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Pride suffers second loss to Vance Charter

Feb. 7—HENDERSON — The Henderson Collegiate Pride fell to the Vance Charter Knights, losing 54-45 on their home floor Tuesday night.

"That team wasn't better than us," said Pride star Adrian Mayes. "The game plan to was stop [Gary Wilkins] and we did, I just feel like we overcommitted."

With Vance Charter being one of the few teams in the area that run a man-to-man defense, the matchup of Wilkins on Mayes was one to watch.

Henderson Collegiate limited the effectiveness of Wilkins; the big man only finished with eight points, but the Knights saw a balanced scoring attack from Nick Pentoney, Collin Hughes and Mark Wilson, with Hughes hitting some big mid-range shots to stretch the Pride's zone, according to his coach, Taron Downey.

Vance Charter is not used to winning when they play Henderson Collegiate, but in the past 10 days they have beaten them twice.

"For me, it's just another win. But I know when you get beat up a lot, it's really good for morale," said Downey.

According to Downey, the Knights had to weather the storm in the competitive first half. The Pride double-teamed Gary Wilkins, forcing somebody else to make a shot, and they did.

In the third quarter, in a breakaway off an interception, Wilson checked his rearview mirror for Mayes before finishing with the lay to put his team ahead 39-31 with little over two minutes to play in the third.

Late in the game, the Knights saw two huge three-pointers from senior Maddox Long to help push the needle and secure the four-game win streak for the Knights.

Long's six points broke the camel's back, putting the Knights up 10 with a minute and a half to go. A dunk from Gary Wilkins sealed the second-consecutive victory over the pride.

"At this point in the season, we need to bounce back and make something click. Something is going to have to change now," said Mayes.

In the locker rooms after the game, it was more of a player-lead meeting, according to Mayes, with different leaders standing up to address the team.

"As a team we all have the same mindset," said Mayes. "If your mindset is not to win championships, then what are we doing?"

For the Knights, with the win against Henderson Collegiate they move to 13-7 on the year and find themselves second in the 1A Triangle North conference behind Voyager.

Meanwhile, the Pride, according to Mayes, will look to "bounce back" on their senior night against Excelsior back in Aycock.

STATSNick Pentoney (Fr.) — 11 PTS

Collin Hughes (So.) — 11 PTS

Gary Wilkins (So.) — 8 PTS

Mark Wilson (Sr.) — 6 PTS

Maddox Long (Sr.) — 6 PTS