Tigers boys, Redskins girls win thrillers

Published 4:41 am Thursday, February 19, 2009

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
YEATESVILLE — Whenever Williamston and Northside collide on the hardwood fans can always expect a thriller, and Wednesday night’s Atlantic Conference tournament battle would be no different.
Down 66-64 with 16 seconds left in the game, K.J. Brown stood at the free throw line in a one-an-one situation with a chance to tie up the ball game for the second-seeded Tigers.
Brown swished his first shot, but clanked the second one, sending all 10 players into a frenzy for the loose ball. Williamston forward Javon Beach fought off the pack, grabbed the board and fired off a five-footer that fell through the nylon with less than 11 seconds remaining on the clock to give Williamston a 67-66 lead.
With no timeouts left, third-seeded Northside attempted to go the length of the court but had its in-bounds pass stolen by Beach, who converted on another quick bucket to seal the fate of the Panthers and advance his team to the championship round of the tournament with a 69-66 win.
Beach may have hit the game-winner, but it was K.J. Brown who kept Williamston (8-15, 9-8) in the game. Brown was on fire from the outside and racked up 20 of his game-high 28 points in the second half.
Panthers (10-15, 5-10) coach Mike Procter credited the Tigers for coming up big when they needed to.
Brown and forward/center Derek Everett helped pick up the slack for missing shooting guard Kylan Harrell, who missed the game because he was sick. Everett, along with Shane Griffin played well down low and tallied 11 and eight points respectively.
The Tigers will move on to face Roanoke in the conference championship game on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Northside High School.
Leading the way for the Panthers were Isaiah McCullor, Tony Peele and Daykuan Mackey.
Mackey had a huge second half for Northside, where he scored all of his team-high 18 points.
Mackey nailed back-to-back threes to give the Panthers their 66-64 lead, before Brown and Beach put the game out of reach.
McCullor racked up 15 points for Northside, while Peele tallied 10.
Jones leads Redskins to conference finale
Both teams like to press after made shots, both teams like to settle into a zone and both teams rely on their guards for much of their scoring. However, only one team has Emoni Jones, and on Wednesday that was the biggest difference in Roanoke’s 47-42 victory over Southside in the Atlantic Conference tournament.
Jones gave a gutsy performance as she scored 28 of her team’s 47 points, and grabbed six rebounds in the final two minutes of the game, all of which were clutch, to carry the third-seeded Redskins (13-9, 9-6) into the tournament championship game against Williamston on Friday at 6 p.m.
Land was the only other Roanoke player to score more than two points, as she tallied 15.
The Redskins entered the fourth quarter with their slim 34-28 advantage in jeopardy. Jones had got tangled up on a fastbreak and bruised her cheekbone with two minutes left in the third quarter. Jones did not come out at the start of the fourth quarter, but checked back into the game with 6:53 left on the clock.
Roanoke had jumped out to a 39-32 lead, but the second-seeded Seahawks (15-8, 9-6) came storming back. Southside rattled off a 8-0 and took a 40-39 lead on a Valerie Ruffin layup.
Tamisha Cradle, Ruffin and Katisha Hyman came up big for Southside as they netted 11, eight and six points respectively.
Despite the strong effort of the Seahawks’ trio, the biggest play of the game was made by Jones.
Trying to extend its lead, Southside gang-rebounded on the offensive glass with 1:30 on the clock, but continued to miss put-back after put-back.
Jones finally grabbed the ball and started her own fastbreak, as she pushed the ball up the court for a layup and drew a foul. Jones missed the free throw, but got her own rebound and sank a shot that would sink the Seahawks.
Both coaches felt their team’s came out flat, and each hoped that intensity will not be a problem the next time they step on the court.
Williamston 14 9 20 26 — 69
Northside 14 12 22 18 — 66
Tigers (66)
Coffield 6, Griffin 8, Derek Everett 11, K.J. Brown 28, Beach 4, Wilkins 2, Speller 4.
Panthers (66)
Woolard 4, Isaiah McCullor 15, Tony Peele 10, Cooper 4, Artis 2, Jenkins 8, Cox 5, Daykuan Mackey 18.
Roanoke 9 11 14 13 — 47
Southside 8 12 8 14 — 42
Redskins (47)
Emoni Jones 28, Kierra Land 15, Lloyd 2, Roberson 1.
Seahawks (42)
Ruffin 8, Bogart 4, Whitney 4, Tamisha Cradle 11, Hyman 6, Harding 5, Jones 2.