Chapel Hill gets Big Eight sweep, to face Southern (twice) in semis
With 2 seconds remaining in the game, Northwood junior point guard Ti Pinnix muscled his way into an interior shot that had been money for him all night. A basket would tie the game and send it to overtime.
But Chapel hill freshman forward David Caraher presented a foreboding 6-foot-5 obstacle this time, and brought a huge paw crashing down on the potential tying basket as Pinnix attempted to release.
The blocked shot, and Caraher’s clutch free-throw shooting seconds earlier, clinched the come-from-behind win for the Tigers, who added another pair of free throws by 6-2 junior point guard Andy Gillespie with less than a second remaining to win 53-49.
The No. 2 seed Chapel Hill boys host No. 3 seed Southern in the Big Eight 3-A Tournament semifinals at 7 tonight.
The 24-0 Chapel Hill girls crushed Orange in the first game, allowing only two points in the first half en route to a 69-18 shellacking of the Panthers. The Tigers Jamella Smith pumped in 16 points to lead four Tigers in double digits. Raziyah Farrington scored 15, Taylor Headen had 11, and Mariah Jacobs scored 10.
They host No. 5 seed Southern in a girls’ semifinal at 5:30 tonight.
“They scared me” coming into the game because they had been playing with intensity and poise recently, Chapel Hill boys’ coach Lason Perkins said of Northwood. “All three games this year with them have been like that. We take a lead. They battle back. They get a lead. Then we have to work our way back.”
This game did not flip the script. Chapel Hill went up by seven at 1:38 of the first period, but Northwood built a commanding 13-point lead as late as 2:11 of the third period.
“We got off to a really sloppy start in that third quarter. We turned the ball over twice, they got six straight points there, and they got confidence,” Perkins said.
Jamil Walker, the Tigers busy 5-9 junior guard, pumped in a 3-pointer well beyond the right side of the key at 1:54, and hit again from the same spot at 1:19 to help tighten the score to 44-36 to start the fourth period.
“Jamil’s that kind of guy. When he gets going, gets that energy, he can make those kind of shots,” Perkins said. “Those were really big. Both of those 3s chopped that lead down, and all of a sudden it’s pretty reachable for us.”
Chapel Hill outscored the Chargers 17-5 in the final period to cap the win.
When Caraher stepped to the free throw line on an over-the-back call with 11 seconds remaining and the score tied at 49, he’d already missed 3 of 4 foul shots. But he nailed both, then came up huge with the blocked shot to seal the deal.
“David, the day he’s stepped on the floor here has not played like a freshman. He has his freshman moments but he goes so hard,” Perkins said.
“And he has the confidence that he wants the ball in those situations,” he said. “I’m trying to be a smart coach getting the ball there where he’s in a position to score.”
No. 2 Chapel Hill 53, No. 7 Northwood 49
Northwood 10 10 24 5 — 49
Chapel Hill 12 6 18 17 — 53
NORTHWOOD — Ti Pinnix 15, Kadarus Rone 14, Elijah Washington 9, Chaz Bailey 4, Jared Worley 3, Darius Cole 2, Kenton Edwards 2.
CHAPEL HILL — David Caraher 17, Andy Gillespie 10, Brian Thornton 10, Jamil Walker 10, Shane Turner 4, Josh Hennen 2.
Records — Northwood 8-16; Chapel Hill 19-6.
No. 1 Chapel Hill 69, No. 8 Orange 18
Orange 1 1 8 8 — 18
Chapel Hill 25 16 14 14 — 69
ORANGE — Mia Davidson 7, Deja Johnson 5, Kaylen Campbell 3, Alicia Harris 3.
CHAPEL HILL — Jamella Smith 16, Raziyah Farrington 15, Taylor Headen 11, Mariah Jacobs 10, Autum West 8, Tamia Eatmon 5, Paige Timothy 2, Jessica Wall 2.
Records—Orange 2-25; Chapel Hill 24-0.