Rampants, Falcons to meet for title
By JORDAN ANDERS
The Daily Reflector
Thursday, February 15, 2018
With their first two matchups this season resulting in a close game and a blowout, it was sort of fitting Thursday that the third battle between D.H. Conley and J.H. Rose was somewhere in between.
The Rampants rallied from a nine-point hole at halftime, pulling away in the fourth quarter for a 64-56 victory over the Vikings in the semifinals of the Eastern Carolina 3-A/4-A Conference tournament and setting up a third matchup of the year with South Central in the finals.
Rose, the No. 2 seed, will take on the Falcons at 7:30 tonight at South Central, immediately following the girls' tourney final between South Central and Conley.
Conley (14-12) bested JHR 61-57 in their first meeting in January. The Rampants (18-7) responded by blasting the Vikings 73-42 in their second meeting Feb. 2, but found themselves in a familiar position after a sloppy first-half performance.
"We've been behind (at the half) probably more times than ahead, so our guys just played hard in the second half," Rose coach James Rankins said. "We didn't take care of the ball in the first half, and they got all the 50-50 balls and all the rebounds. ... Our kids playing Conley, it's hard because they're our biggest rival and this was our third time playing them. They've got a good team and they're good at holding the ball, where we like to move the ball."
Rose burst out of halftime by scoring the first seven points of the third quarter, five coming as part of a game-high 20-point performance by sophomore Creighton Lebo. All but two of Lebo’s points came in the second half, including a 3-pointer that broke a 44-44 tie just over a minute into the fourth quarter and provided the game’s final lead change.
Guard Silas James was Rose’s only other double-digit scorer with 10, but seven of those came in the fourth quarter as the Rampants outscored DHC 12-5 in the final three minutes.
Only five players scored for Conley, but four were in double figures: Jahmois Barnhill (16), Tremaine Pugh (12), Lashawn Owens (11) and Fuller Lawson (11).
South Central 88
Southern Wayne 50
With North Carolina head coach Roy Williams and assistant coach Steve Robinson in attendance, top seed South Central rolled over No. 4 Southern Wayne and into the league title game for the second straight year.
Williams was in town scouting 6-foot-10 SC sophomore Day'ron Sharpe, who did not disappoint. Sharpe led all scorers with 20 points, 13 of which came in the first half.
SC shook off a slow start to stay unbeaten (23-0). The Falcons beat the Saints by a combined 98 points in their two regular-season matchups, but led by just eight after the first quarter and didn't really run off with this one until they put up 35 points in the third quarter to build a 40-point advantage.
"It wasn't our effort. We were rusty because we hadn't played in a week," Falcons coach Chris Cherry said. "But we'll be facing the same thing next week (in the state playoffs) when we'll be off until next Thursday, so somehow, some way, we're going to have to find a way to get out of that rut because the competition is going to get stiffer."
Nine Falcons scored, with Tahj Riddick (18), Shykeim Phillips (13) and Jahzeer Baker (12) joining Sharpe in double figures.
Contact Jordan Anders at firstname.lastname@example.org, 252-329-9594 and follow @ReflectorJordan on Twitter.
Parrott teams fall
Parrott Academy's boys's and girls' teams were eliminated in the second round of the NCISAA 2-A state playoffs.
The Parrott girls lost to Coastal Christian, 64-46, to finish the year 15-8, while the boys were topped 51-36 by Cape Fear Academy and ended up 14-11.
Seven Pitt County wrestlers were victorious in their first matches of the state wrestling championships at Greensboro Coliseum.
Five of those competitors still alive in their quest for a state title are in the 2-A ranks. Ayden-Grifton's Landon Stocks (106), Farmville Central's Malik Perkins (170) and North Pitt's Khalic Everett (285) notched pins, while North Pitt's Sincere King (145) won by decision and North Pitt's Carlos Barejas (113) won via sudden victory.
In 3-A, J.H. Rose's Pfifer Ozimek defeated Ervin's Paul Howard (MD, 15-6) at 132, and in 4-A, South Central's Jerell Belcher bested Page's Mohamed Teia (pin, 5:33) at 195.
The event continues today, with the championships being decided Saturday.