Northside, Southside meet in league play

Published 8:21 pm Thursday, January 19, 2017

CHOCOWINITY — Beaufort County basketball games have been scarce this week because of exams. The showdown between Pungo and Terra Ceia highlighted the early part of the week, and now it’s time for Northside and Southside to write the next chapter of their rivalry on the hardwood.

The Panthers and Seahawks have met once before this season in Northside’s Holiday Tournament. That matchup was a non-conference game, though, so this game will have 1-A Coastal Plains Conference stakes.

The girls, on the other hand, have not encountered one another. This will be the first of two games between the Lady Panthers and Lady Seahawks. The second will be at Northside on Feb. 10 in each team’s regular-season finale.

The girls game is slated to tip off at 6 p.m. The boys will follow.


PANTHERS (8-5, 1-3 CPC) AT SEAHAWKS (0-6, 0-4 CPC)

Northside and Southside met exactly a month ago in the third-place game in the Northside Holiday Tournament. Sophomore Johnathan Clark stepped up to lead the Panthers with 16 points, and Bryson Radcliffe had a double-double (10 points, 11 rebounds) in Northside’s 62-50 win.

It was only Southside’s third game of the season. The Seahawks, after a long football season, played those three games in a four-day stretch.

They’re still searching for their first win of the season. Southside started the New Year against the league’s top-three teams in Pamlico County, Jones Senior and East Carteret. Over a week off and getting their rival Panthers at home could give them the boost they need to get in the win column.

Northside’s size propelled it to victory last time around. Radcliffe and Atia Shamseldin dominated the glass and were able to score in the paint. Since then, Isam Shamseldin has come into his own, too.

Expect the approach to be much of the same. The Panthers are coming off a thrilling 54-53 win at Edenton in which Radcliffe notched a double-double with 27 points and 11 rebounds. The Seahawks will need to use their speed to get opportunities in transition because Northside’s post players will thrive in defending the paint. If the Seahawks can heat up from 3-point range, they may be able to work the ball from the outside in.

Northside also needs a victory in this encounter. It would help the Panthers as they try to climb into the top half of the conference standings. It won’t get any easier as they also have a three-game stretch against East Carteret, Pamlico County and Jones Senior waiting down the road.

Precious Gaynor sees a lane to drive to the basket, but also keeps her eyes up to look for a play to make against Southeast Halifax.

Precious Gaynor sees a lane to drive to the basket, but also keeps her eyes up to look for a play to make against Southeast Halifax.


Both Northside and Southside need some momentum, but only one team will leave Chocowinity with it on Friday. Each team has three wins, and just one in the league, although the Lady Panthers have played four more games.

After Friday, Southside faces top-three teams in two of its next three league games. Northside’s next three conference matchups after Friday feature all three of the top teams. The Lady Panthers will have to travel to Lejeune and East Carteret as part of a three-game road swing before returning home to host Pamlico County. The Lady Mariners and Lady Canes are each 4-0 in the CPC.

Neither team can look past this rivalry game, though. Southside has won three of its last five games dating back to the South Creek’s post-Christmas tournament. The Lady Seahawks showed plenty of promise in handling a talented Southeast Halifax team, 52-38.

Meanwhile, Northside enters this game riding a four-game losing streak. The Lady Panthers will rely heavily on senior Rachel Lang to help them return to winning form. Lang leads the team with over a dozen points a game. She will be countered by Southside forwards Michaela Dixon and Judashia Golson.

The matchups inside will be interesting to watch, but the game could easily be decided by who can shoot well from outside the paint. Lady Seahawks Precious Gaynor and Danielle Ruffin have shown they can be deadly from long range. Gaynor also has a knack for distributing the ball well. Northside may have trouble keeping up if its shooters can’t find a rhythm.