No. 6 Pamlico County knocks off Southside in second round
Published 11:40 am Thursday, February 27, 2014
Days after pulling an improbable upset over No. 3 seed Northampton, Southside was faced with an even tougher opponent on Wednesday in the second round of the state tournament, Pamlico County.
Playing through a momentum-muffling, malfunctioning game clock and inconsistent calls on both ends of the floor, the Seahawks fought for all four quarters against the Hurricanes, but failed to match their opponent’s intensity in the final minutes, losing 91-71.
“This team has played with heart all year long,” said head coach Sean White. “To be undersized like we are, smaller than most people we play, we didn’t give up.”
Early on, junior guard Donshae Miller and the balanced Southside offense started right where they left off against Northampton. Miller and junior Rashaun Moore continuously challenged 6-foot-5 David Resto and forward Cameron Moore in the paint, scoring at ease. Then, in what seemed like the peak of the Seahawk’s intensity, the game clock began malfunctioning not just once, but on four separate occasions in the first half, stopping play each time. By the look on White’s face, the players’ body language and the disgruntled gestures from the referees, frustration was evident.
On top of the inconsistency, Southside’s second leading scorer, Isiah Moore, received his fourth foul early in the second quarter. As a result, much of the burden fell of Austin Nobles, a defensive minded forward, to produce on offense in the paint.
With each stoppage, Pamlico County quickly began chipping away at the deficit, until a long three-pointer from Josiah Simmons tipped the scales in the Hurricanes favor. They led 44-43 at the break.
“Our leading scorer, Brad Bennett, he hit four free throws and was throwing up during school today,” said Hurricanes head coach Earl Sadler. “[Our] team stepped up. There aren’t many high school basketball teams that can lose their leading scorer and go undefeated.”
Even without Bennett for most of the contest, DJ Lewis took over in the second half, finishing with a game-high 24 points.
After Isiah Moore fouled out just minutes into the fourth quarter, Southside could no longer keep pace rebounding the basketball. Pamlico County’s 26 fourth-quarter points sealed the win.
“You just survive. There’s not really a plan,” Sadler said. “You have just to go out there and play hard.”
Despite the loss, Southside will return four starters next season, including Miller, the team’s leading scorer at an 18.7 point per game clip.
Pamlico County will advance to the third round of the state tournament on Friday, where they will face a Plymouth team coming off a decisive 88-53 rout of South Creek.