Lee knocks off Jordan in semifinals
When Lee County advanced past Union Pines in the first round of the Lee County Shootout on Thursday night, Lee coach Reggie Peace said his Yellow Jackets would need a solid shooting performance to top Jordan in Friday’s semifinal.
The Jackets got spurts of hot shooting, especially during a second half comeback attempt, but it wasn’t enough. Jordan’s athleticism and stingy defense prevailed for a 52-50 win, moving the Falcons into tonight’s title game against Piedmont at 8 p.m.
Defense staked Jordan to an early 10-4 lead, and it as 14-6 at the quarter break.
Jordan guards Willie Weeks and Mike Lee penetrated the Jacket defense, creating their own buckets or dishes down low to 6-8 Jared Hendryx or Arthur Reese.
Meanwhile, Dewaun McEachin was the only Jacket who was a tough assignment for Jordan. McEachin, a 6-5 junior, scored with jumpers in the lane and strong moves around the bucket for 12 of the 17 Jacket points in the first half.
Jordan led 27-17 at the half.
Lee came back behind Dante Graham, Jason Payne and Hunter Jackson cutting the lead to 45-44, but Lee County never tied the game or took a lead and the Falcons handled the pressure, figuratively and literally, down the stretch.
Jordan burned Lee County’s trapping efforts for two key hoops, a layup by Reese and another by Hendryx for a 50-46 lead.
Jackson made a jumper to get the Jackets back within a possession, but Hendryx made two free throws for a 52-48 lead with 10.6 seconds left.
Hendryx led Jordan (8-4) with 13 points. Reese had nine points, while Weeks and Lee added eight each.
McEachin finished with 24 points and nine rebounds for the Jackets (7-4). Payne scored 10 points with Graham getting nine and Jackson seven.
East Chapel Hill 58, Cary 55
SANFORD — East Chapel Hill rode a season high 15 points from Jake Hilkey to a win over Cary in the consolation semifinals of the Lee County Shootout.
The Wildcats (7-5) led by 11 at the half only to see Cary outscore them 39-31 in the second half to make it close at the end.
Tykeem Woodard led ECH with six rebounds.
East meets Friday night’s Western Harnett-Union Pines winner in the fifth place consolation game today at 8 p.m.
Piedmont 71, Northwood 56
SANFORD — Led by a pair of double-doubles, Monroe Piedmont (9-0) trailed at the half but steadily pulled away from Northwood (4-5) in the second for a 71-56 win and a spot in tonight’s title game of the Lee County Shootout at Sanford Lee High School.
Brady Meggs had 20 points and 14 rebounds and Cameron Tripp added 15 points and 12 boards for Piedmont. Piedmont point guard Qualen Blakney added a superb game with 12 points, eight assists and eight boards.
Turnovers — some Northwood-caused, some self-inflicted — hurt Piedmont early. The first four Panther possessions ended in turnovers, as the Chargers took a 5-0 lead.
Piedmont answered with 11 straight before Northwood answered and took a 28-26 halftime lead.
Trailing 46-41 after three quarters, a Chris Smith 3-pointer followed by Ti Pinnix turning a steal and break into a three-point play in the lane gave Northwood a 47-46 lead. But Piedmont came right back to grab a 51-50 edge and never looked back.
Aumad Walker led Northwood with 13 points, five assists and five steals. Hope and Smith scored 11 points each.
Northwood plays for third place today at 4 p.m. while Piedmont will play in the title game.
Apex 49 (G), Northwood 35
SANFORD — The Northwood girls’ six-game winning streak came to an end at the hands of Apex on Friday in the Lee County Shootout.
The Chargers will play for third place in the consolation final at 2 p.m. today.