Plymouth goes back to Eastern Regionals
Published 2:24 am Saturday, March 1, 2003
By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Assistant Sports Editor
ELIZABETH CITY -- Quicker than a sneeze, Damien Linson helped turn a close game into a comfortable lead for the Plymouth Vikings at a packed Camden County High School gym.
Linson, playing with a cold, led a spirited Plymouth charge in the third quarter, as the Vikings stormed to a 70-56 win over Camden County on Friday night for their second straight N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A sectional championship. The Vikings (25-2), winners of 11 straight, return to Greenville next week for regional playoff action.
Linson (20 points, seven assists, six steals, five rebounds) helped make the return possible. The senior shook off any ill feelings and erupted for 10 points in the third quarter, helping change a one-point halftime lead into an 11-point advantage.
Plymouth came out strong, jumping out to an 8-2 lead. But Nathaniel Meiggs, who finished with a team-high 16 points, led the Bruins (19-6) right back into the game. He hit two triples and a jumper for a personal 8-0 run, giving Camden a 10-8 advantage. That helped the Bruins hold a 13-12 edge after one.
Meiggs hit his third triple of the game early in the second, putting the Bruins on top 21-17. Shaking off early foul trouble, the Vikings climbed back in front with a 9-2 run, taking a 30-25 lead on a trey by Letrell Cherry. Camden was able to pull within one at the half, 33-32, with a 7-2 spurt to end the second.
The Vikings, ranked fourth in the N.C. Coaches/iHigh.com prep poll, scored 15 of the first 21 points in the third to grab a 48-38 lead. Travis Fuller (six points, eight rebounds) ignited the run by scoring the first two baskets of the second half. Linson added six points and Brandon Carter (18 points, seven rebounds) tacked on five during the run.
Linson later gave Plymouth an 11-point lead, 53-42, with a vintage play. The senior picked the pocket of Camden guard Darris Sawyer just beyond halfcourt, dribbled to the basket, floated in the air and dropped in a pretty left-handed layup.
Plymouth padded its lead with an 8-2 flurry to start the fourth, taking a 61-44 edge on a tip-in by Joshua Armand (nine points, nine rebounds). The Bruins managed to pull within 10 on a couple occasions, but the Vikings hit free throws down the stretch to maintain a comfortable lead.
Cherry credited the team's solid defense for another impressive win. While Meiggs and Darris Sawyer combined for 23 points in the first half, they had just six in the second half. Jasper Sawyer added 15 points and seven boards for the Bruins.
Plymouth's road to Chapel Hill continues next week with regional playoff action at Minges Coliseum on the campus of East Carolina University.
Class 1-A sectional championship
Damien Linson 20, Brandon Carter 18, Armand 9, Wilkins 6, Fuller 6, Cherry 5, B. Biggs 4, White 2, Bryant.
CAMDEN COUNTY (56)
Nathaniel Meiggs 16, Jasper Sawyer 15, Darris Sawyer 15, Brockett 5, Pritchard 4, Pennell 2, Penny 1, Theriot, Cook.
Plymouth 12 21 20 17 -- 70
Camden County 13 19 10 14 -- 56