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Plymouth pounces on Warriors, Redskins romp Bulletts

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
PLYMOUTH — From the opening tip-off the Vikings jumped all over Louisberg and leapt into the second round of the NCHSAA 1-A state playoffs with a convincing 74-56 win Tuesday night.
Angelo Sharpless spearheaded the Vikings attack scoring a game-high 22 points despite sitting out the entire fourth quarter and most of the second.
Holding a 64-37 lead headed into the fourth quarter, Sharpless and the rest of the starting lineup’s services were not needed as the No. 2 Vikings (16-2) sailed past the No. 4 Warriors (16-11).
Sharpless scored 10 first quarter points as he led Plymouth on a 20-2 run after the first eight minutes.
Solid defense and aggressive rebounding allowed the Vikings to control the tempo and the paint en route to victory.
Andre Mitchell was the team’s second leading scorer with 10 points, while forwards Akeem Webb and William Hunt helped keep the Warriors off the glass.
Plymouth’s first year coach Darius Lagroom said he was happy with the way his team started the game and the playoffs.
The Warriors never adjusted.
When Lagroom’s starting five was on the court, the Vikings controlled every aspect of the game. Sharpless was able to drive to the hoop at will versus Louisberg’s zone defense, and either score or dish off to shooters posted in the corners for uncontested shots.
The Warriors were never able to get into a rhythm on offense. After scoring two points in the first quarter, Louisberg answered with 22 in the second, but that was mainly due to the absence of Sharpless and Norman who were on the bench with two quick fouls each.
Nick Tabron scored nine points in the second quarter, and led the Warriors with 11 points.
With the starters back on the court at the start of the third quarter, the Vikings blew open the game. A Sharpless three pointer, followed by a put-back dunk capped a 19-6 run that put Plymouth up 59-30.
Lagroom said one of the key elements in Tuesday’s game was his team’s execution.
The Vikings next challenge will be a familiar one as they will take on Roanoke at Roanoke High School on Thursday. The Redskins and Vikings have played twice this season, with the home team winning both times.
Louisberg 2 22 13 19 — 56
Plymouth 20 19 25 10 — 74
Warriors (56)
Garrett 4, Kearney 8, Adams 6, Nick Tabron 11, Wake 4, Ware 6, Wright 1, Carmen 4, Perry 2, Blacknell Hicks 2, Strickland 4.
Vikings (74)
Webb 6. Angelo Sharpless 22, Simpson 8, Allen 2, Andre Mitchell 10, Jones 3, Norman 4, Bucher 4, Keanan Norman 6, Brown 6, Chesson 6.
Redskins thrash Bullets
By AARON CARPENTER, Staff Correspondent
ROBERSONVILLE — Roanoke controlled the opening tip-off and then the rest of the game Tuesday night. The Redskins rolled over the Jamesville Bullets, 89-36, in the first round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A state playoffs.
The first quarter was dominated by Roanoke, the No. 1 seed from the Atlantic Conference, as the team jumped out to a 23-1 lead after the first eight minutes. Jamesville, the No. 3 seed out of the Tideland Conference, couldn't get anything to go down despite open looks and good chances.
The pressure defense from Roanoke (20-7) certainly didn't help Jamesville's (9-12) chances. Turnovers and missed shots consistently led to easy points for the Redskins throughout the game.
"That's the style we like to play; we like to push the ball up the court," Roanoke coach Darryl Pittman said. "We normally get it started with our defense. Once we scored the first time, we were able to go into our full-court trap."
The second quarter went a little better for Jamesville as center Dustin Barr was able to start sinking buckets in the lane. Barr dropped in 9 of his game-high 19 points in the second.
However, Roanoke was relentless from beyond the arc and inside. The Redskins managed to out-score the Bullets by four in the second to take a 42-14 lead into the locker room.
The third quarter was more of the same from Roanoke, while Jamesville was unable to score until over three minutes had elapsed. The Redskins had built a seemingly insurmountable lead of 51-16, primarily because of Savion Hudson scoring 12 of his team-high 18 points. A 10-1 run over the next minute-plus effectively sealed the game for Roanoke. A minute later, the starters came out and the bench was cleared.
Kenneth Hyman added 17 points, Alonza Higgs 15 and Aaron Baker 13 for the Redskins.
Jamesville's players continued to play hard in the fourth and even showed some smiles when Barr blocked several shots in the lane as the game was winding down to its inevitable conclusion.
"As the game went on, the score kind of left the players' minds," said Ange. "It wasn't how many points they were behind, and they played hard to the end and enjoyed themselves out on the court."
Jamesville's Ricardo Hardison drove the lane and finger-rolled in the last bucket with 17 seconds left to close out the scoring for the night.
Roanoke plays host to Plymouth (16-2), a 72-54 winner over Louisburg, in Thursday’s second round.
Pittman was asked if he was concerned about going forward after an easy win.
"We've been focused and ready to play all week, starting with last week's (conference) tournament," said Pittman. "The core of the team are veterans; they understand what the playoffs are all about and, come Thursday, they'll be ready to go."
Jamesville 1 13 9 13 – 36
Roanoke 23 17 33 14 – 89
JAMESVILLE (36)
Dustin Barr 19, Smith 7, Wisner 4, Bell 2, Griffin 2, Hardison 2
ROANOKE (89)
Savion Hudson 18, Kenneth Hyman 17, Alonza Higgs 15, Aaron Baker 13, Ward 7, L. Baker 5, Little 4, Perkins 4, Cooper 3, Morning 3