Wilmington, NC - Cape Fear men’s basketball defeated Central Carolina 109-90 on Saturday. Trae Bryant led all scorers with 35 points, while Jacque Brown finished with 17 points and 10 assists. Today also marked Head Coach Ryan Mantlo’s 200th win at Cape Fear.
Central Carolina took the lead on their first possession, but Cape Fear responded with four straight to go up 4-2 early. The score remained close in the early minutes, with both teams holding small leads.
Cape Fear begin to press the Cougars full court, and managed to force a few turnovers. That said, Central Carolina maintained a small lead a quarter of the way through the first half, and began to extend, jumping out to a 18-9 lead. Cape Fear responded with a 10-2 run to cut the deficit to just one.
The scored remained close for the next few minutes, with the Cougars still in the lead. Cape Fear would eventually tie the game after Jerick Haynes attacked the hoop and scored a layup in transition.
Central Carolina retook the lead soon after, and held it until Jacque Brown knocked down a pull-up jumper with under six minutes remaining. The teams exchanged leads and ties as the half came to a close. With a minute and a half remaining, Alston Davis knocked down a 3-point shot, then followed it up by stealing the ensuing inbounds pass and scoring a layup to put Cape Fear up 49-42. The Cougars responded with five straight of their own, but Bryant would knock down a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Sea Devils a 52-48 point lead.
Bryant started things off for the Sea Devils in the second half, scoring the first two points for either team. It sparked a strong start for Cape Fear, and they would jump out to a 13 point lead in the first three minutes of the half. They played with more intensity, and Central Carolina had a tough time handling it.
Midway through the second half, Cape Fear held a 83-70 lead. From there, the Sea Devils would go on a 26-3 run to extend the lead to 107-73 with 5:30 minutes remaining. From this point, both teams begin to clear their benches with the outcome of the game set.
Coach Mantlo liked that his team went on a run in the second half, but wasn’t pleased with their play to start the game.
“I thought we started very slow and sloppy, but we were able to make a run late in the second half and really open it up. We’ve got a chance to be really good, but we’ve got to buy in defensively.”
Asked how it felt to win his 200th game at Cape Fear?
“It makes me feel old. I’ve been here a long time to get [200 wins], but it’s a honor to be here this long, and these kids have been great, so it’s a good day.”
Cape Fear improved to 6-2 on the season with the win. They will play next on Wednesday, December 7th, where they will take on Wake Tech Community College on the road at 7:00 p.m.