Wilmington, NC - Cape Fear men's basketball defeated Brunswick Community College, 109-66, in the play-in round of the Region 10 tournament. Jacque Brown led the Sea Devils with 24 points, while Trae Bryant had 15 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists. For Brunswick, Bobby Stenborg led his team with 20 points and five rebounds.
The Dolphins made it tough for the early minutes of the game, but Cape Fear used a couple of runs to put the game away.
The Sea Devils knocked down a 3-pointer on their first possession, but Brunswick responded with four straight. Then, following a 6-6 tie, Cape Fear scored 9 straight to take a 15-6 lead. The run helped give them a solid lead into the heart of the first half.
After a bit of chippy play from both teams disrupted the flow of the game for a few minutes, Cape Fear was able to push their lead to double-digits with under seven minutes remaining. Shortly after, Brown's third 3-pointer of the night gave them a 14 point lead.
Brunswick began pressing to get back in the game, but Cape Fear handled it well, and pushed their lead to 20 with three and half minutes remaining, capped off by a thunderous one-handed slam by Alston Davis. That held for the remainder of the half, and they headed into halftime leading 46-25.
The Sea Devils dominated the boards in the first half, 25-13. They also limited the Dolphins to 25 percent shooting.
The Dolphins offered little resistance to start the second half, and Cape Fear took advantage, going up by as much as 27 in the first three minutes. Their 3-point shooting picked up, as Jerick Haynes knocked down two in row, while Davis and Trae Bryant each knocked down their first. As a team, they shot 43.3 percent for the game.
The rest of the half went comfortably for the Sea Devils, who led by as much as 30 at multiple points. Scoring was spread out, with six players scoring in double figures. As a team, they shot 56.3 percent from the floor, and outscored the Dolphins 50-28 in the paint. It also marked the fourth game in a row the Sea Devils have scored 100 points or more.
Head coach Ryan Mantlo was happy with his team's play, and believed the strong effort in the game was a result of the work they put in the day before.
"[I'm] very, very proud. We had a great day of practice yesterday. The boy's were focused with the scout, and it paid off."
While the team was dialed in on offense, they put in a big effort on the defensive end as well, limiting the Dolphins to 32.8 percent shooting for the game.
Mantlo felt it was one of the best defensive efforts of the season.
"I thought they played as a unit for the first time, it wasn't everybody on an island; they really bought into each other. If we can continue to buy in defensively, March will be a good month."
The win means Cape Fear advances in the Region 10 tournament in Pinehurst, NC, which continues Friday. They will face top seeded Spartanburg Methodist at 12:00pm.
Courtesy of Nick Denning