GREAT SCOTT. Louisburg College wing Camden Scott (with ball) heads toward the bucket during last Friday's home decision over rival Vance-Granville CC. (Times photo by Geoff Neville)
LOUISBURG -- Louisburg College lived on the edge last week during a pair of intensity-laden Region X men's basketball showdowns.
Last Wednesday, the Hurricanes were upset at home against Richard Bland in front of an overflow crowd -- marking the first defeat of the campaign for top-ranked Louisburg.
Two days later, Louisburg played with a purpose and steamrolled Vance-Granville by a 93-59 margin at Taylor Center on the LC campus.
The Vanguards had the misfortune of being on the lowest tier of the three-pronged motivational scale in that league contest.
Richard Bland headed into last Wednesday's showdown fresh off its first setback of the campaign. The visitors from Virginia played like a squad intent on making that defeat a distant memory.
Likewise, Louisburg performed the same way last Friday following its disappointing initial loss.
"The one word to explain it is 'edge','' said LC veteran head coach Mark Vanderslice. "One of the hardest things to do as a coach is to keep that 'edge' with your team.
"Richard Bland came in last Friday, and you could tell they were ready after just losing for the first time. The same thing happened to us Friday coming off that loss. You hate to learn from losses, but that is the best example of what happened.''
When Louisburg traveled to Vance-Granville back in December, it was the homestanding Vanguards who possessed the 'edge'.
VGCC had never defeated the Hurricanes, but a huge crowd showed up for Vanguard Night during that game at Aycock Recreation Center in Henderson.
Louisburg trailed by double digits in the first half and led by just three points with 30 seconds left before eventually pulling away for the triumph.
Things were never that tenuous last Friday for the Hurricanes as they were motivated to make amends for that subpar performance back in December.
And on the other end of the court, the Vanguards seemed a bit intimidated from the beginning, as if they knew they were destined to receive Louisburg's best effort.
"That game was a combination of things,'' Vanderslice said. "We were coming off that loss to Richard Bland, so you knew we were going to be fired up. And we felt like we had a point to make against Vance-Granville.
"You really have to tip your hat to Vance-Granville -- Coach Michael Woody is doing a great job of building depth in that program. They were really ready to play that first game, but I felt like we were ready this time around.''
Guard Austin Grimes got Louisburg going early with seven points in the first three minutes of action.
Vance-Granville Community College wasn't able to convert a basket until the 15:46 mark.
By then, LC was in charge at 9-3, and Jamarcus Hairston quickly responded to VGCC's bucket with a long-range trifecta.
Louisburg also got some key bench contributions to extend to a 31-11 cushion with 5:27 remaining before intermission. That was a deficit the Vanguards would not be able to overcome.
Five players hit double digits in scoring for Louisburg, led by reserve Mike Basnight with 17 markers.
Khadier Fulcher paced the Vanguards with 14 points.
VGCC shot just 30 percent from the field, compared to 50 percent for Louisburg College.
LC will be at home this Saturday for a 3 p.m. contest against Region X opponent Catawba Valley Community College out of Hickory.