Roanoke boys, Plymouth girls battle for the sectional title

Published 10:53 am Saturday, February 24, 2007

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
ROBERSONVILLE — Dyquail Lloyd wants nothing more than to add another championship banner to the wall at Atkinson-Calfee Gymnasium. Roanoke already has banners hanging up from its state basketball titles in 1996 and 1997.
Lloyd and his Roanoke teammates will get the chance to move a step closer to that dream tonight when the Redskins play the Camden Bruins in a NCHSAA Class 1-A sectional championship game.
The game will tip off at approximately 7 p.m. at Northside High School.
Though Camden knocked Roanoke out of last year’s state playoffs, taking a 57-53 second-round win, Redskins’ coach Darryl Pittman insists he’s not looking for payback.
The Roanoke-Camden game will be preceded by a sectional championship matchup pitting a pair of Tar Roanoke Conference teams. The top-seeded North Edgecombe Warriors (19-6) will play the fourth-seeded Northampton-West Hurricanes (14-11) at 5:30 p.m.
The sectional champions advance to next week’s regional tournament, which will be played at Minges Coliseum at East Carolina University.
Roanoke (26-2), the top seed from the Atlantic Conference, is riding a 14-game winning streak into tonight’s game against the Bruins. The Redskins knocked off Perquimans 74-55 in the first round of the state playoffs, as three Roanoke players hit for double digits. Altonio Higgs led the way with 18 points, while Kenneth Hyman had 17 and John Griffin 14.
Roanoke followed that up by running past Southeast Halifax 82-60 in the second round, which was punctuated by a buzzer-beating slam dunk by Lloyd.
Hyman paced the Redskins with 25 points in the win. Lloyd wasn’t far behind with his 22 points. Griffin added 11 off the bench.
Tough Roanoke rolled, Pittman wants his players to step up even more.
Camden (22-6), the top seed out of the Albemarle Conference, won by double digits in both of its previous state playoff games. The Bruins beat Weldon 65-53 in the opening round before dusting off Northampton-East 52-37 in the next round.
Roanoke and Camden are not strangers. The two have played twice before this season, and both were close games.
The Redskins took a 53-49 win in the first meeting played at Camden. Alonza Higgs had 19 points and seven assists in the victory. Lloyd contributed 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Roanoke had a 44-33 lead going into the fourth. Camden made a run, outscoring the Redskins 16-9 in the final period to make it close.
Roanoke needed overtime to dispose of the Bruins in the second game, pulling out a 71-64 victory at home.
Three players turned in double-doubles for the Redskins in the overtime win. Lloyd had 12 points and 16 rebounds, Hyman added 17 points and 10 boards and Altonio Higgs contributed 13 points and 10 caroms.
Alonza Higgs led Roanoke with 19 points while also dishing out eight assists.
Camden held a 30-24 lead at the half. Roanoke pulled within three points after three quarters, then used an 18-15 fourth quarter to send the game into overtime. The Redskins outscored the Bruins 12-5 in the extra session.
Plymouth will face Gates County for the sectional title
By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
PLYMOUTH — Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it, too?
The Plymouth Vikings have done that. Heck, there’s even talk of adding another dessert.
The Vikings (18-2), the top seed from the Atlantic Conference, can do just that with a win over the Gates County Red Barons today.
Plymouth will take on Gates County (15-9), the top seed from the Albemarle Conference, in a NCHSAA Class 1-A girls sectional championship game.
The game will tip off at 3:30 p.m. at Northside High School.
For Plymouth coach Ulysses Hooker, it’s just another sweet treat.
The Plymouth-Gates County game will be preceded by a sectional championship matchup pitting a pair of Tar Roanoke teams. The Northampton-East Rams (7-14), the fourth seed, will face the top-seeded Weldon Chargers (21-3) at 2 p.m.
The sectional champions advance to next week’s regional tournament, which will be played at J.H. Rose High School in Greenville.
Senior Whitney Stokes has played a big factor in Plymouth’s success throughout the playoffs. The state’s leading scorer erupted for 41 points in a 57-44 victory over Camden in the first round.
Stokes followed that up with 25 points in a 52-46 nod over Southeast Halifax in the second round. Teammate Sakina Brown added a key 17 points in the win over Halifax.
The Vikings were tested in the second-round game, as they actually trailed at one point. However, Plymouth came up with clutch baskets and free throws in the final minutes.
Plymouth will take on a Gates County team that has rolled in the first two rounds. The Red Barons cruised to a 61-44 win over North Edgecombe in the first round, then followed that up with a 53-40 blistering of Jones Senior.
Stokes said the Vikings will just have to play their game.
Plymouth’s players realize the Red Barons are strong, but Stokes said she and her teammates are ready.
What Stokes wants to do is keep playing. She’s not ready for her senior season to come to an end.