By Becky Kimbrell-Norris
WAKEFIELD — It wasn’t the way Wakefield High School coach Dexter Cooley wanted his team to start the 2013-14 basketball season.
On Tuesday night, the Wolverines were outgunned by their non-conference visitors, Cary, losing to the Imps 67-50.
“We still have lots of pieces of the puzzle to put together,” Cooley said. “I’m not mad at the team for the way they played; just concerned about correcting our mistakes.”
“We’re not a veteran team and the players have to get used to playing together,” Cooley added. “I think once we have some minutes behind us, we’ll be okay.”
From the opening tip-off to the finish, Cary never let off the throttle.
Late in the first quarter, the lead exchanged hands four times before Cary took it for good at 10-9 at the first turn.
Both teams started shooting the ball better in the second quarter; however Wakefield was still dealing with turning the ball over.
Jacori Earle scored a basket with 3:31 left in the first half, pulling Wakefield to within 18-15.
Jesse Wright came up with another key shot, keeping the Wolverines close at 22-19 and following a couple of Cary baskets, the Imps remained in front 26-21 at the break.
Both teams took turns scoring at the start of the third quarter and a basket by Earle on an assist from Cameron Sykes made the score close at 34-33.
Cary then charged ahead and ended the quarter with 26 points, while Wakefield simply began struggling again from the floor.
While the Wolverines shots were not falling, the Imps were able to find their way to the line and went to the charity stripe on six occasions.
Cary showed no signs of letting up and went into the fourth quarter, leading 52-38.
“They had three spurts and we answered all of them except one,” Cooley said. “We had a breakdown and they made their shots.”
In the fourth quarter, the Imps kept pounding the scoreboard and continued to build on its lead.
“We had difficulty boxing out and we had trouble throwing the ball in bounds,” Cooley said.
“One thing, though, we did not come out flat and we made a couple of runs,” Cooley went on to say. “I thought we put more pressure on the ball in the second half and there are just some things that we have to do better.”
Earle and Sykes led the Wolverines in scoring with 18 and 16 points, respectively.
Even with the loss, Cooley is expecting big things this season from his team.
“When we fine tune some things, we will be fine,” he said. “It was our first game and we’ll get better.”