PAC-6 BOYS SEMIS: Northern rips Person, advances to finals
Northern put together a complete victory over Roxboro Person in the boys’ semifinals of the PAC-6 Tournament here Thursday, winning 92-63.
Kentrell Barkley led the Knights with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Ricky Council added 13, T.J. Bell finished with 12 and T.J. Crutchfield scored 11.
The win put the Knights in the championship game where Northern will be seeking its first tournament title since 1991 and facing No. 3 seed Hillside, also at Person High School, at 8 p.m.
Northern (23-2) entered the tournament as the top seed after finishing the PAC-6 regular season with a 9-1 mark, losing only to Jordan 76-69 on Jan. 24 in conference play.
Barkley and Council got Northern off to a good start as the Knights bolted out to a 28-12 lead in the first quarter. Barkley scored 10 and Council had seven in the opening period.
Senior guard Jaquan Harris said it was good for the Knights to start off strong against Person, which was hosting the game.
“We came out ready,” Harris said. “We executed really well in the first quarter and we played well as a team.”
Northern coach Ronnie Russell said it was a game he was glad to get out of after his team put it out of reach by halftime with a 50-24 lead.
“I’m glad we got out of it healthy,” Russell said.
Every Northern player who got into the game scored, which is something Russell said would help his team’s confidence as it continues in tournament play.
Person coach Charles Dacus said his team didn’t matchup well with Northern and it caused them to play uncharacteristically timid during stretches of the first half.
“Northern’s length really bothered us,” Dacus said. “Our guards are really used to getting to the basket — we were getting into the lane but then here comes somebody with long arms disrupting our shots. They altered so many of our shots and sped up our shots.”
After trailing by 26 points at halftime, Person (13-12) played a much more even second half as the Knights substituted liberally. The Rockets actually outscored Northern 20-19 in the third quarter but by then the lead was too large to overcome.
“Once they got it rolling in the first half, we played tentative,” Dacus said. “I thought we played a little bit better in the second half.
NORTHERN 92, PERSON 63
Person 12 12 20 19—63
Northern 28 22 19 23—92
PERSON — Rashi Richmond 15, Mike Terry 5, Marquis Torain 18, Tré Tapp 8, Antwon Smith 5, Ebon Jay 4, Jeremy Smith 2, Derrick Bass 6.
NORTHERN — T.J. Crutchfield 11, Dillon Leovic 3, Jaquan Harris 8, Isaiah Townsend 6, Emmett Tilley 7, Tahj Small 4, Kentrell Barkley 18, T.J. Bell 12, Ricky Council II 13, Avion Jordan 2, Jamaal Moore 4, Jamal Goodlow 4.
3-Point goals—Person 1 (Torain), Northern 2 (Crutchfield, Barkley). Rebounds—Northern 31 (Barkley 10. Assists—Northern 20 (Leovic 4).
Records—Person 13-12, Northern 23-2.