Tigers cruise through Round 2
No. 1 Chapel Hill stuck to its principles and overcame the second playoff team in a row that tried to make the Tigers play a faster brand of basketball.
Chapel Hill beat No. 9 Eden Morehead 59-52 in the second round of the 3-A playoffs on Wednesday, setting up another potential thriller on Friday with the Tigers’ nemesis from Oxford, the Webb Warriors.
Webb likes to really get up and down the court, and that was Morehead’s strategy against Chapel Hill.
“That was part of the gameplan was try to get it a little more up-tempo,” Morehead coach Jonathan Blackwell said. “Chapel Hill is a little more methodical in what they do.
“It’s hard when they make a lot of shots. We’ve got to get it off of rebounds and go.”
The Tigers got 12 points apiece from seniors Stephen Himmelberg Jr. and Anthony Vanhook.
Chapel Hill blew plenty of layups and left more points than normal at the free throw line with missed shots, but the Tigers were able to leave a bigger paw print on the floor than the Panthers.
“Just running our offense,” Chapel Hill coach Tod Morgan said. “If you get three or four ball reversals, usually you’re going to get a good shot, and also, obviously, they’ve got to play defense for a little while.”
Dez McDaniel led Morehead with 13 points, while M.J. Phifer and De’Andre Kellam had 11 points each.
Chapel Hill (B) 59, Morehead 52
MOREHEAD — Brandon Kellam 7, Dez McDaniel 13, Devin Neal 2, Wyatt Robertson 1, M.J. Phifer 11, De’Andre Kellam 11, Spencer Odell 6, Travis Jones 1.
CHAPEL HILL — Stephen Himmelberg Jr. 12, Anthony Vanhook 12, Elliot Orenstein 8, Andrew Grant 7, Brian Thornton 11,Ryan Hegedus 3, Treshawn Craig 6, Jamison Richmond 4, Karl Hill 3.
Records—Morehead 16-9; Chapel Hill 24-4.
Chapel Hill girls shut down Triton
The No. 2 Chapel Hill girls’ team had an even easier time in the second round Wednesday.
No. 7 Triton came from Erwin and got steamrolled 71-14 by the Tigers.
Triton’s scoring output was so low that a Chapel Hill fan resigned himself to crank out the same number of pushups to match the Hawks’ point total when the visitors managed to get buckets in the second half.
Three Chapel Hill players scored in double figures — Catherine Romaine with 16 points, Raziyah Farrington 15 and Jamella Smith 13 — and two more were close with nine points apiece.
Only two Triton players scored, eking out a mere field goal and a free throw in the first half.
“Anytime a team holds an opponent to one field goal in a half of basketball, you’ve done something defensively,” Chapel Hill coach Sherry Norris said.
But Norris didn’t like her team’s body language in the fourth period. She said the Tigers looked like the same unfocused bunch that showed up to practice on Tuesday.
“The intensity wasn’t there, and it doesn’t matter if you’re beating someone, you can still can play and be intense on the defensive end, and on the offensive end you can make good decisions and work on shot fakes, ball fakes, and they weren’t executing like they should have,” Norris said.
Norris, pushing a cart of uniforms to the gym’s laundry room, explained that a team needs six playoff victories in order to win a state championship, yet the Tigers sticking around for a title shot will come down to them taking it one focused game at a time.
A Chapel Hill win in Friday’s third round against Southern Guilford would earn them a trip to regional competition in Fayetteville.
Chapel Hill (G) 71, Triton 14
TRITON — Mallary Caroway 8, Je’nae Harvey 6.
CHAPEL HILL — Tamia Eatmon 3, Laura Musalem 2, Arianne Jacobs 2, Jessica Wall 9, Mariah Jacobs 9, Raziyah Farrington 15, Catherine Romaine 16, Jamella Smith 13, Jasmine Suitt 2.
Records—Triton 14-14; Chapel Hill 27-1.