Pamlico County cruises over Northside in conference semis

Published 11:21 pm Thursday, February 20, 2014




The Pamlico County men’s basketball team booked its ticket to the 1A Conference 11 tournament finals on Thursday, knocking off Northside for the second time this season, 81-54.

“I think it’s the best we’ve played all year, especially the second half,” said Hurricanes head coach Earl Sadler. “Defensively and offensively it came together tonight, but tomorrow we’re going to have to play better.”

Without starting forward Antonio Woods, much of the burden fell on Edrice “Bam” Adebayo to play impeccable defense and secure rebounds. However, Adebayo made a quick exit in the first quarter after committing three fouls in the five minutes, allowing Pamlico County to expand their lead. Dazuan Jones stepped up in paint the absence of Woods and Adebayo and managed to keep the Hurricanes’ lead to single digits.

“I think Bam got in foul trouble early and was afraid to get aggressive like he normally does,” said Northside head coach Michael Proctor. “He picked up three fouls in the first quarter, and that took some ‘zap’ out of him. We didn’t have one of our post players that rebounds and plays a little bit. They out rebounded us tonight and that hurt.”

Once Adebayo returned in the second quarter, the Panthers shrunk the Hurricanes lead to just four points heading into halftime.

An acrobatic layup around Adebayo’s outstretched arms from Pamlico County’s DJ Lewis gave the Hurricanes the momentum out of the break, momentum that they would never relinquish. When Proctor shifted his zone to defend the perimeter, Sadler countered with an auxiliary game plan of his own.

“They switched up defenses,” Sadler said. “They switched things up on us, and we switched things up on them—a little chess match. We tried to attack them at the foul line. Cameron Moore got there and did a great job at distributing, trying to pull Bam off the block so we could get some penetration.”

Salder’s move worked, as Pamlico County took full control offensively and defensively in the second half. Shooting well above 80 percent from the floor in the second half, sophomore Josiah Simmons could not be stopped. Whether it was mid-range jumpers or challenging Adebayo and the Northside forwards in the paint, Simmons and Moore made it look easy.

“We need to improve on defense,” Proctor said. “Two keys to the games tonight were keeping them off the boards, and they out rebounded us. The second key was protecting the ball, and we had 27 or 28 turnovers. The two keys to the game we wanted to stress we didn’t do.”

With the win, Pamlico County improves to 17-6 and will play the No. 1 team in the conference and Class 1A, undefeated East Carteret.

“It’s a great opportunity, and we’re looking forward to it,” Sadler said. “These are the ones that really matter.”