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Falcons, Jags, Panthers advance

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Hoke County's Silas Love, center, is guarded by South Central's Shykeim Phillips, left, and Day'ron Sharpe during their game on Feb. 24, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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The Daily Reflector

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Even as its coach Chris Cherry was forced to shuffle his roster around to account for foul trouble Saturday, South Central’s boys’ basketball team was still too strong for Hoke County to handle.

The No. 4 seed Falcons got 27 points from junior guard Shykeim Phillips and contributions from a smattering of other players to best No. 5 Hoke County 74-55 to advance to the 4-A East Regional semifinals.

SC (26-0) will travel to top seed Garner (26-1) on Tuesday night with a berth in the regional finals on the line. That game will tip at 7 p.m.

Cherry’s club took a 37-25 lead to halftime despite guard Tahj Riddick and forward Day’ron Sharpe each picking up two fouls in the first two quarters and forward Jeremy Lewis having three. By the end of third quarter, Sharpe and Riddick had three fouls and Lewis had four, but the Falcons still led by 12.

With SC’s major role players battling to stay on the floor, the biggest boost it received came from reserve guard Travon Ward. The sophomore, who averages 5.6 points per game, hit a pair of 3-pointers and a pair of free throws in the first two and a half minutes of the fourth to extend that 12-point edge to 20, a key sequence that buried the Bucks and ignited the jam-packed gym.

“I love the way we stepped up and met the physicality of the game, and I was super proud of Travon the way he came through in the fourth quarter hitting those 3’s for us,” Cherry said. “We felt like they were trapping us a little bit so we wanted to put shooters in both corners, and he hit two huge ones.

“We have that type of depth and we’ve shown it all year. Even through some of the lopsided games, we had different guys stepping up, and when you’ve got the caliber of talented kids we have and nobody averages 20 points a game, that shows you the character of those kids to want to share the ball and let everybody eat a little bit.”

Sharpe added 12 points, all of which came in the second half. Ward finished with 11.

Jordan Anders

Farmville Central 81

West Craven 70

FARMVILLE — Farmville Central guard Justin Wright dropped at least 30 points for the second straight game to help lead the fourth-seeded Jaguars to a win over No. 21 West Craven and into the 2-A East semifinals.

Wright finished with an even 30 and Terquavion Smith added 24 for FC (22-3), which upped its winning streak to 17 games.

“My (guys) are playing hard and the foundation of winning is that if you can’t defend and you can’t be active, then you can’t win,” FC head coach Larry Williford said. “You can’t teach speed. You know, we’re not the biggest team in the world but we’re fast as lightning.”

The Jaguars will host No. 9 Greene Central on Tuesday night in the regional semis.

The Eagles (14-12) closed to within seven points in the fourth quarter but the Jaguars kept them at bay. Two nights after putting up 103 points on Carrboro (behind 38 from Wright), Farmville Central posted its eighth straight game of at least 70 points.

Kameron McNeil scored 12 for the Jaguars.

The teams traded blows in the first quarter until FC used a 10-0 run to establish control and force West Craven to call a timeout.

Corey Jones

GIRLS

North Pitt 65

Bartlett Yancey 42

BETHEL — At a point in the year where coaches would love to say their teams are playing their best basketball, North Pitt coach William Knight didn’t mince words about his team’s third-round performance against Bartlett Yancey.

“That’s the best game we’ve had all year,” he said.

It certainly was one of the most impressive, as the No. 3 seed Panthers scored the first 13 points of the day and cruised to a 23-point win over the No. 6 seed Buccaneers.

North Pitt (23-5) will travel to No. 2 seed East Duplin at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the 2-A East Regional semifinals.

The Panthers hassled Yancey from the outset and didn’t allow a basket until more than halfway through the first quarter. They led 20-8 after one quarter and ballooned their lead to as many as 26 before the game reached halftime. 

“The defensive intensity was great throughout the game and they never let up,” Knight said. “That’s the best game I’ve seen them play all year long. We couldn’t have asked for them to play any better.”

Guard Nyjanique Langley scored 23 of her game-high 33 points in the first half, including a dominant stretch in which she scored 17 consecutive points. Casandra Watson added 17.

—Jordan Anders

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High Schools

December 19, 2018

South Central’s undefeated boys basketball team defeated rival J.H. Rose, 90-53, Tuesday night after another fantastic effort from point guard Shykeim Phillips, who put up 27 points in the win.

North Carolina commit Day’ron Sharpe also had a good night, putting up 18 points for the…

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December 17, 2018

Pitt County basketball teams are ready for the upcoming Pitt County Christmas Tournaments at J.H. Rose High School, which kick off with girls action on Wednesday night with a full slate of games. 

D.H. Conley was voted the top seed by other coaches in the tournament. The Viking girls are…

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December 15, 2018

Greene Central’s boys basketball team held off rival Kinston in overtime to bring home a big 64-58 win on Friday night in high school basketball. 

It was the first major win for new head coach Blue Edwards and was the third straight victory for the Rams (5-3). 

Imajae Dodd led the…

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December 14, 2018

Farmville Central defensive lineman Keziah Everett confirmed he is ready to sign with East Carolina on Wednesday’s start of the national early signing period.

Jaguars head coach Scott Gardner confirmed Friday morning that Everett will sign with ECU, joining fellow Pitt County Pirate commits…

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December 13, 2018

North Pitt junior wrestler Antonio Betancourt has shown promise as part of the Panthers squad. NP is coming off two wins at a tri-meet involving Eastern Wayne and Tarboro. Betancourt spoke with preps beat writer Jake Keator about the sport of wrestling and how he prepares for his matches. 

Q:…

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December 12, 2018

South Central remained undefeated on the basketball season after a big win over Bertie High School, 84-34, on Wednesday night in Winterville.

The game was pretty much in hand in the first quarter of the game due to the fast pace of the Falcons. They led 30-3 after the first period and…

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December 12, 2018

North Pitt wrestling took home first place Tuesday night, topping Eastern Wayne and Tarboro in a tri-meet in Bethel.

The meet was originally scheduled to also include Nash Central. The Bulldogs were unable to attend due to not being in school on Tuesday.

The Panthers made easy work of the Warriors,…

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December 08, 2018

Farmville Central’s boys’ basketball team defeated Greene Central for the second time this season, winning 72-64 in Snow Hill on Friday night.

The Jaguars (6-0) were led by a sensational performance by Terquavion Smith, who finished with 20 points, including four 3-pointers. Justin…

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December 07, 2018

Pitt County East Carolina football recruits Jeremy Lewis of South Central and CJ Johnson of D.H. Conley doubled down on their commitments following the arrival of new head coach Mike Houston this week.

Attempts to reach Farmville Central’s Keziah Everett for comment were unsuccessful.

Houston,…

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December 06, 2018

This time, Farmville Central wasted little time exerting its will.

The Jaguars started fast and never looked back in an 87-44 win over North Lenoir Wednesday. One day after needing a late run to defeat Ayden-Grifton 91-78, Farmville Central (5-0) led for all but the first 1:20 of the contest.

"We…

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