RACE FOR THE BALL. (L to R) Bunn High School's Jordan Whitman and Northern Nash's Sam Renner lunge for possession during Monday night's first-round action at the Bunn Christmas Boys Basketball Tournament. (Times photos by Geoff Neville)
BUNN - Depth will be an issue this season for the Bunn High School boys basketball squad -- and that intangible will be evident even more when disciplinary issues arrive.
For Monday's first-round game with Northern Nash at the annual Bunn Christmas Tournament, the Wildcats were without their two highest scorers for the entire first half.
Senior point guard ace T.J. Jones didn't play at all and freshman Darreus Caldwell was limited as both were sat for violations of team rules.
The shorthanded Wildcats were unable to stay with the Knights, who have been playing much better over the past few weeks for first-year head coach Henry Drake.
The hot-shooting Knights extended to a 10-point cushion at the end of the first quarter and never looked back en route to a 47-32 victory over BHS at the Bunn Dome.
Northern Nash surged into Tuesday's championship meeting with East Wake, which is coached by former Bunn skipper Gerald Melton.
The Wildcats faced Corinth Holders, under the direction of ex-Louisburg mentor Chris Davis, in the consolation showdown on Tuesday.
Bunn got off to a quick 2-0 advantage following a jumper from Quenten Wright, but Northern Nash's Demonte Johnson took over from there.
Johnson delivered 10 points in the first four minutes of action, and Northern Nash moved to a 10-7 cushion.
Raymond 'Goody' Bullock followed with a driving bucket and Darius Spragley canned a trey, and Northern had doubled up the Wildcats at 15-7.
Cordarius Bumpers nailed a threeball and tacked on aother basket to draw Bunn within five points, but Northern's Adam Renner beat the buzzer with a trey to push the Knights ahead 22-12 after the initial frame of action.
Another three from Spragley helped NN to a 5-0 run to start the second quarter.
Some strong paint work from Tray Terrell would bring Bunn back to 31-22 before Johnson finished off the half in fitting style with an acrobatic driving basket just four ticks ahead of the break.
Scoring was at a premium in the second half, which saw the Knights offer 14 points, compared to just 10 for the Wildcats.
Terrell had an effective outing for Bunn with a double-double of 10 points to go with 11 rebounds.
Wright (7) and Garrison (6) combined for 13 points for the Wildcats.
With the win, Northern avenged a tourney loss last season against Bunn.