Chapel Hill sweeps Southern in home-and-home meeting
Junior point guard Andrew Gillespie was having a rough go of it for Chapel Hill, missing a series of layups and short jumpers in a see-saw Big Eight 3-A Conference battle against Southern that saw seismic lead shifts.
But with 4:14 remaining in the game Gillespie drove to the basket and laid one in as part of an 8-0 Tigers run to erase a 45-40 Southern lead that Chapel Hill would not relinquish in its eventual 50-47 victory.
Freshman phenom David Caraher, Chapel Hill’s 6-foot-5 forward, scored down low on the post and drew a foul for a 3-point play during that stretch. He led all scorers on the night with 16 points, and had a couple of blocked shots for good measure.
“David was huge. David is an inside-out guy (who) can shoot 3’s and finish inside,” said Chapel Hill coach Lason Perkins.
“Tonight he didn’t get the looks outside, but he was able to get a couple of things inside,” Perkins said.
Host Chapel Hill led by as many as 13 points, 27-14, with under three minutes to play in the first half before the Spartans snapped alive and engineered a stunning 10-point run to close the gap to 27-24 heading into the locker room.
Although Chapel Hill maintained the lead most of the third period, Southern had another run late in the frame to outscore the Tigers 7-2 to lead 38-37 heading to the final period.
During that run, Southern junior forward Marvin Tillman stripped the ball from Tigers junior guard Jamil Walker and took the ball coast-to-coast for a layup and a 35-35 tie at 1:53. Gillespie briefly gave Chapel Hill the lead with a layup with 54 seconds showing.
But Southern freshman shooting guard J’Tori Christmas hit a 3-pointer for the 38-37 lead, and the Tigers missed three consecutive shots to end the period.
Southern ran off 7 unanswered points to open the final period, leading 45-37 with 5:25 to go.
Senior Karl Hill, a 6-foot-5 Chapel Hill center, grabbed an offensive rebound off a Caraher missed shot to put the Tigers back in the lead, 46-45, with 3:15 showing, and Caraher scored on a second chance to put Chapel Hill up 48-45 at 2:36. Junior point guard Brian Thornton gave Chapel Hill a 50-47 lead by nailing a pair of free throws.
With 24 seconds left Southern coach Kendrick Hall appeared to be putting all his eggs in a 3-point basket, working for a tie rather than risk a two-possession win. But Thornton stole the ball with 2 ticks left on the clock to preserve the win.
“I kept asking the assistant coaches should we just go ahead and foul, and put them at the line, and not give them a three,” Perkins said. “Luckily we got some big plays there at the end and it kind of took care of itself.”
In the girls’ game, which was played at Southern, Raziyah Farrington led five Lady Tigers players in double figures with 16 points as Chapel Hill improved to 15-0 overall, 6-0 in the Big Eight with an 80-52 win over Southern (7-7, 4-2 Big Eight).
Farrington added six assists and four steals and was joined in double figure scoring by Tamia Eatmon (15 points, 5 assists), Autumn West (15 points, 5 assists, 4 steals), Catherine Romaine (12 points, 13 rebounds) and Jamella Smith (11 points, 11 rebounds, 4 steals).
Bryanna Staton was one of two Spartans in double figures with 22 points. Alexis Jorner had 12.
CHAPEL HILL 50, SOUTHERN 47
(Boys, at Chapel Hill)
Southern |6 |18 |14 |9 — 47
Chapel Hill |19 |8 |10 |13 — 50
SOUTHERN — Amari Hamilton 11, Kendall Hinton 9, Ben Johnson 9, J’Tori Christmas 8, Greg Washington 6, Rashad Dixon 2, Marvin Tillman 2.
CHAPEL HILL — David Caraher 16, Jamil Walker 10, Brian Thornton 7, Andy Gillespie 4, Karl Hill 4, Jacob Thomas 4, Jeremy Werden 3, Josh Hennen 2.
Records—Southern 6-8, 4-2 Big Eight 3-A; Chapel Hill 10-5, 5-1 Big Eight.
CHAPEL HILL 80, SOUTHERN 52
(Girls, at Southern)
Chapel Hill |23 |20 |18 |19 — 80
Southern |11 |13 |19 |9 — 52
CHAPEL HILL — Tamia Eatmon 15 (5 assists), Helen Gaynes 1, Paige Timothy 2, Autumn West 15 (5 assists, 4 steals), Jessica Wall 6, Raziyah Farrington 16 (6 assists, 4 steals), Catherine Romaine 12 (13 rebounds), Jamella Smith 11 (11 rebounds, 4 steals), Jasmine Suitt 2.
SOUTHERN — Bryanna Staton 22, Zaysha Tyson 2, Kelcie Bullock 2, Alexis Jorner 12, Jazmine Billings 6, Kayla DeBerry 2, Addis Lemons 6.
Records — Chapel Hill 15-0, 6-0 Big Eight 3-A; Southern 7-7, 4-2 Big Eight.