4-A BOYS: NO. 2 NORTHERN LOSES LATE LEAD IN 64-63 ELIMINATION LOSS TO NO. 7 APEX
Apex forward Majid Raji knocked down a short baseline jumper at the buzzer to bump Northern from the 4-A playoffs on Friday.
“I knew it was money,” Raji said.
The Cougars won 64-63.
Northern had the lead and possession with less than a minute left in the game.
There is no shot clock in high school basketball, so the Knights were positioned to milk the clock and wait for a foul from the Cougars.
But Northern’s players apparently heard no instructions from their bench to hold the ball. The Knights tried to make a play but missed a shot.
Apex rebounded and called time with 36.2 seconds left.
Raji scored to put the Cougars ahead.
Northern senior Ricky Council II snatched the lead for his team. His bucket put the Knights ahead 63-62.
Then Raji felled the Knights with that dagger.
No. 2 seed Northern High stars Ricky Council II and Kentrell Barkley don't sit at the same round table during the school day, but they're brothers-at-arms when it comes to the basketball court.
Three girls’ and three boys’ teams enter the Sweet 16 of the N.C. High School Athletic Association basketball tournament Friday, Feb. 28, including at least two distinct favorites in No. 2 4-A boys’ seed Northern and undefeated No. 1 3-A girls’ seed Chapel Hill.
Middle Creek knocked down 10 3s, but Northern was able to get to the rim a shade more for a 72-62 win and advance to the third round of the 4-A playoffs.
Knights easily advance to 4-A East Regional second round, where they'll meet Apex Middle Creek
The N.C. High School Athletic Association on Saturday announced its brackets for the state 1-A/2-A/3-A/4-A boys’ basketball tournaments which begin Monday night. No. 1 seeds went to the Chapel Hill (3-A) and Granville Central (1-A) girls and to the Orange (3-A) boys.
NORTHERN THROTTLES HILLSIDE IN PAC-6 BOYS' TITLE GAME
Northern won its first PAC-6 Tournament title since 1991 and the Knights did it with a lot offense in a 99-80 victory over Hillside Friday night at Person High School.
It also was the first championship at Northern for fifth-year Knights’ coach Ronnie Russell, who coached 13 years at Person before coming to Northern. He also won titles at Person. The top-seeded Knights (24-2) also won the regular season after posting a 9-1 mark.
“These guys have worked hard and this was one of their goals,” Russell said. “But we’re going to close the book on the conference and open another book and go for something else. I am so proud of these guys.”
Hillside (16-11), which came in as the No. 3-seed, played in its third straight tournament championship game but the Hornets lost for the second straight time after winning in head coach Crasten Davis’ debut at the helm in 2012.
Northern put together a complete victory over Roxboro Person in the boys’ semifinals of the PAC-6 Tournament here Thursday, winning 92-63.
Area 2-A, 3-A and 4-A wrestlers who finished in the top four of their weight classes in regional competition Sunday and Monday will take to the mats at the Greensboro Coliseum Thursday through Saturday for NCHSAA championship competition. Area 1-A qualifiers will begin state title competition Friday and continue on Saturday.
TOP-SEEDED HORNETS SWEEP PAST NORTHERN AND INTO PAC-6 GIRLS' TOURNAMENT TITLE GAME
Northern coach Pam Adams knew it was going to be an uphill battle against top-seeded Hillside on Wednesday night in the girls’ semifinals of the PAC-6 tournament.
Her thoughts came true as the Hornets won easily 81-27 and advanced to Friday night’s championship game. Hillside also swept the two regular-season meetings from Northern.
“It’s been a rebuilding process and we just got through the second year,” Adams said. “It’s been a sacrifice but I think the future is looking good for us.”
Hillside coach Ovester Grays said Northern has been the most consistent challenger to his team over the years and that Adams did the best she could with her present team.
Hillside survived a fourth-quarter rally to beat the East Chapel Hill boys 68-59 in the quarterfinals of the PAC-6 4-A Tournament at Roxboro’s Person High School Tuesday night. In the nightcap of Tuesday’s quarterfinal round, homestanding Person upended No. 4 seed Riverside 75-72
Andrea’Anna Poole scored 17 points to lead Riverside to an easy 61-25 win over Roxboro Person in the quarterfinals of the PAC-6 girls basketball tournament at Person High School here Tuesday. In the day’s second PAC-6 4-A Tournament girls’ quarterfinal, Northern eliminated East Chapel Hill’s girls.
Knights woke up in the fourth period and went to work.
KENTRELL BARKLEY'S 36 POINTS, 16 REBOUNDS LEAD NORTHERN PAST JORDAN IN OT IN PAC-6 4-A CLINCHER
Northern needed a big night from Kendrell Barkley and it got it as he scored a career-high 35 points to lead the Knights to a 78-76 overtime win that clinched the PAC-6 regular season.
Barkley, whose previous career high of 30 points also came against Jordan, did most of his damage on the inside. He also grabbed 16 rebounds and dished out seven assists.
“We played great defense and got everybody involved,” Barkley said. “They beat us the last time out our house so we had some payback to do. I just tried to get everyone involved.”
Jordan won the first matchup between the two teams 76-69 at Northern.
Jordan coach Kim Annas said he expected another tight contest against Northern.
“It was a great game between two great high school teams,” Annas said. “Northern has a great team and we’ve got a lot of good players. This was a great game to be a part of.”
Northern (21-2, 8-1 PAC-6) earned its first regular-season title for fifth-year Knights coach Ronnie Russell.
What started out as a see-saw battle turned into a double-digit win for Northern, but scrappy Hillside kept the Knights hustling from start to finish Friday night at Northern.