The Victory Christian Kings started slowly Tuesday night at Charlotte Country Day, but they turned up the heat late in the second quarter and second half to roll to a 75-54 victory.
Victory Christian (6-1) had four players in double figures, led by 6-foot-9 Ebuka Izundu with 19 points. Deshawn Patterson had 16, Terry Alston 13 and Ty Gadsdon 11.
Michael White led Country Day with 12, and Andy Salisbury and Jack Vaughn scored 11 and 12, respectively.
The Buccaneers were hanging tough with the much bigger Kings, building a five-point lead midway through the second quarter. Then Victory Christian went on an 11-0 run to take a 36-27 lead at the half.
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In the second half, the Kings outscored Country Day 39-27 to win going away.
What turned things around for Victory Christian?
“After a timeout we basically picked it up on defense,” said Gadsdon. “They were playing zone and we just tried to find the gaps in the zone and exploit that.”
Izundu was a handful to guard. Salisbury, the tallest Buccaneer at 6-4, and others tried to keep pace with Izundu but couldn’t.
“He was a lot bigger than me, could jump high and has long arms,” said Salisbury. “I couldn’t do much with him.”
Country Day (0-6) is playing a difficult early schedule, but coach Dwayne Cherry believes the hard knocks will pay off.
“We told them after the game that while we’re 0-6 going into the break, we haven’t played any cupcakes,” he said. “You want to make sure these guys stay mentally tough and not get discouraged.”
Victory Christian has one loss. Assistant coach Marcus Dilligard was asked to assess his team’s 6-1 start.
“As a good coach you always strive for more,” he said.
“They’re doing a very, very good job and we have some things to work on. We’re happy where we’re at, but at the same time, we know we’ve got work to do.”
VICTORY CHRISTIAN 75 – Ebuka Izundu 19, Deshawn Patterson 16, Terry Alston 13, Ty Gadsdon 12, Davis 9, Martin 6.
CHARLOTTE COUNTRY DAY 54 – Michael White 12, Andy Salisbury 11, Jack Vaughn 10, Cory 8, Williams 5, Dalton 4, Pierce 2, Roselle 2.