Hillside sweeps rivalry twinbill from Southern
Hillside escaped from Southern with a pair of victories on Friday night as the girls held on for a 60-53 win and the boys handed the Spartans their fifth straight loss with a 73-68 victory.
Southern coach Kendrick Hall said he is optimistic about his team’s future despite the slow start. The Spartans are missing two key players — Marvin Tillman and Kendall Hinton — who have been helping the football team reach tonight’s state 3-AA championship game. Their absences come on the heels of the loss of center Isaiah Maurice who transferred after last season to PACE Academy in Chapel Hill.
“We’re really missing two key starters,” Hall said. “But we’ve got some players who have seized the moment with the opportunity they’ve got. We’re lacking in some areas but I am proud of the way they played.”
Hillside took advantage of Southern’s depleted lineup and led by double digits for most of the second half.
After Southern’s Zane McClure cut Hillside’s lead to 32-31 with a 3-pointer to start the second half, the Hornets clamped down and built a 20-point lead as Robert Robinson Jr. Made a pair of free throws to make it 54-34 with 2:38 left in the third quarter.
But the Hornets were not able to put the game completely away.
Southern slowly chipped away at Hillside’s lead the rest of the game, getting to within three points at 66-63 with 47 seconds remaining. The Spartans had a chance to get even closer with 34 seconds left but Aaron Bagley missed both ends of a double-bonus trip to the free throw line.
Southern’s Amari Hamilton did give his team one final chance when he made a pair of free throws to cut Hillside’s lead to 70-68 with under 20 seconds left. But Trevion Thompson put the game out of reach when he sank two free throws for Hillside with 13.5 seconds remaining.
Hillside coach Crasten Davis said he was glad to come away with a win in a rivalry game like this. There was a lot his team will learn from this game, he said.
“It was a very intense game,” Davis said. “No matter what the talent is out there, it’s going to be a close game. We had runs. They had runs. That typically happens in a rivalry game. I am just glad we came out victorious.”
Robinson led Hillside with 17 points, while Hamilton scored 20 to lead Southern.
The teams are schedule to play again on Jan. 25 at Hillside and both teams should be at full strength. Friday’s game was actually a makeup game. It was scheduled to be played a week earlier at Southern, but was moved to this Friday because Southern was hosting the NCHSAA 3-AA East Regional championship football game the same night.
In Friday’s girls’ game, Hillside survived a fourth-quarter rally by the Spartans and won 60-53.
Southern came back from down seven points to take a brief 50-49 lead before the Hornets retook the lead for good on a 3-pointer by Tykyrah Williams with three minutes left in the game.
Justine Lyon scored 15 and Northern transfer Zuri White added 14 to lead Hillside, while Bryanna Staton led Southern with 19 points.
HILLSIDE 73, SOUTHERN 68
HILLSIDE — LaShone McCrea 3, Robert Robinson Jr. 17, Justice Kithcart 13, Trevion Thompson12, Jalen McGee 6, Jarrod France 2, Timothy Mangum 6, Marcus Bowling 11, Edward Hinton 2, Oderah Udemadu 1.
SOUTHERN — Zane McClure 16, Ben Johnson 2, Anthony Perry 2, Aaron Bagley 14, J’Tori Christmas 2, Amari Hamilton 20, Joshua Bagley 2, Jerrick Richmond 10.
Hillside 16 16 23 18 — 73
Southern 12 16 17 23 — 68
3 FG —Hillside 2 (Robinson 2). Southern 5 (McClure, A.Bagley 2, Hamilton 2). Rebounds—Southern 23 (Johnson 4). Assists—Southern 10 (Hamilton 4).
Records—Hillside 4-1, Southern 0-5.
HILLSIDE 58, SOUTHERN 53
Hillside 17 13 14 16—60
Southern 13 9 11 20—53
HILLSIDE — Malaysia Lancaster 6, Tykyrah Williams 6, Justine Lyon 15, Zuri White 14, Mya Webb 6, Khara Herring 7, Brianna Powell 6.
SOUTHERN — Jazmine Billings 7 (3 assists), Kelcie Bullock 7 (12 rebounds, 8 steals, 3 assists), Alexis Jorner 15 (6 steals, 4 assists), Addis Lemons 6 (14 rebounds), Bryanna Staton 19.
3 FG —Hillside 2 (Lancaster, Williams). Southern 3 (Billings, Staton 2).
Records—Hillside 2-1, Southern 1-4.