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KNIGHTDALE — The Knightdale High basketball squad’s northern exposure left it with frostbite last weekend during a 53-50 defeat to Carnisie of Brooklyn, New York last Saturday.
Even at home, the Knights (6-3) shot just 24 percent (16-of-66) from the field and only 8 percent (2-of-25) beyond the arc. The visiting Chiefs (4-1) thus capitalized on a 12-0 first quarter run to build an 18-9 edge.
Though Knightdale would pull within one point on four different occasions from there, it could never hurdle the hump. Eighteen turnovers and that frustrating futility from all over the court kept it in chase mode despite the fact three different players pulled at least 10 rebounds each.
Ayinde Taylor II experienced a career-best performance with 18 points and 15 boards. Junior Nick Boone (eight points, 10 rebounds) and senior Chris Mitchell (six points, 11 rebounds) pounded the paint, as well.
Fourteen layup-range shots were missed, though, while Carnisie outscored the Knights 24-6 from downtown distance.
Junior point guard Rodney Ellis (nine points, eight rebounds, five assists) again proved versatile enough to keep his team hanging around. Omar Carabello nailed both Knightdale 3-pointers, including the corner trey which ended an 0-for-15 start midway through the third period. His second sinking occurred just before the final buzzer.
“We just didn’t play well,” Knightdale head coach Anthony Byrd said afterward. “We were up against a good club with a good chance to prove ourselves, but it just wasn’t our day.”
Carnisie committed just 11 turnovers opposite Knightdale pressure, yet could not breathe easy as the hosts stayed on its heels. A Taylor bank and one reduced the maring to just four with 34 ticks remaining. The guests hit five of six free throws down the stretch to stave off any collapse.
Knightdale will play Vance County in the South Granville Holiday Invitational tournament Thursday at 4:30 p.m.