Wolves survive Granville Central’s outside shooting
Granville Central had a huge night at the free-throw line and the devastating open-court accuracy of Jeremiah Green, who relentlessly pumped in 3-pointers and lobbed some high-arcing set shots over taller Cedar Ridge opponents.
But the host Red Wolves had the antidote — patience, passing and the recovery of consistency on offense that had been missing the past several games carried them past the Panthers 68-54 in a Carolina 12 conference game Friday night.
In the girls’ game, the Red Wolves popped Granville Central’s unbeaten bubble with a 66-21 victory.
Cedar Ridge sophomore forward Kacia Vines scored a game-high 21 points, 12 in the second quarter, to propel the Red Wolves past the Panthers (15-1). Keena Evans led Granville Central with seven 7 points.
What became a fairly easy win for the boys’ team was a hotly contested game through the first half. The Red Wolves had a slim 29-28 lead with 1:10 remaining in the half but scored the last two baskets to open a 33-28 lead.
The Panthers closed to 43-41 at 2:58 of the third period when Green pulled up short on a set shot and tossed the ball over the heads of guard Bryan McPherson and forward Kyle Jones.
But Cedar Ridge ripped off eight straight points to go up 51-41 at the end of the period, and the Panthers never recovered.
“The big surprise was how we ran some offense at the end,” Cedar Ridge coach Fred Blanks said. “We’ve been struggling offensively. “We probably had more assists tonight than we had in our last three or four games combined. We were more patient with the ball and got the ball to open people.
“We don’t have that one workhorse that scores a lot of points. We get our points by committee.”
Junior guard Raekwon Villines led the Red Wolves with 14 points, and forward Kyle Jones added 10.
By contrast, Green, a 5-6, 122-pound sophomore guard, outscored the two of them combined. He scored 26 points, including 15 on 3-pointers, and seven on free throws.
The Panthers were 19-of-23 at the line, while Cedar Ridge made 9 of 16.
“They stayed in the game just by shooting free throws,” Blanks said. “We only gave up 14 field goals for the whole game.”
While Villines and McPerson were effectively yanking down rebounds, Cedar Ridge found its offensive magic on fast-break points and transition play.
“We got more fast-break points than we usually get,” Blanks said.
The Red Wolves also worked off the Panthers’ zone, moving the ball to the high post passing to Villines as he cut along the baseline for some easy layups.
“That’s what we look for because we’re not a good outside shooting team, so we finally got those easy baskets that we need, and I think that was the difference in the game,” Blanks said.
Cedar Ridge (B) 68, Granville Central 54
GRANVILLE CENTRAL — Jeremiah Green 26, Nyquan Wortham 9, Jonathan Price 8, Kaleb Hunter 6, Peyton Thomas 3, Shaquille Freeman 2.
CEDAR RIDGE — Raekwon Villines 14, Kyle Jones 10, Jaylin Grady 9, Christian Chapman, Bryan McPherson and Peyton Pappas 8, D’Wane Watkins 7, Ray Carter 4.
Records—Granville Central 7-9, 3-6, Cedar Ridge 5-9, 4-2.
Cedar Ridge (G) 66, Granville Central 21
GRANVILLE CENTRAL — Keena Evans 7, Briana Blair 6, Aquayla Swann 3, Kaitlyn Bowman and Makayla Hester 2, Tamara Crews 1.
CEDAR RIDGE — Kacia Vines 21, Kyley Clark and Chelsea Hill 9, Sarah Howard 6, Taylor Burton and Taylor Leathers 4, Abi Clayton, Delaney King and Cheyenne Silva 3, Holli Butler and Madie Ortiz 2.
Records—Granville Central 15-1, 5-1, Cedar Ridge 8-7, 5-2.