Auburn seizes control of conference

By Matt Nestor
Sports Columnist

The game plan for the Guilford Vikings was clear as they prepared to face Auburn. Slow down point guard Fred Van Vleet and give yourself a chance to win.

The mission was just as clear for the Knights. Have the players around the junior guard step up to prove how good the team is.

Auburn (7-1, 4-0) won out in their strategy, getting 30 points from fellow junior Lamark Foote as the Knights pulled away late to defeat Guilford (6-5, 3-1) by a final of 80-61.

The Vikings were one of the teams in the conference Auburn Head Coach Bryan Ott pointed to as a deep team before the season, and it showed early with the Vikings taking an early lead.

“Guilford brings back some really athletic guys who have a boatload of varsity experience,” Ott said.

But Auburn recovered and led by 15 at the half.

Guilford got the game close in the fourth quarter, closing the gap to 7 points, before Auburn closed the game on a 17-5 run to end the threat.

Senior forward Quavion Kimble paced the Vikings with 16 points.

In other NIC 10 action:

→ East (7-2, 4-1) kept up the pace for second place, pulling out two close wins. The E-Rabs got 33 points from Steve McNease in an overtime win against Freeport (3-4, 1-3). They overcame a hard-charging Belvidere squad, led by Cody Colquette’s 21 points, to top the Bucs (4-5, 0-5) by a final of 56-54.

Chris Miller and the Boylan Titans are starting to find their legs after the football team’s run to the state championship. Teammate Armani Flannigan led Boylan (8-2, 3-1) with 19 points in a 76-45 win over Harlem (5-4, 1-3) in conference play. The following night, Miller picked up 19 in a 71-45 non-conference win over Lincoln Park.

→ Belvidere North (3-5, 2-2) picked up their second conference win of the season in a 77-70 win over Jefferson.

→ The Jefferson J-Hawks (3-5, 1-3) picked up their first win of the season with a 61-60 win over Belvidere on a Marcus Perkins put-back at the end of the game.

→ Hononegah (7-2, 2-2) recovered from their early-season struggles with 15 points each from Chase Robinson and Carlos Hendrix in a 56-43 win over Belvidere North.

From the Dec. 22-28, 2010 issue

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