Chapel Hill boys, girls advance to second round
One game was over almost as soon as it started and other almost needed overtime but both turned out in Chapel Hill's favor on Monday night in the first round of the 3-A state playoffs.
Josh Hennen's follow shot fell through as the horn sounded to lift the Chapel Hill boys to a 55-53 win over Western Guilford, while Autumn West and Raziyah Farrington each scored 16 points to lead the girls to a dominating 77-17 win over Topsail.
Chapel Hill boys' coach Lason Perkins said he was proud of the way his team held off Western Guilford's fourth-quarter rally for the victory.
"That was a very tough team we played," Perkins said. "We knew at the end they were going to be really aggressive and shooting a lot of 3s. They started hitting some in the fourth quarter and got back in the game. Luckily we had a big enough cushion to sustain their run."
Chapel Hill (19-7) led almost the entire game, including a 22-11 advantage late in the second quarter. The Tigers built their largest lead at 39-22 on a breakaway layup by Ben Brower with 2:25 left in the third quarter.
They needed every point of their 41-30 lead going into the final quarter as Western Guilford (17-11) fought back to tie the game at 53-53 with 9.6 seconds left as Ce'Darius Dockery made one of four 3-pointers.
The clock actually ran down to seven seconds seconds remaining but the officials went back an put the additional time back on the clock during a Chapel Hill timeout. And the Tigers needed the extra ticks.
One the inbounds play from the far sideline, the ball ended up in Jamil Walker's hands. He drove the lane and put up a shot that missed and Hennen was there for the offensive rebound and stickback for the win.
"Jamil went up for a good layup and I got all excited but he missed and I got the rebound," Hennen said. "I made the putback and I was awestruck and then everyone tackled me. I knew I got it off in time. It hit the backboard and then I heard the buzzer so I knew it left my hands in time."
Chapel Hill played the final two minutes without David Caraher, who led the Tigers with 17 points. He was disqualified after picking up his fifth foul on a charge. There was a question about the number of fouls called on Caraher but the official scorekeeper had him for five on that play.
Caraher said it was difficult to be on the bench at that point of the game.
"I thought I had only four fouls but they said I had five so I came over and I wanted to cheer my team on," Caraher said. "We pulled out the win so that's all that matters. It was hard to sit and keep my composure. But I trust my teammates and Josh made a big play."
In the girls' game, Chapel Hill (23-0) won with defense as much as it did with offense.
The Tigers held Topsail (6-17) scoreless in the first quarter and to only two points by halftime. Topsail managed to make on four field goals in the entire game and actually scored more points from free throws than made shots from the field _ 9-8.
It marked the second-fewest points allowed by the Tigers this season as they held two opponents _ Franklinton and Orange to 16 in the regular season. They also held Northern Vance to 17 points and it was the eighth game the Tigers held their opponent under 20 points.
Chapel Hill was able to rest center Catherine Romaine for much of the game. She suffered a sprained ankle last week and saw limited action in the Tigers' run through the Big Eight Tournament.
The Chapel Hill girls advance to Wednesday's second round and will play host to No. 16 seed Swansboro, a 47-28 winner over No. 17 seed Cedar Ridge on Monday night.
In boys play, Chapel Hill plays at Big Eight Conference rival Orange in Wednesday's second round. The top-seeded Panthers advanced with a 75-51 win over South Brunswick.
Chapel Hill 77, Topsail 17
TOPSAIL _ Dominique Bryant 6, Jessie Shmidt 2, Payton Schoenloeber 4, Ker White 2, Amberly Wolf 3.
CHAPEL HILL _ Tamia Eaton 9, Helen Gaynes 6, Taylor Headen 6, Paige Timothy 2, Autumn West 16, Mariah Jacobs 2, Jessica Wall 5, Raziyah Farrington 16, Jamella Smith 12, Jasmine Suitt 3.
3-Point goals_Chapel Hill 3 (Wall, Farrington 2). Rebounds_Chapel Hill 26 (West 6, Smith 6). Assists_Chapel Hill 23 (Eatmon 5, Wall 5).
Records_Topsail 6-17, Chapel Hill 23-0.
Chapel Hill 55, Western Guilford 53
WESTERN GUILFORD _ Carmoni Marks 10, Taveon Machen 15, Michael Scott 6, DeShaun Taylor 3, Kaleel Walton 2, Jackson Whitley 3, Brock Wilhoit 2, Ce'Darius Dockery 12.
CHAPEL HILL _ David Caraher 17, Jamil Walker 7, Andy Gillespie 8, Albert Nyamayaro 2, Karl Hill 2, Shane Turner 1, Josh Hennen 8, Jeremy Weider 8, Ben Brower 2.
3-Point goals_Western Guilford 5 (Machen, Dockery 4), Chapel Hill 4 (Caraher, Walker 2, Weider).
Records_Western Guilford 17-11, Chapel Hill 19-7.