Updated Tue, Mar 11, 2014 11:13 pm
The Nubians of Africentric Early College jumped ahead of Peebles and never looked back as they came out victorious 57-40 Tuesday night in the Convo.
The Nubians held Beau Justice, a junior guard that averages 30.7 points a game for Peebles, to only 14 points on 4 of 20 shooting from the field.
“We really focused tonight,” Africentric head coach Michael Bates said. “You aren’t going to stop a player like Beau; you just have to contain him and make other guys play ball, and that is exactly what we did tonight.”
Africentric came out of the gates firing on all cylinders. They gave up the first basket of the game, but after that, they did not trail the rest of the contest. The Nubians used their big, physical roster to effectively change the pace of the game.
Peebles started the game off in a 2-3 zone that the Nubians tore apart. They worked the ball around the top of the key until they either got an open jump shot or found their big man Ulmer Manzie down low for an easy two.
Going into the locker room with a comfortable 35-20 lead, the Nubians were not satisfied.
“We have had a lot of games this season where we lost them late in the game,” Bates said. “We were able to win tonight because we played as a team and played the whole game.”
Peebles showed glimpses of hope, pulling within five in the second half, but they were unable to lower the deficit beyond that.
Africentric gave Peebles a piece of their own medicine. They ran a high 2-3 zone, which the Indians flustered and Africentric took advantage of their mistakes. The Nubians forced 11 Indian turnovers, which resulted in 23 points on the other end.
The size of Africentric made it hard for Peebles to match up. Manzie stands at a towering 6-foot-9 while Tyler Ryan, the center for Peebles stands at 6-foot-4. Manzie made his presence known, finishing the night with 12 points and eight boards.
Manzie wasn’t the only one who came to play. Once he drew the double team in the post, he kicked it out to Akil Cornish, who was 3 for 4 from behind the arc.
“They are a great team, but you can’t be a [championship] team with only one scorer,” Bates said. “You need to have a group of scorers, and that’s what we have.”
Africentric will square up against Harvest Prep Friday at 7p.m.
“We have to stay focused. We can’t look past the game in front of us,” Bates said. “If we rebound the ball and cut down on turnovers, we will have a great shot of making it to Columbus.”