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Big night for county basketball teams as all three advance

The Washington boys along with the Northside and Southside girls punched their tickets to the third round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association basketball tournaments with victories Thursday.

The third-seeded Pam Pack (12-2) used a 27-5 second-half outburst to break open a three point game at the half on the way to a 76-57 home win over #6 James Kenan of Duplin County in the 2A bracket. It’s their first appearance in the third round of the state tournament since 1985.

WHS will host #15 Northeastern of Elizabeth City, who advanced when their opponent, St. Paul’s forfeited. Saturday’s game time is 6:30.

“James Kenan played us really hard all night and that’s a credit to their kids and their coach,” Pam Pack coach David Allewalt said. “We switched to a zone in the second half and hoped they would miss some shots and they did. We rebounded well, which started our fast break and that was the difference. We were able to spread the floor when we couldn’t run, and Terry (Moore) did a great job of filling the lane and finding his teammates or finishing himself.”

Twins Jamauri (26) and Jeremee (20) Bryant were the recipients of several Moore passes and led four Washington players in double figures. Omarion Blount scored 14 and Moore added 11.

Jeremee Bryant missed all of last season and the first part of this one recovering from knee surgery and is coming on at the right time.

“The more meaningful the game, the better they play,” Allewalt said. “This is Jeremee’s season to play with his brother and he’s taking full advantage of it. Jaden Hambric also played well tonight. He did the dirty work on defense and was a strong presence in the middle. It was another team effort.”

On the 1A girls side, 15th-seeded Southside pulled off its second straight road upset, beating #7 Gates County, 48-40.

Sophomore Ka’nyah O’Neal scored 27 points and senior Laquisha Woodard chipped in 17.

“Our team defense was outstanding, which helped us get out in transition,” coach Milton Ruffin said. “I have believed in this team since Day 1, and we have overcome a couple of quarantines to get where we are. We have the ability to compete with anybody and it’s on to the next round.”

The Seahawks (7-3) will play at the #3 Princeton-#6 North Edgecombe winner Saturday.

The ninth-seeded Northside girls (10-4) blew out its second straight opponent, with an 83-55 drubbing of #16 Lakewood at home. Freshman Mariah Jones (30), senior Katie Godley (25) and junior Paige Sawyer (22) combined for all but six of the Panthers points.

“We worked very well together as a team offensively and defensively,” coach Michelle Leathers said. “We’ve played well so far in the tournament and hope to keep it going.”

The Panthers face fifth-seeded East Carteret away on Saturday.