Sharpless carries Plymouth past Redskins
By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Reporter
ROBERSONVILLE — Angelo Sharpless knows his playing career at Plymouth will come to an end soon, but he was determined to make sure it wouldn’t be Thursday night. With his team down nine points to Roanoke at halftime of the second round of the NCHSAA 1-A state playoffs, the Vikings’ swingman erupted for 32 points in the second half to carry Plymouth past the Redskins 81-75 in front of a stunned Roanoke crowd.
After only scoring six points in the first half, Sharpless shot, slashed and slammed his way to a game-high 38 points to extend his senior season.
For the first two quarters it was Roanoke’s Savion Hudson who was doing the heavy lifting. The guard scored 17 of his 19 points in first half points and tallied two dunks in the first quarter to lead the No. 1 seeded Redskins (20-8, Atlantic Conference)
Roanoke played fast and aggressively early, but the second-seeded Vikings (17-2, Albemarle Conference) were up to the task and went into the second quarter tied at 16.
Kenneth Hyman helped the Redskins take a 25-19 lead on an old fashion three-point play midway through the quarter. Hyman finished with a team-high 24 points.
The Redskins would build on that lead when Alonza Higgs drained a three-pointer at the 2:41 mark to make the score 31-23. Roanoke would head into halftime up 34-25.
Sharpless and the Vikings failed to get into rhythm offensively in the second quarter as they were out-scored 18-9, but Plymouth came out firing in the second half.
Needing to jump start their offense and slow down the Redskins, Vikings’ coach Darius Lagroon unleashed an energized full-court press.
The Vikings came out of the locker room as a team determined not to lose, as Sharpless and Plymouth point guard Andre Mitchell harassed the Redskins’ ball-handlers, forcing several turnovers which turned into quick baskets.
Sharpless came out firing, scoring five points in the first minute of the third quarter as the Vikings slowly chipped away at Redskins.
The Vikings took the lead with less than three minutes remaining, when Sharpless nailed pull-up three from center court, then stole the inbounds pass and drilled a 10-footer in the paint to take a 49-45 lead. Sharpless ended the quarter with 24 points, and his team holding a 56-54 lead.
The Vikings and Redskins traded leads for the greater portion of the fourth quarter, and were deadlocked at 63 when Sharpless and Jason Kornagay put the finishing touches on the game.
Sharpless drilled a three pointer, which was followed by a Kornagay fastbreak layup. After a Hudson hoop for Roanoke, Sharpless unleashed another three-pointer to take a 73-67 with 2:30 remaining in the game.
After the game Pittman said he was proud of his team’s season.
While the Redskins season came to a close, the Vikings will be back on the road today as they battle the Tar Roanoke No. 1 seed North Edgcombe. The Warriors are 26-1 and the second ranked team in the state in the 1-A division according to NCPreps.com. Tip-off time is at 7 p.m.
Plymouth 16 9 31 25 — 81
Roanoke 16 18 20 21 — 75
Akeem Webb 15, Angelo Sharpless 38, Jason Kornagay 14, Andre Mitchell 10, Simpson 5, Hunt 3.
Kenneth Hyman 24, Savion Hudson 19, Baker 9, Alonza Higgs 13, Perkins 4, Little 2.