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North trio hot in conference victory against South Greene

BILL LANE • Jan 21, 2007 at 12:06 PM

KINGSPORT - All the Golden Raiders had to do was see the North lights and kiss the ground. Then, they swished the nets.

Sullivan North's boys basketball team, playing its first home game in 38 days, hit 58 percent from the field overall and got the better end of a 52-point fourth quarter Saturday night in an 80-65 Watauga Conference victory over South Greene.

"It was good to be back on our home floor,'' North coach Mitch Cox said. "The guys just settled in.''

Dustin Doran, David Joyner and Jonah Arnold combined for 62 points, almost matching the Rebels' team total.

"We've got to have a presence from the post and the outside,'' Cox said.

The Raiders gave him a full complement.

North (10-11, 4-4) sank 26 of 45 shots from the field. Twelve of the misses came outside the arc.

Doran, a 6-foot-3 junior, felt he redeemed himself for Friday's shortcomings against Johnson County.

"I had an awful game (against the Longhorns),'' he said. "I had to come back and step it up. I just went out and played.''

It seemed the faster the pace, the better Doran got. "Those fast breaks really helped out a lot,'' he said.

Doran hit 8 of 11 field goal attempts to score 26 points. He also pulled down seven rebounds and had three steals.

"Dustin has really showed up since the Christmas break,'' Cox said. "Since then, he's been averaging about 20 points. He didn't play well against Johnson County. For us to be successful, he's got to show up every game.''

South Greene (7-9, 3-5) never led but, after climbing out of an 11-2 hole, stayed within striking distance until the last two minutes.

The Raiders were just two points ahead at halftime and that was Joyner's cue to open up. He hit half of North's 20 points in the third quarter.

"D.J. carried us in that stretch,'' Cox said.

For the game, Joyner was 6-for-12 from the floor and scored 20 points. He's averaging a little more than 18 this season.

Arnold scored 16 points, claimed five rebounds and stole the ball three times.

Ben Blair, North's 6-7, 230-pound center, crashed the boards for 11 rebounds. Matt Williams had six assists.

North erupted for 31 points in the final quarter, averaging four per minute.

Cox is optimistic about the rest of the schedule.

"There's so much basketball to be played,'' he said. "I can still see us competing for second place in the Watauga Conference.''

Some work must be done on the defense, however. "Our offense starts with our defense,'' he said. "We haven't played good defense in the last three games but that's going to change.''

Shawn Martin led South Greene with 18 points.

"We're reeling,'' Rebels coach Terry Hoese said. "I can't find five boys to play. It's hard to get stable when you're playing a different five every night.

"North shot the lights out. It wouldn't surprise me to see them beat some people before the season's over.''

South Greene's girls placed four players in double figures in a 75-31 victory over North. Rechelle Dye scored 11 and Chelsea Renner, Brittany Kinser and Ashley Baxley each hit 10.

Keisha Day of North led all scorers with 14.

There were 50 fouls in the game and 59 free throws taken. Four Lady Raiders fouled out.

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