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AREA ROUNDUP: Chargers press past Knights, get rematch of 2017 state championship

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For the Wilson Christian varsity boys basketball team, playtime ended with the second quarter of Friday’s North Carolina Christian School Association 2-A first-round playoff game with Greenville Christian.

Leading 13-8 after one quarter, the Chargers turned up their pressure defense considerably, outpacing the Knights 28-3 in the second period en route to a 62-36 win.

Wilson Christian (17-12) will now see a familiar foe in its first game of the NCCSA 2-A state tourney Thursday at Walkertown Gospel Light as the Chargers face Lexington Sheets Memorial, the team that defeated WCA for the state championship last season on the Chargers’ home floor. Sheets Memorial will be the top seed from the West, while Wilson Christian enters as the No. 4 entrant from the East side of the bracket.

Sophomore Harrison Parker led a balanced WCA scoring effort with 13 points. Seniors David Peele and Jay Grissom each had 11, while juniors Zach Hunter and Jimmy Forte each tallied nine points.

“We had an OK first quarter and I wanted to see how it would go,” Wilson Christian head coach Andy Coffman said of the press. “We wanted to put the game away and be able to get some starters some rest just to keep them fresh and get the subs some playing time.”

WCA ended up with 20 steals in a game where it turned the Knights (5-22) over 30 times. Davis Andrews led Greenville Christian with 12 points.

Senior Jay Grissom and sophomore Christian McFarland led the rebounding effort with six boards for Wilson Christian, which seized a 41-11 halftime lead.

Now, Coffman and the Chargers turn to Sheets Memorial (18-2).

“We dropped a couple of games we were hoping to win, and it pushed us down to a 4 seed,” Coffman said. “It’s a tough opening game, and they are definitely the best team in our conference. We have common opponents, but that only indicates so much. I believe if we are playing our game and do what we know, I believe it is possible, if not plausible.”

GREENVILLE CHR. (36)

Dial 6, West 2, Kirby 9, Andrews 12, House 2, Blease 3, Patton 2.

WILSON CHR. (62)

Hunter 9, Grissom 11, Peele 11, Forte 9, Parker 13, McFarland 5, Murray 4, Attoe, Blalock, Little, Paul.

Score by quarters:

Greenville Christian83817—36

Wilson Christian13281110—62

Firebirds settle for 3rd with loss to RM

ROCKY MOUNT — A tied defensive struggle at halftime did not evolve into a winning outcome for the Southern Nash High varsity boys basketball team Friday night in a play-in game for the No. 2 seed in the 3-A Big East Conference.

Instead, the Firebirds (14-10) will carry the league’s No. 3 seed into the North Carolina High School Athletic Association postseason after a 19-point quarter, the largest of the game, lifted Rocky Mount to a 52-46 win on the neutral floor of Northern Nash.

The play-in game for the No. 2 seed was necessitated after the Firebirds clipped the Gryphons 64-62 at home on Senior Night on Tuesday and held serve with a win at Franklinton on Thursday. Rocky Mount (18-5) fell to Big East unbeaten Northern Nash on Thursday to produce the tie.

Rodney Alston had 25 points for Rocky Mount, including four 3-pointers. The Gryphons prevailed after making seven treys and connecting on 23 of 67 shots for 34.3 percent accuracy.

Statistics for Southern Nash were not available.

SOUTHERN NASH (46)

No scorers available.

ROCKY MOUNT (52)

Ellis 4, Jones 13, Moore 5, Battle, Gray, Dunston, Alston 25, Ward Jr. 1, Sliver 2.

Score by quarters:

Southern Nash1181314—46

Rocky Mount6131914—52

Vikings hold off Rams for ECC title

LITTLEFIELD — Trailing by 10 entering the fourth quarter, the Greene Central High varsity boys basketball team mounted a furious rally to have a chance to win Friday night in the 2-A Eastern Carolina Conference title game against Kinston at Ayden-Grifton.

However, two shots to win fell off the mark, sending the Rams to a 61-60 defeat.

In what amounted to the tiebreaking game for the No. 1 seed out of the ECC, the Vikings moved to 20-4 overall ahead of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association playoffs. Greene Central, after splitting its regular-season meetings with Kinston, dropped to 21-6.

DonQuez Davis finished with 25 points for the Rams, while junior Imajae Dodd had 10. Damian Dunn’s 19 points led Kinston.

GREENE CENTRAL (60)

Davis 25, Dodd 10, Williams 8, Clark 7, Edwards 5, Hudson 3, Johnson 2.

KINSTON (61)

Dunn 19, Moore 12, Styles 9, Parson 7, Clark 6, Harvey 3, Minnot 2, McBynum 2.

Score by quarters:

Greene Central2071122—60

Kinston22121413—61

SN tops Red Rams on Thursday 63-50

FRANKLINTON — The Southern Nash High varsity boys basketball team will have the opportunity to claim the 3-A Big East Conference’s No. 2 seed for the North Carolina High School Athletic Association playoffs following a 63-50 victory over Franklinton on Thursday night.

By finishing the regular season at 14-9 overall and 7-3 in conference play, the Firebirds tied Rocky Mount for second place in the league after the teams split their regular season meetings. Northern Nash’s 72-63 win over Rocky Mount coupled with the Firebirds’ victory ensured the tie.

Thus, the teams will play a one-game playoff for the Big East’s No. 2 slot on Friday night at 6 at Northern Nash.

