Flu slows Curry in team's first loss

BURLINGTON, N.C. -- An ill JamesOn Curry was unable to carry Eastern Alamance over a Williams team bent on revenge, as the Eagles fell to 2-1 with a 77-59 road defeat Friday night.

Curry, who scored 26 points on 10-of-21 shooting, faced a pressure 1-3-1 zone for most of the game specifically designed to limit the prodigious scorer. Williams, which was beaten last week in overtime by Eastern, had three defenders converge on Curry whenever he crossed the three-point line.

"He [Williams' coach] had time to see that the 1-3-1 zone was effective against us," said Eastern head coach John Moon. "He had time to get that ready, and we used some good sets against it but the shots didn't go down. We got 7 offensive rebounds, which is one more than a man in the cemetery could have gotten."

The area of Curry's game most clearly impacted by the illness was his jump shot. Time after time in the first half, he would achieve separation with a quick jab step or crossover only to see the subsequent shot bounce off the front of the rim. As a result, Curry finished the first half 1-of-6 from the floor with 5 points.

In the second half Curry seemed to have his legs more firmly underneath him, and went 9-of-15 from the field for 21 points. One particular crossover dribble mid-way through the fourth quarter was particularly impressive, but no play epitomizes the frustrating way this game played out as well as Curry's final one.

With a minute on the clock, Curry drove right through the Williams zone and finished with an impressive one hand tomahawk slam. To the befuddlement of both Curry and the crowd, he was whistled for a technical—his fifth foul—for apparently elbowing an opposing player while dunking the ball.

How did Moon feel about Curry's performance under such straining conditions?

"Well, he threw up twice at halftime and before the game he was so sick with the flu. I mean, he came to play. He scored 26 points and played 28 of 32 minutes sick, so we'll take his effort any night out like that."

With three games looming during the coming week, Moon and Eastern Alamance hope Curry is fully recovered before Tuesday's rematch with another 3A opponent, Southern Alamance.

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