March 10, 2019 – The Winston-Salem Wolves remain unbeaten in the 2019 ECBL season after notching a win over division rival NC Coyotes 119-117 on Saturday, March 9th. The Coyotes, based in Durham, fell to 0-2 after their opening day loss to Hickory last week.
Leading the team in scoring was Wolves forward Zalinor Banks, who worked well against the zone to pour in 33 points and grab 13 rebounds. Banks took advantage of the zone defense played by the Coyotes to repeatedly find mid range jumpers on 12 for 21 shooting from the floor, as well as shooting 7 for 8 from the free throw line.
Guard Cory Evans led the Coyotes with 34 points, and point guard Marqui Bunn was particularly effective outside the 3 point line, shooting 6 for 12 from deep to help keep his team close.
Guard Joshea Singleton of the Wolves came off the bench for a big third quarter, shooting 3 for 5 from deep to take advantage of the zone. With 3:40 left in the game, Wolves guard Khadier Fulcher drained a three-pointer to put the team in the lead for good 110-106, although a couple of quick fast breaks by the Coyotes and baskets by big man Raymond McKeithan closed the score to 116-115 with only 35 seconds to play.
With 16 seconds left on the clock, shooting guard LePreece Lynch found himself matched up in isolation on the outside against a Coyote forward, so he was able to put the ball on the floor, drive to the basket and draw the foul. Lynch’s free throws pushed the score out to 118-115 in favor of Winston-Salem.
A quick inside score by McKeithan again closed the gap to a single point, but as the Coyotes were forced to foul with only 6 seconds remaining, Lynch’s free throws to push the lead out to 119-117 and sealed the game. The Coyotes were left with a deep shot attempt to try and win at the buzzer, but were unable to get a good look and the Wolves walked away with the win.
Additional statistical notes for the Wolves include Chris Woods, who scored 25 points and grabbed 12 boards; LePreece Lynch, 20 points, 10 assists and 8 rebounds; and point guard Antonio Robinson, with a solid stat line of 13 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists. Overall the Wolves committed only 9 turnovers against 35 assists.
With this win, the Wolves currently reside at the top of the Northeast Division, as well as having two division wins which count towards the ECBL playoff race. The team will be at home again on March 16th to face the SC Upstate Redhawks at 2pm.
The Coyotes will be on the road again next week against the East Carolina Cardinals in Greenville, North Carolina.