Utilizing full-court pressure against the Red Rams (2-20, 0-10 Big East), Southern Nash took the lead in the second quarter and did not surrender the lead again, posting a seven- to eight-point advantage throughout the second half.

Senior Tyler Wilson paced the Firebirds with 20 points as junior Darius Edmunson had 17.

SOUTHERN NASH (63)

Townes 2, Wilson 20, Wilkins 3, Foster 8, Knight 4, Lucas 2, Perry 2, Brown 5, Edmundson 17.

FRANKLINTON (50)

No scorers available.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Lady Chargers roll into state tourney

The Wilson Christian varsity girls basketball team was in no way, shape or form threatened by Greenville Christian in the opening round of the North Carolina Christian School Association 2-A playoffs Friday night.

Nevertheless, there was still the resonating of Tuesday’s lopsided loss to Alamance Christian to fuel the Lady Chargers in what was another lopsided outcome — this one a more pleasing 67-14 result.

Now 16-12 overall, WCA will now wait for an opponent Thursday to begin the greuling three-day stretch of basketball towards a state championship at Walkertown Gospel Light.

“Since our last game Tuesday against Alamance, we were really focused in practice on coming out with energy and effort, running our offense,” WCA assistant coach Mitch Hayes said. “We challenged the team at the beginning of the game to run the offense.”

It was no problem against the Lady Knights (2-22), who were held without a field goal in the third quarter and didn’t crack double digits in any period. Leading 51-12 at the half, the Lady Chargers enforced the running clock for a 40-point lead with the first basket of the third quarter.

Sophomore Madison Carnes and junior McKenna Griffin each had 16 points as part of three Wilson Christian players in double figures. Senior Jenna Hunter had 13 points and nine rebounds, one shy of a double-double in her final home game. Hunter also handed out four assists.

Defensively, junior Grace Reams had a hand in keeping GCA off the scoreboard in the third quarter, blocking five shots in that time frame alone. Griffin tallied five steals.

GREENVILLE CHR. (14)

Smith 6, Sanders 4, Dawson 2, Pinto 2.

WILSON CHr. (67)

Barnes 8, Carnes 16, Harris 3, Hunter 13, Vick 5, Reams 2, Jones 4, Griffin 16, Reece, Tant.

Score by quarters:

Greenville Christian4802—14

Wilson Christian2328106—67

Ladybirds routed by Franklinton

FRANKLINTON — In emphatic fashion, lightning did not strike twice for the Southern Nash High varsity girls basketball team in its regular-season finale at Franklinton on Thursday night.

After snapping a 39-game losing streak in the regular season against Big East competition with a three-point win on Feb. 9, the Red Rams entertained no such notions in the rematch, assuming a commanding 23-2 lead after one quarter en route to a 61-31 decision.

Southern Nash, which saw seniors Lydia Ruffin and Jakyia Thorne play in their final games, finished 1-20 overall and 1-9 within conference play. Franklinton finished tied for second place in the Big East with Fike at 6-4 and owns a 15-7 mark in all games. However, the Lady Red Rams will seize the No. 2 seed from the Big East by virtue of its regular-season sweep of the Lady Golden Demons.

The Ladybirds owned a 13-6 advantage in the final quarter.

Score by quarters:

Southern Nash212413—31

Franklinton2314186—61

Lady Panthers fall in EPC title game

FARMVILLE — There will be a little chaos in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2-A girls basketball playoff picture after all.

North Johnston High was denied its first conference title under the direction of head coach Jay Poole on Friday night as host Farmville Central, working from the No. 5 seed, pushed past the No. 3 seed Lady Panthers with a 63-46 win.

However, with an 18-6 record, North Johnston will have no trouble qualifying for NCHSAA 2-A postseason as the No. 3 team out of the EPC. Farmville Central, just 3-7 in conference play, improved to 14-9.

Further details were not available.

JUNIOR VARSITY

DASH reaches East Region semifinals

RALEIGH — The DASH United boys basketball team established a program precedent of notching the first playoff win of any DASH basketball team in program history before losing in the semifinals of the NCHEAC East Regional on Friday at New Life Camp in Raleigh.

DASH clipped Wilmington 55-29 in the quarterfinals before dropping a 67-54 decision to North Wake, the defending East Region champion.

Against Wilmington, United was paced by Aiden Powell with 13 points and Elijah Skinner with 12.

Top DASH scorers against North Wake were Skinner with 15 points and Jacob Dienes with nine.

United finished with a 22-8 record.

Fike girls clip Hunt 29-24

Trailing by six points at halftime, the Fike High girls basketball team rallied for a season-ending 29-24 win at archrival Hunt on Thursday.

Caitlyn Graziani led the Lady Golden Demons (12-7, 6-3 Big East) with nine points. E.J. Secrest tacked on seven.

Hunt (0-20, 0-10 Big East), flirted with its only win of the season after Meredith Jump and Alyssa Todman beat the buzzer in each of the first two quarters. However, Fike used a 15-4 push engineered by its full-court press to surge in front.

Aaliyah Harris led the Lady Warriors with seven points.

MIDDLE SCHOOL

WCA Blue edges Gold

The Blue eked out a 27-26 triumph against the Gold in the annual showdown of Wilson Christian Academy’s girls basketball teams Friday.

Reagan Barnes tossed in 10 points to lead the Blue. Hailey Carnes netted eight, Kate Hoskins seven and Ellyn Watson two.

Scoring for the Gold were Chloe Villaverde with eight points, McKenna Robinson and Gracie Farmer with six each, McKenzie Barnes with four and Kaylee Williams with two.

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