Holiday hoops update: county teams rounding into form

Published 1:31 pm Wednesday, December 27, 2023

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The winter school break is a good time for the county basketball teams to assess their season so far. Both Northside teams off to strong starts, while Washington and Southside show mixed results.

Northside: The girls are 9-0 and the boys are 10-2 at the holiday break.

The girls haven’t been tested yet as their margin of victory averages 30 points and their closest game was a 16-point win at Cape Hatteras to open the season.

“This is a humble, hard-working group who wants to do whatever is needed to win,” coach Michelle Leathers said. “They come in once a week at 6:15 a.m. and run a mile. Being in better shape has really helped us in several ways on the court and that helps them see that hard work pays off. We don’t rely on one person to carry us and everyone has done their part so far.”

Junior guard Oliva Jane (O.J.) Cahoon leads the Panthers 18.4 points and 4.6 assists per game. Senior Mariah Jones is next at 16.9 with six rebounds and four assists per game. Junior Madison Scheffler averages 11.2 and 5.8 rebounds a game.

The boys (10-2) won their first nine games, then lost twice last week before closing the 2023 schedule with a 60-40 victory at Columbia.

Sophomore Malachi Moore averages a team-best 17.5 points, while senior Griffin Johnson averages 13.2 and 8.8 rebounds. Junior point guard Max Vansant dishes four assists a game and sophomore Zi’Mier Alexander averages seven points and five rebounds on 64 percent shooting.

Southside: The girls started 7-0 then lost three of the last four games before break, twice to Croatan and once to Martin Co. with a blowout win against Ocracoke.

Junior I’Kiriyah Minor leads the Seahawks with 12 points a game, while junior Tamya Smith averages 7.2. Classmate Kaliah Moore is the leading rebounder with 8.7 per game.

The boys started the season with a victory at Columbia, but have lost 10 in a row since. Junior Josh Armstrong is the leading scorer (16.3) and rebounder (6.3), while Tequon Moore averages 8.3 points a game.

Washington: The boys are ranked among the top teams in the East with a 5-2 record. The Pam Pack has won three straight since a four overtime home loss to Hertford Co.

Junior Javon Williams leads the Pack with 20.4 points a game and grabs 8 rebound per contest. Sophomore point guard Chaise Smith scores 18 points and deals seven assists a game, while senior post player Gary Payne averages 13.9 points and 10.4 rebound per contest. Younger brother Jarryn Payne adds 9.9 points a game.

“We can play outstanding basketball in spurts, then lose focus and struggle,” coach David Allewalt said. “We are very hard to beat when we lock in and that’s going to be our key the rest of the way. We are very talented and have a chance to make a deep playoff run.”

The girls are 1-7 with a 47-30 victory over Pasquotank on the positive side. Junior Breanna Perry is the scoring leader with 23 points a game, while classmate Avery Thomas adds 15 points and five steals per game. Freshman Naariah Randolph is the leading rebounder at seven per contest.