Three county teams advance in state basketball tournament

Published 9:52 pm Tuesday, February 27, 2024

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The Washington and Northside boys and the Panthers girls advanced to the second round of the state basketball tournament with victories Tuesday night.

Washington: The 15th seeded Pam Pack (20-7) was tied with #18 Wilson Beddingfield (18-9) 50-50 starting the fourth quarter at Dave Smith Gym. Eight minutes of game action later, they were walking off their home court with a 79-59 victory.
A relentless WHS pressure defense forced multiple turnovers that led to easy baskets during a 16-2 run that iced the game.
“We sped them up, turned them over and converted our layups,” coach David Allewalt said. “It was our best press all year and it came at the right time.”
Sophomore point guard Chaise Smith carried the Pack into halftime with a four point lead with 23 of their 36 points and finished with a career-best 36 to lead three WHS players in double figures.
“He kept us in it early, then other guys stepped up when they focused on him in the second half,” Allewalt said. “He played great as did Javon (Williams), Gary (Payne) and several others.”
Payne finished with 14 points, while Williams had 12.
Washington travels to #2 Goldsboro, a 78-50 winner over #31 East Columbus for Friday’s second round.

Northside: The 17th seeded Panthers boys (18-9) pulled out a hard-fought 70-64 victory at #16 Oxford Prep (19-9) behind 17 points from senior Griffin Johnson and 15 from Brandon Arthur. Northside led by double figures at halftime, then withstood a late rally to advance to Friday’s second round against top-seeded Wilson Prep (22-5), who defeated #32 Warren Co., 72-32.
“We did a great job defensively and came up with stops when we needed them,” coach Jared Adams said. “I’m proud of our toughness in holding them off in a difficult environment. It made our three hour trip home much more enjoyable.”
The 13th seeded Panthers girls (19-4) advanced with an 81-47 blowout over #20 Cape Hatteras (16-9), Northside jumped out to an 11-0 lead at home as senior Mariah Jones hit a three-pointer, followed by a basket and a free throw from freshman Sophie Berry. Berry came up with a steal, fed Jones for a layup, then drained her own three-pointer the next trip down the floor to set the tone for the evening.
“We shot the ball well, defended well and controlled the tempo from the start,” coach Michelle Leathers said. “A lot of people gave us good minutes, which always helps.”
Jones finished with 31 points, Berry added 11 while Madison Scheffler and Tatianna Moore had 10.
Northside goes to #4 Vance Charter, a 54-37 winner over #29 East Wake for Friday’s second round.
The Southside girls season is over after a 57-44 loss at #9 Chatham Central. The 24th seeded Seahawks finished 15-11.