South Central falls in 3-A state championship game|Kinston boys win 2-A title

Published 4:54 am Sunday, March 14, 2010

By By The Associated Press
CHAPEL HILL — Shannon Smith and her Gastonia Forestview teammates had had a long time to think about this one game.
One year after losing a Class 3-A North Carolina High School Athletic Association women’s basketball championship game, the Jaguars came back to win their first title on Saturday with a 62-55 victory over South Central Pitt.
Forestview (27-2), which opened in 1998 and lost the state final 60-58 last season to Greensboro Dudley, won its first NCHSAA state team championship of any kind. Kelsey Harris added 13 points and Bre Armstrong 10 for Forestview, which has won 16 straight games.
‘‘I’m just excited for all these girls,’’ Forestview coach Ken Beaty said. ‘‘It takes luck and a lot of hard work. Last year’s loss really helped us out. That was one of our motivating factors. We remembered how we felt last year. This feels a whole lot better.’’
South Central (28-5), which opened in 2002, is still seeking its first NCHSAA state title. Danielle Butts had 17 points and 13 rebounds for South Central, while JaNesha Ebron added 16 points. Haley McCorkle added five points and 13 rebounds for the Falcons.
‘‘It’s been a great year and the kids deserve all the credit,’’ South Central coach Mary Bryan Carlyle said. ‘‘Our game plan was looking like we wanted it to in spurts. We came back and made it close, but we just couldn’t get over the hump.’’
Forestview led 17-8 after the first quarter and never trailed the rest of the way. South Central’s closest approach in the second half was four points. The Falcons cut the lead to five twice in the final 67 seconds, but Harris and Smith each hit a pair of free throws to keep the margin from getting closer.
‘‘It took a long time to get over last year’s game,’’ said the senior Smith, who was named the game’s MVP and has signed to play with North Carolina next season. ‘‘I think we’re finally over it now.’’
Forestview won despite losing the rebound battle 38-25. South Central also outshot the winners 42.9 percent to 37.5 percent. But the Jaguars handled the ball better, committing 12 turnovers compared to 26 for South Central.
Salisbury 49,
East Bladen 37
RALEIGH — When it came to championship game experience, both Salisbury and East Bladen had it. But when it came to defense and guard play, the Hornets had it all and captured their second consecutive Class 2-A North Carolina High School Athletic Association championship Saturday with a 49-37 victory.
Salisbury (29-0) led 28-20 at the half and pulled away in the third quarter thanks to its pressure defense. It outscored the Eagles 14-4 and forced eight turnovers.
Guard Shanequa Phifer captured most valuable player honors with 14 points. Forward Jessica Heilig added six points and 10 rebounds, while Ashia Holmes scored 11 points and had three steals.
Matthews Butler 87,
Morrisville Green Hope 61
RALEIGH — After one of the most dominating performances in women’s Class 4-A history on Saturday, it’s hard to believe that Matthews Butler lost four basketball games this season.
But the Bulldogs came into the championship game at Reynolds Coliseum confident it could beat Morrisville Green Hope, a team that entered the game undefeated. Butler had two NCAA Division I prospects in senior center Clair Watkins and junior guard/forward Cierra Burdick, and plenty of size. Green Hope had sophomore forward Kristen Gaffney, who averaged nearly 27 points per game.
The size of Butler and its athleticism was too much for Green Hope as the Bulldogs (25-4) rolled to an 87-61 victory for its first North Carolina High School Athletic Association women’s championship.
Burdick, the North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year, scored 28 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in being named the game’s Most Valuable Player. Watkins added 20 points and eight rebounds as Butler outrebounded Green Hope 49-19. Butler shot 56 percent from the floor (36 of 64) and outscored Green Hope 50-16 in the paint.
The 87 points are the most ever scored in a Class 4-A championship game, surpassing the 80 scored by Morganton Freedom in the 1994 championship. It was also the second-most in state championship history behind the 101 scored by High Point Central in the 1993 Class 3-A championship game.
Kinston 51,
West Caldwell 29
RALEIGH — High expectations can weigh down any team, but Reggie Bullock wouldn’t let a sub-par game keep him and his Kinston teammates from a state basketball championship this year.
With University of North Carolina head coach Roy Williams watching from the sidelines, the UNC-bound forward overcame a poor shooting night and helped lead the Vikings to a 51-29 victory over West Caldwell on Saturday in the Class 2-A North Carolina High School Athletic Association men’s championship at Reynolds Coliseum.
Kinston (28-4) captured the school’s seventh state championship and Bullock was named the game’s most valuable player. He scored 15 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and had three steals. He surpassed 2,000 career points in the third quarter.
Rocky Mount 84, Concord 79
CHAPEL HILL — Tashawn Mabry had 26 points and 10 rebounds, leading four Rocky Mount players in double figures as the Gryphons held off Concord 84-79 on Saturday night in the Class 3-A North Carolina High School Athletic Association men’s basketball championship game.
It was the fourth state title for the Gryphons (24-3), who last won a championship in 1982 when the school was in Class 4-A.
Detrail Jenkins added 15 points and 11 rebounds for Rocky Mount, which also got 14 points from Darius McKnight and 11 from William Young.
Monroe 62, Goldsboro 46
CHAPEL HILL — Isaac Blakeney saved the best for last in his high school basketball career.
The 6-5 senior center poured in 24 points with a game-high 15 rebounds while Jamison Crowder added 20 points to lead Monroe to a 62-46 win over Goldsboro in the Class 1-A North Carolina High School Athletic Association men’s basketball championship Saturday.
Lake Norman 63, Sanford 46
RALEIGH — Reggie Price scored 11 of his game-high 20 points in the final quarter as Lake Norman defeated Fayetteville Sanford 63-46 for the Class 4-A North Carolina High School Athletic Association men’s championship Saturday.
The Wildcats made 15 of 19 free throws down the stretch, including nine straight.
Center Paul Larsen dominated inside for Lake Norman (26-3), with 18 points and eight rebounds, to earn game Most Valuable Player honors.
Lake Norman, playing in its first state championship, was the third consecutive western North Carolina champion to win in 4-A and the 19th in the past 25 seasons.
Fayetteville Sanford (31-1) suffered its second straight title-game defeat.
Lake Norman trailed 31-26 at halftime and 41-40 after three quarters before Fayetteville Sanford went scoreless for the first 4:35 of the final period to fall behind 50-41.