A tale of two halves

Published 10:54 am Wednesday, January 8, 2014

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UNC Coach Roy Williams walked through the double doors and into Northside’s gym, looking for Edrice Adebayo to showcase his skillset and live up to the expectations.

Before Adebayo could dream of donning the Carolina blue and white, he had to use his towering height to his advantage and lead his team to victory. On Tuesday night, the No. 11-best prospect of ESPN’s 2016 class and his team could not close.

Out of the gate, this looked like a comfortable win for Northside. Senior Antonio Woods and Adebayo led the charge early powering their way to the rim. All eyes were on the 6’9” center as he threw down dunks and swatted mid-range jumpers like they were layups.

The area’s top recruit warranted a few elbows from Hurricanes’ forward David Resto, as the refs issued a few early warnings.

The Panthers took a commanding 35-22 lead into the locker room, but it was be the Hurricanes’ durability and quickness that propelled them to a win.

“I think early we played with intensity and we played like we were supposed to play,” said Northside Coach Michael Proctor. “Later on in the game, I feel like we lost our intensity. We lost some faith in ourselves and our teammates. We didn’t trust ourselves too much.”

Northside’s first half momentum was not carried into the second. The Panthers were not able to match the pace they set early on, while the Hurricanes adjusted and came out with a purpose.

Resto and Pamlico’s Arthur Randall managed to apply pressure and frustrate Adebayo in the paint, resulting in a five point third quarter for Northside. The Hurricanes were closing the gap quickly.

After a three-pointer from the corner, Pamlico jumped out to a 41-40 lead heading into the fourth quarter. “I think Edrice played solid. He plays solid every game, that’s just what he does,” said Proctor. “We have to play better around ‘Bam.’ We have to trust ourselves, have ball movement and then get it into [Adebayo].”

As the lead widened, suddenly the  visiting fans, who were muffled in the first half, began to erupt. A couple of missed layups and free throws from Adebayo and the Northside guards allowed Pamlico to seal the victory, 66-57.

The Panthers return to the hardwood Thursday at Northside High School against First Flight (5-5). Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m.