Roanoke advances to the second round
By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
ROBERSONVILLE — Roanoke was in serious need of a pick-me up.
After a sluggish opening 16 minutes that was about as exciting as drinking Earl Grey tea while watching C-SPAN, a dunk by Justin Green off an alley-oop pass from Altonio Higgs seemed to liven up the Redskins. That helped spark Roanoke (25-2) to a 74-55 win over the Perquimans Pirates (10-16) in Monday’s first round of the NCHSAA Class 1-A state playoffs.
Roanoke, the top seed from the Atlantic Conference, will the host Southeast Halifax Trojans, an 84-71 winner over Plymouth, on Wednesday. The Redskins will take a 13-game winning streak into that game.
Altonio Higgs paced the Redskins with 18 points, which included a pair of long-range bombs. Kenneth Hyman added 17 points, including 10 in the third quarter. John Griffin came off the bench to score 14 points.
Alonza Higgs sat out the second half with ice on his foot after injuring it during the first half. Pittman said Higgs will be ready to go for the second-round game.
Rakeem Miller paced Perquimans, the third seed from the Albemarle Conference, with 14 points. Michael Bonner and Devaun Winslow added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Roanoke’s Dyquail Lloyd, who finished with nine points and six assists, broke a scoreless tie with a layup 93 seconds into the game. A jumper by Bonner tied the game, but the Redskins answered with a 6-0 spurt and took the lead for good.
Roanoke held a modest 13-8 lead after the first quarter.
The Redskins pushed their lead to nine early in the second quarter before Perquimans used a 7-0 run to get close. D’Andre Privott’s 3-pointer at the 3:14 mark pulled the Pirates within 21-20. They wouldn’t get any closer.
Roanoke used an 11-2 run, including triples from Altonio Higgs and Hyman, to end the half and grab a 32-22 advantage.
Green’s slam capped a 9-2 run to start the third, giving the Redskins a 41-26 lead.
Perquimans closed the gap to nine on a couple occasions, but Roanoke was able to take a 53-39 advantage into the final quarter.
Altonio Higgs hit a pair of 3-pointers in the fourth, while Savion Hudson and Griffin got inside for easy baskets as Roanoke slowly pulled away for the blowout victory.
Class 1-A state playoffs
Perquimans 8 14 17 16 — 55
Roanoke 13 19 21 21 — 74
Rakeem Miller 14, Michael Bonner 11, Devaun Winslow 10, Leigh 7, Privott 6, Bond 4, Whidbee 2, Frierson 1.
Altonio Higgs 18, Kenneth Hyman 17, John Griffin 14, Lloyd 9, Hudson 7, Alo. Higgs 5, Green 4, Taylor, Powell, Wiggins.