Wilmington, NC - Cape Fear men's basketball defeated conference rival Brunswick Community College, 103-82, for their 12th straight win. Alonzo Tyson led the Sea Devils with 27 points, 10 rebounds, and two blocks, while Trae Bryant finished with 22 points, eight assists, and five rebounds.
Alston Davis opened the scoring with a 3-pointer to give Cape Fear the first lead of the game. The Sea Devils made it difficult on the defensive, as the Dolphins missed their first four shots of the game.
The Sea Devils were dialed in offensively in the early goings. Davis followed his first 3 with another soon after, and Trevor Willis knocked down his first from beyond the arc two possessions later. Tyson was force in the paint as well, finishing a nice hook shot and commanding the boards.
Cape Fear maintained the lead midway through the first half, but Brunswick hung around by crashing the offensive glass and scoring on second-chance opportunities. They also settled down defensively, and forced the Sea Devils into a few low percentage shots. Brunswick scored four straight points to cut Cape Fear's lead to six, but the Sea Devils responded with five straight to take a 25-14 lead with 9 minutes remaining in the half.
Tyson lead the Sea Devils in the first, finishing with 16 points and five rebounds. The Dolphins had trouble defending him in the paint, and he caused havoc in the paint on defense, disrupting shots and capping it off with a well timed block.
It was one of the best performances from Alonzo this season, and head coach Ryan Mantlo was happy to see his hard work pay off.
"He's such a good kid and he works his tail off, and it's nice to see him rewarded for that.
With two minutes remaining in the half, Cape Fear led by 18, but Brunswick narrowed the gap, going on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 11. However, Shaft Parker provided a spark at the end, scoring four straight with under a minute remaining to give the Sea Devils a 51-36 halftime lead.
Along with Tyson's 16 first half points, the team was led by 9 first half points from Willis, who went 3-4 from the 3-point line. Jerick Haynes also had a strong half, scoring eight points on 4-6 shooting. Cape Fear was strong defensively, holding Brunswick to just 38.2 percent shooting from the field and 22.2 percent from the 3-point line.
Tyson picked up where he left off to start the second half, scoring on the team's first possession. A few minutes later, Brunswick cut the lead to 14, but their run would be ended briefly by a 3-pointer from Jacque Brown. The Dolphins continued to hang around through better defense, however, and cut the lead to 12 with 14 minutes remaining.
Momentum appeared to be shifting Brunswick's way, but a converted three-point play by Bryant helped spark a 16-0 run for the Sea Devils to extend their lead to 83-57. Bryant played with a ton of energy during this stretch, chasing down loose balls and providing a spark on offense. After scoring six in the first half, he totaled 16 in the second half.
Coach Mantlo credited Bryant's ability to quickly get in a scoring rhythm for his strong second half.
"He can get it going in a hurry. With [Alonzo] doing what he did inside, it allowed Trae that space and obviously he took really good advantage of it."
Cape Fear's run was enough to put the game out of reach. The game opened up with both teams pushing the ball down the floor, which led to a couple of flashy finishes for the Sea Devils on their end. Brunswick was able to cut into the score a bit, but not enough time remained to mount a comeback.
Points off turnovers were a difference maker tonight, with Cape Fear scoring 33 points off of 22 Brunswick turnovers. The Sea Devils also managed to knock down 10 3-pointers, compared to just five from the Dolphins. While the game was competitive, particularly for much of the first half, Brunswick never led.
It was another strong win for the Sea Devils, and coach Mantlo believes they have improved since the early part of the season.
"We talk about accountability a lot, and I think the guys are starting to buy into it."
Given the rivalry between Cape Fear and Brunswick, Mantlo was pleased to remain undefeated in conference play and to beat a local rival.
"It's good. Any time you get a conference win is great but we've been blessed to come out on the better end of this rivalry lately.
The win improves Cape Fear to 16-2 overall, and 2-0 in conference. Their next game is scheduled for Wednesday, January 25th, where they will hit the road to take on USC Salkehatchie. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
Courtesy of Nick Denning