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Falcons sweep Conley, take league lead

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South Central's Shykeim Phillips, right, scores during their game against D.H. Conley on Jan. 19, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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By JORDAN ANDERS
The Daily Reflector

Friday, January 19, 2018

South Central’s girls’ basketball team kicked off a varsity doubleheader against D.H. Conley on Friday night with a dominant victory to take first place in the Eastern Carolina 3-A/4-A Conference.

Not to be outdone, the Falcons’ boys wrapped up the night with a win by an even more impressive margin, placing both teams atop the league at the halfway part of the conference schedule.

SC’s girls hammered a cold-shooting Conley team en route to a 54-33 victory, setting the stage for the boys to maintain their perfect season by rolling past the Vikings in a 75-40 win.

With teams unable to practice Wednesday or Thursday night because of weather-related school closures, coach Chris Cherry’s boys got a couple of nights to regroup after a stretch of four games in five days. That rest was evident against Conley, as the Falcons (15-0, 6-0) blistered their conference co-leaders with six 3-pointers in the first quarter that gave SC a 28-5 lead through one and erased all suspense early.

“We played with a lot of energy,” Cherry said of his team’s first-quarter explosion. “We got our legs back. We were done Tuesday night (after playing four games in five days). ... We got the snow in, so we got a couple of days off and we really got our legs back. I was just proud of our effort.”

Conley (10-6, 5-1) wasn’t outscored by more than six points in any of the final three quarters, but it was the shooting of SC’s guards in the first that closed the door early. Shykeim Phillips (13 points in the quarter), Tahj Riddick (six) and Jahzeer Baker (five) combined to score the Falcons’ first 21 points, a stretch that included five 3-pointers and gave South Central a 21-3 lead.

DHC got a boost in the second from guard Jahmios Barnhill, who hit three of his team-high four 3-pointers in the period, but by that point, the Vikings stood little chance of digging out of their hole 20-plus point hole.

“That’s, in my opinion, the best 4-A team in North Carolina right now, so the good thing is we’re not going to face anybody any more talented,” Conley coach Rob Maloney said. “... Their guards came out in the first quarter on fire, and they were shooting 3s from everywhere but Ayden, which put us in a position where we had to come out of that zone (defense) and that’s where it really gets tough to match up man-to-man with those bigs.”

Phillips’ game-high 18 points led a South Central effort that saw 13 players score at least two points. Day’ron Sharpe’s 12 points made him the only other Falcon in double figures. Barnhill (12) and Lashawn Owen (10) were the only Conley players in double figures.

GIRLS

South Central’s girls took a little longer to get a firm grasp on its matchup with Conley, but once it did, the Falcons didn’t let go.

The Vikings scored just one basket in the second quarter, allowing SC to outscore Conley 20-4 in the period to ignite a rout that puts coach Robert Duck’s club one game ahead of DHC in the standings.

The Falcons (14-2, 6-0) kept the hammer down in the second half, building on a 31-11 halftime advantage and going ahead by as many as 32 in the fourth quarter.

“I thought we got our second wind, especially after being out for a couple of days,” Duck said of his team’s second-quarter performance. “Our close-outs became a lot stronger, so we were up into shooters a lot quicker, which then led to some turnovers and some easy buckets on the other end. I think we scored 20 in that quarter, which is pretty daggone good.”

South Central got a game-high 16 points from Ninevah Reddick and 15 from Brittany Gibbs. Mackena Batts led Conley (12-4, 5-1) with 12 and Kiara Johnson had 11.

Contact Jordan Anders at janders@reflector.com, 252-329-9594 and follow @ReflectorJordan on Twitter.

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

North Pitt 57

Farmville Central 41

BETHEL — North Pitt’s girls upped their win streak to three games after topping Farmville Central.

What appeared to be a close game quickly changed gears in favor of the Panthers (13-4, 3-1 Eastern Plains 2-A Conference), who opened the second quarter on a 19-6 run. They went into halftime with a 14-point lead and cruised in the second half.

"We didn't box out, we didn't stop transition. In basketball, you have to stop transition and that's what hurt," FC coach Hollis Harper said. "They got a lot of points in transition, they scored on their layups, we didn't. Next game, we just got to prepare, forget this game and go to the next game."

The first quarter was back-and-fourth with two lead changes, but the Panthers tied the game, 11-11, with 1:01 left in the quarter. They then took the lead, going into the second quarter up by one.

The Jaguars (8-5, 0-3) were able to cut the deficit to 10 late in the third quarter, but the Panthers responded and continued to stretch their lead. NP went into the fourth quarter with a 12-point lead and built its advantage to 20 with less than three minutes left.

Senior Nyjanique Langley led the Panthers with 32 points. FC struggled offensively with zero double-digit scorers, and was led by Tierra Pettway with nine points.

"Langley? She's the heartbeat. She's the heartbeat of this team," NP coach William Knight said. "Everybody learns from her. When she's going, she gets everybody else going, she keeps everybody in the game and the heartbeat of the team."

BOYS

Farmville Central 82

North Pitt 69

Farmville Central has won its last five games, including its win over North Pitt.

The Jaguars (10-3, 3-0) went into the fourth quarter with an eight-point lead. Their lead was cut to four with 5:09 left in the game, but the Panthers (9-7, 2-2) struggled to score late and FC took advantage to pull away.

Both teams had four players with double-digits points. Farmville got 25 points from Justin Wright, followed by Terquavion Smith (22), Alvin Grizzard (16) and Rande Harper (11). Matthew Council led North Pitt with 18, Deonte Person had 16, and Dequan Hines and Zaquarius Sherrod-Wilson had 10 apiece.

Corey Jones

JV GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

D.H. Conley 21

South Central 19

DHC leaders — Lauren Wiles 10, Arianna Crumpler 6.

Record: DHC 10-1.

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