Hillside closes in on PAC-6 4-A No. 3 slot with win over ECH
The way Hillside’s Robert Robinson Jr. was shooting Tuesday night, his “Big Shot Bob” nickname just might stick.
So named by Hornets coach Crasten Davis, Robinson hit big shot after big shot against East Chapel Hill, pouring in a career-high 32 points in a 76-59 victory over the Wildcats.
Davis canned eight 3-pointers, many from way behind the arc.
“The last few games, my coach has been telling me to catch and shoot,” Robinson said. “I’ve been putting it on the ground, trying to create for my teammates. But tonight, early in the shootraround, I felt kind of good, so in the game, I was going to put them up. Thank God they went in.”
Robinson’s hot shooting helped Hillside (12-10, 4-5 PAC-6 4-A) inch closer to claiming third place in the conference. The Hornets play on the road against Roxboro Person on Friday night in what could determine third in the league.
Robinson’s previous career high was 20 points, and he said he’d never made eight 3s in a game before, on any level. Robinson said coaches at college camps have told him to increase his range, and that showed Tuesday. At least two of his 3s were near the NBA arc.
“We’ve seen him be able to hit (the long ones), so we don’t mind it, especially when he’s hot,” Davis said. “What are you going to say as a coach? ‘No, move in closer’? No, take it from half court if you want to.”
Robinson didn’t shoot from that far out, but he came out firing, scoring Hillside’s first eight points on two 3s and a follow shot. He added another 3 in the first to finish with 11, outscoring the Wildcats on his own as the Hornets raced to a 24-10 lead.
Robinson kept shooting, drilling two more 3s and two inside baskets in the second quarter to give him 21 at halftime.
“Some nights you just have it, and tonight he had it,” Davis said. “I know we’ve been asking him to catch and shoot pretty much all season. We felt like he overused his pump fake at times. Tonight, he was catching and shooting; he was just letting it ride, and he felt it. Every game is not like this year, but every good player can get a hot hand, and he had the hot hand. I’m impressed that the team kept looking for him.”
Robinson opened the second half with two more 3s, and sank his final 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter. His only miss 3 was after Hillside built a 71-47 lead.
“They were looking for me all night,” Robinson said. “That’s what coach said in the huddle: ‘Keep looking for the open man.’ We were moving the ball side to side. Usually, zone kills us, but tonight, we destroyed the zone instead of the zone destroying us.”
Arkavius Parks and Robert Wilson scored 19 points each for ECH (9-13, 2-7), with each getting several points after Wildcat missed shots. But despite its dominance on the boards, ECH couldn’t overcome a smoking-hot Hillside team.
The Hornets made 25 of 45 shots from the floor, including 12 of 20 form 3-point range. The Wildcats, meanwhile, missed its first 18 3s before Tykeem Woodard hit one with 1:44 to play. By then, the Hornets had the game under control.
Hillside is also in control of third place, should it beat Person.
“If we win out, we’ll secure third place,” Davis said. “We’ve got to go to Person on Friday and take care of business.”
HILLSIDE 76, EAST CHAPEL HILL 59
East Chapel Hill 10 21 9 19—59
Hillside 23 18 16 19—76
EAST CHAPEL HILL — Arkavius Parks 19, Robert WIlson 19, Tykeem Woodard 12, Dawud Salim 3, Kyle Chavis 2, Dylan Farrow 2, Carter Collins 2.
HILLSIDE — Robert Robinson Jr. 32, Justice Kithcart 12, Trevion Thomson 8, Jarrod France 8, Marcus Bowling 4, Jalen McGee 4, Timothy Mangum 4, Malik Evans 2, Oderah Udemadu 2.
3-point goals—East Chapel Hill 1 (Woodard 1), Hillside 12 (Robinson 8, Kithcart 2, France 2). Total fouls—East Chapel Hill 14, Hillside 16.
Records—East Chapel Hill 9-13, 2-7 PAC-6; Hillside 12-10, 4-5.
HILLSIDE 88, EAST CHAPEL HILL 35
East Chapel Hill 9 7 3 16—35
Hillside 22 23 22 21—88
EAST CHAPEL HILL — Ali Cyr-Scully 22, T.J. Johnson 7, Sarah Towne 4, Grace Haley 2.
HILLSIDE — Justine Lyon 16, Zuri White 16, Kirsten Smith 14, Mya Webb 11, Khara Herring 6, Kelbi Lewis 6, Brittany Powell 6, Elisia Grissett 4, Tykyrah Williams 3, Charlotte George 2, Amanda Lawrence 2, Victoria Powell 2.
3-point goals—East Chapel Hill 5 (Cyr-Scully 5), Hillside 1 (Webb 1). Total fouls—East Chapel Hill 5, Hillside 15.
Records—East Chapel Hill 7-13, 2-7 PAC-6 4-A; Hillside 17-5, 8-1 PAC-6.