Second-half surge carries Northside past Perquimans

Published 10:13 pm Monday, February 24, 2014



The Northside men’s basketball team received a shot of adrenaline with the return of four-year starter Antonio Woods to the lineup on Monday, exploding offensively in the second half to storm past Perquimans, 79-58.

“He means a lot to the team,” said head coach Michael Proctor. “Having him there meant a lot for us, and he played well and got rebounds.”

The Panthers entered Monday night fresh off an 81-54 rout at the hands of Pamlico County in the 1-A Conference 11 tournament, and were looking to make a statement in the first round of the state tournament. Matched up against the No. 9 seed Perquimans, the Panthers resorted to their standard offensive game plan in the first quarter, drawing the defense to the perimeter only to feed Edrice Adebayo in the paint.

The Pirates countered with a full court press, but couldn’t force the turnovers needed to cut the deficit.

Overconfident and in full control of the game, Northside became trigger happy from the perimeter in the second quarter, which allowed Perquimans the opportunity to string together a few scrappy offensive possessions and chip away at the lead.

“I told them that we needed to be a little more patient with the ball, move it around, and then we can get it inside,” Proctor said. “We also needed to pick our intensity on defense. Our defense picked up, and it helped our offense.”

As the Perquimans guards succumbed to apparent fatigue, Adebayo and Woods continued to rebound and outmatch the Pirates’ big men down low, and when they could no longer defend Northside’s intimidating paint presence, Adebayo capitalized.

After being ahead just seven point heading into the final eight minutes, the Panthers offense came alive, tacking on 30 fourth-quarter points and putting the game out of reach.

Adebayo finished with a game-high 35 points, while Woods chalked up 22 in his return. For the Pirates, junior Tahjee Elliot led the way with 17 points.

With the win, the Panthers will move on to the second round of the state tournament, where they will face undefeated East Carteret on Wednesday. The Mariners are the No. 1 team in 1-A and have beaten the Panthers twice this season.