Winston-Salem Wolves Stay Atop Northeast Division With Home Win

Winston-Salem Wolves Stay Atop Northeast Division With Home Win

Winston-Salem, NC – If the Winston-Salem Wolves were feeling exuberance in their hot start to the 2019 season, there was little evidence of it prior to tip off as the team prepared to face the visiting Carolina Chosen Lions, a team based in Rocky Mount, NC. The Wolves were entering the game without two of their leading scorers, both post players, and looking for ways to get crucial conference wins in the playoff race.

Each conference game in the East Coast Basketball League is of increased importance, as conference records are used for playoff eligbility and
seeding. Going into the game, the Wolves were leading the Northeast Division and battling Hampton Roads for the number one playoff seed. However, the team faces a tough three game swing, with back-to-back games against the Chosen Lions and then on the road in Columbia, South Carolina to take on the Carolina Crusaders of the Southern Conference, then hitting the road again to face the Hampton Road Warriors the following weekend. The Wolves coaching staff expect to remain short-handed for all three games.

The Wolves opened up an early lead on the Lions behind hot early shooting from rookie guard LePreece Lynch, and Winston-Salem held the early lead throughout the first quarter behind Lynch’s 13 first quater points and the Wolves led by 8 at the end of the first, 37-29.

An aspect that has worked well for the Wolves this season is keeping turnovers low; however that was not the case against the Lions, as the Wolves careless handling of the ball allowed their opponent to take advantage, closing the gap in the second with solid outside shooting from guard Charles Gamble, Jr. The Wolves did find a strong inside scoring presence with Dionté Adams, who scored 12 first half points and finished with 21 points overall. Adams grabbed 13 boards in the game and is the Wolves leading rebounder on the year. The Lions were able to take the lead and both teams exchanged the lead in the second multiple times until the half, where the Wolves clung to a 2 point lead, 62-60.

The second half saw the emergence of guards Khadier Fulcher and Antonio Robinson for the Wolves as the Wolves continued to push the lead just out of reach of the Lions, however Isaiah Alston came off of the bench for the visitors and was a deadly outside shooter, scorching the nets with a 63.6% shooting percentage from behind the 3-point line and dropping in 32 points for the game, nearly all of which came in the second half. Behind the tenacious play of guard Tim Haggie, the Lions never lost their composure and kept the game close until late.

Midway through the 4th period, the Wolves were able to take control of the game and build a bit of a cushion to close out the win and remain unbeaten on the season. Leading scorer for the Wolves was LePreece Lynch, with his 4th double-double on the year, dropping in 34 points and grabbing 16 rebounds. The Wolves uncharacteristically turned the ball over 21 times against the Lions, but had a whopping advantage on the boards, 61-28. Khadier Fulcher scored 27 points, while Dionté Adams had his best game of the season with 21 points and 13 rebounds. Antonio Robinson continued to be one of the top assist men in the ECBL with 10 assists to go with his 14 points.

The Lions leading scorer was Isaiah Alston with 32, while Tim Haggie added 21 points as did Charles Gamble.

The Wolves improved to 5-0 on the season and 3-0 in conference, while the Lions fell to 1-4 on the year.

Winston-Salem will next hit the road to face the Carolina Crusaders in Columbia, SC, while the Chosen Lions have a break, not playing again until April 14 against the Hampton Roads Warriors. This is an extended road period for the Wolves, as they do not return home again until May 11.

Marcus Shockley
Co-Owner & GM Winston-Salem Wolves