Hillside closes with sweep of Northern
Hillside swept its boys’ and girls’ home doubleheader against Northern on Friday night, with the boys locking down sole possession of second place in the final PAC-6 4-A standings in the process 75-68.
The Hillside girls already were assured a No. 2 conference finish but knocked Northern out of a possible tie for third place with Jordan 68-43.
The girls also welcomed the return of Coach Ovester Grays, who was ejected from a game a week earlier and missed games Saturday and Tuesday of this week as part of a state suspension.
“I learned a lesson,” Grays said. “I’ve gotta watch it. I’d coached here for 16 seasons — more than 450 games — without missing a single game or practice, so this wasn’t fun for me.”
What Grays missed was a home loss to Southern on Saturday that gave Hillside two regular-season losses in conference play for the first time in more than a decade. Southern also lay claim to the PAC-6 regular season title with that win.
Hillside got 13 points and 12 rebounds from senior Jordyn Smith, while sophomore Justine Lyons had 20 points and 11 boards. Hillside held a 28-25 halftime lead but outscored Northern 22-7 in the third quarter and 18-11 in the fourth.
Zuri White led Northern with 20 points but was held to only six rebounds. Senior Mohargany White led Northern with seven boards.
The Hillside boys were admittedly disappointed that they were playing for second place and not the PAC-6 Tournament bye that goes with first place. But Jordan beat Hillside twice in the regular season en route to a perfect 12-0 PAC-6 mark.
That left only one goal for Hillside — beat Northern and remain ahead of 2011-12 regular season champ Person.
“Second place is not the original goal we set for ourselves, but at least we did finish second,” Hillside coach Crasten Davis said. “The big thing is that we’re in the (state) playoffs.”
Only a tournament championship run by Nos. 5-7 conference tournament seeds Southern, Riverside or East Chapel Hill could potentially knock No. 4 Northern out of the state playoffs. Jordan, Hillside and No. 3 Person are locks.
The same scenario follows in the girls’ bracket where only a shocking title run by Riverside, East Chapel Hill or Person could cost No. 4 Northern. Southern, Hillside and No. 3 Jordan are assured of being in the state playoffs.
In Friday’s boys’ game, Northern opened hot and grabbed a 10-5 lead early, but Isaiah Dickens’ offensive rebound putback at the buzzer gave Hillside a 16-14 lead after one period. Northern started fast in the second period, as well, and was tied at 28 with 49.6 seconds left in the half when De’Shon Self (16 points, five steals) hit a pair of free throws and Korrin Wiggins (12 points) followed with an old-fashioned 3-point play for a 33-28 Hillside lead.
The Hornets pulled steadily away throughout the second half with Marius McAllister (19 points, six rebounds) and Malik Evans (13 points) doing a lot of damage.
Northern had one more chance to get back in it, running off 11 straight points early in the fourth quarter to cut a 19-point lead to eight, but a couple of 3-point tries rattled in and out, including one by Ricky Council (25 points, eight rebounds).
Hillside was able to convert layups and free throws down the stretch and hold off the Knights.
NOTES — Hillside’s boys will host No. 7 seed East Chapel Hill in a PAC-6 Tournament quarterfinal game Tuesday. The Hillside girls will open the 5:30/7 p.m. twinbill by hosting No. 7 seed Roxboro Person in the girls’ tournament opener. ... Northern’s boys, the No. 4 seed, will host No. 5 Southern on Tuesday and Northern’s girls, also a No. 4 seed, will host No. 5 Riverside Tuesday night. The Northern girls are expected to play at 5:30 or 6 and the boys will follow at 7 or 7:30 p.m.
Hillside (B) 75, Northern 68
NORTHERN — Ryan Arundale 5, Jaquan Harris 9, Kentrell Barkley 7, Dillon Leovic 2, Ricky Council 25, Kourtney Farrow 18, Emmett Tilley 2.
HILLSIDE — D’Ontray Johnson 9, Malik Evans 13, Isaiah Dickens 2, Marius McAllister 19, De’Shon Self 16, Timothy Mangum 2, Marcus Bowling 2, Korrin Wiggins 12.
3-point FG—Northern 3 (Council 2, Arundale), Hillside 3 (McAllister 2, Wiggins). Rebounds—Northern 34 (Barkley 11), Hillside 32 (Self 6, McAllister 6, R.J. Robinson 5). Blocked shots—Northern 5 (Barkley 2), Hillside 4 (Evans 2). Assists—Northern 18 (Barkley 8), Hillside 14 (Johnson 3, TyQuon Reid 3, Self 3). Steals—Northern 8 (Council 5), Hillside 18 (Self 5, Reid 5). Turnovers—Northern 24 (Council 4, Tilley 4, Barkley 4), Hillside 18 (McAllister 4, Johnson 4). Technical foul—Hillside, Mangum (hanging on the rim).
Records—Northern 12-9, 6-6 PAC-6; Hillside 17-6, 9-3.
Hillside (G) 68, Northern 43
NORTHERN — Zuri White 20, Nicole Crutchfield 2, Rhianna Council 10, Mohargany Jones 9, Andrea Graham 2.
HILLSIDE — Tykyrah Williams 8, Mylea McKennith 13, Sydney Brown 4, Justine Lyons 20, Mya Webb 2, Teri Crews 4, Jordyn Smith 13, Daesha Marshall 4.
3-point FG—Hillside 2 (McKennith, Lyons). Rebounds—Northern 26 (Jones 7, White 6), Hillside 41 (Smith 12, Lyons 11). Blocked shots—Northern 2 (Jones, Aquira McIntyre), Hillside 2 (Marshall, Crews). Assists—Northern 14 (McKenzie Utley 5, White 4), Hillside 13 (Lyons 4). Steals—Northern 4 (Jakia Dixon, Utley, Crutchfield, White), Hillside 20 (Williams 8). Turnovers—Northern 26 (Utley 6, Dixon 6), Hillside 13 (Brown 3).
Records—Northern 13-8, 7-5 PAC-6; Hillside 20-4, 10-2.