Three county teams advance to second round, PCA falls in final four

Published 9:16 pm Tuesday, February 21, 2023

The Northside and Southside girls used homecourt advantage to advance in the 1A state basketball state tournament, while the Washington boys pulled off a road victory to extend their season.

The Southside boys and Pungo Christian Academy girls seasons are over after losses Tuesday night.

The seventh-seeded Southside girls led wire-t0-wire for a 45-32 victory over #26 Eno River Academy of Durham. The Seahawks (23-6 shrugged off a sluggish start to advance to Thursday’s second round against 10th seeded Cape Hatteras at home.

“We were not sharp at all, but we’re moving on,” Seahawks coach Milton Ruffin said. “I hope this one will help them realize they have to play well from the start to keep the season going.”

Senior Ka’Nyah O’Neal scored a game-high 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

The theme was the same at Northside, where the host Panthers used a big fourth quarter to knock off #21 East Wake Academy, 54-41. #7 Northside (18-6) led 31-23 at halftime, but didn’t score until the final stages of the third quarter to trail, 37-36.

Junior Mariah Jones and sophomore O.J. Cahoon sparked the deciding 9-0 run with a three-point play, a steal, a two-pointer, then sophomore Madison Scheffler scored back-to-back buckets to give Northside the lead for good.

“I just told them to keep digging and to not get discouraged,” coach Michelle Leathers said. “We continued to push the ball and made our free throws. Madison and Mimi (Jones) made some big plays for us and we’re happy to keep playing.”

Northside travels to #5 Perquimans Thursday.

On the boys side, #22 Washington knocked off #11 Princeton, 67-51 on the road to raise their record to 14-13. The Pack will play at the #6 Heide Trask-#27 Wallace-Rose Hill winner Thursday.

The 31st seeded Southside boys (9-17) lost at #2 Wilson Prep, 98-64, while the Pungo Christian Academy girls lost in the NCISAA 1A Final Four to Crossroads Christian of Henderson, 67-28 to end the season 23-4. It was the third straight trip to the Final Four for the Lady Raiders. Senior Reagan Stoop had a team-high 11 points.