in the first half.

Russell got outscored in the second half, 19-10.

“We had to really get into them in the locker room to get our point across regarding boxing out (Clark) and taking care of business under the boards.

“I told them they had to take it personally when someone is doing that much damage to us,” Lion coach W.J. Long said.

HCMS was able to contain Clark, who had three second half points. Halifax did a much better job in the second half and kept Russell from getting easy stuff in the paint. Long was proud of the defensive effort.

“We preach that defense will win many games and it did tonight,” said Long. HCMS also did well hitting its free throws down the stretch. Halifax went 4-for-5 from the line in the final period.

Russell was limited to two second half baskets.

As for the Lions, James Smith Jr. had 17 points and Jakye Dabbs scored eight.

HCMS also defeated Bluestone, 36-25, in Wednesday night action. Long noted Halifax “played hard, defense was pretty good. (We) didn’t rebound well and were awful from the field, missed many close shots.”

HCMS switched defenses, starting in a 3-4 court zone trap, then switching to a full court man, then pack line man, then 1-2-1 half court trap, which proved effective. “We got several turnovers, but didn’t get many quick baskets, because we missed layups,” Long said.

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