Tigers pull even with Warriors in conference race
The race for the Carolina 3-A regular-season title between Chapel Hill and Oxford Webb is all even after the Tigers held on for a 55-52 victory on Friday night.
“I’m proud of the effort, and it ranks right up there with one of the best wins we’ve had since I’ve been here,” Chapel Hill coach Tod Morgan said.
Chapel Hill (18-4, 7-1) and Webb ( 18-4, 7-1) won their home games in the series, and now each has two remaining league games next week before the conference tournament.
“It was two good teams getting after it,” Webb coach Leo Brunelli said. “You have to be ready for a battle every game.”
Brian Thornton led the Tigers with 16 points, while Anthony Vanhook chipped in 13 points and grabbed six rebounds.
North Carolina recruit Isaiah Hicks scored 16 to lead Webb, which played its fifth straight road game.
Webb had a chance to tie the game at the final buzzer, but Mitron Terry’s desperation 3-pointer from near midcourt sailed long to give Chapel Hill the win. On the Warriors’ previous possession, Hicks hit one of Webb’s 11 3-pointers in the game to make the score 53-52.
When Chapel Hill got the ball inbounds to Thorton, he was fouled with five seconds remaining. Thornton made a pair of free throws to set the final margin but it gave Webb one final play.
The Warriors again tried to get the ball in Hicks’ hands for the final shot, but he had to give it up to Terry with time winding down. Terry barely got his shot off.
“Five seconds isn’t a lot of time to do a lot of things,” Brunelli said. “We wanted the ball in Isaiah’s hands, but you knew that was going to be tough because they’re run a double-team. Obviously, we didn’t the shot we wanted.”
The game was tight throughout, but there only were three lead changes and four ties. Chapel Hill grabbed the lead early in the game and eventually extended it to eight points on two occasions in the second quarter.
Webb fought back with a tremendous third quarter thanks to some terrific outside shooting by Stefan Cates, who made three 3-pointers in the period. Webb also got one from Devonte Williams, who also finished with three 3-pointers in the game.
Webb overcame a 28-24 halftime deficit to take a 39-36 lead going into the final period. Down the stretch, Webb built a 46-42 lead thanks to back-to-back buckets by Hicks.
But from there, Chapel Hill outscored Webb 13-6, taking the lead for good with 2:54 left on a basket in close by Vanhook to make the score 48-46. The Tigers held onto the lead by making 5 of 7 from the line in the final 1:07.
Chapel Hill 55, Oxford Webb 52
OXFORD WEBB — Tyrek Beverly 6, Isaiah Hicks 16, Mitron Terry 9, Devonte Williams 9, Stefan Cates 9, Bryan Smith 3.
CHAPEL HILL — Stephen Himmelberg Jr. 3, Anthony Vanhook 13, Elliot Orenstein 6, Shane Turner 3, Brian Thornton 16, Ryan Hegedus 8, Karl Hill 2, Jamison Richmond 4.
3-point FG—Webb 11 (Beverly 2, Hicks 2, Terry, Williams 3, Cates 3). Chapel Hill 3 (Turner, Hegedus 2). Rebounds—Chapel Hill 21 (Orenstein 6, Vanhook 6). Assists—Chapel Hill 12 (Vanhook 4, Himmelberg 4).
Records—Oxford Webb 18-4, 7-1 Carolina 3-A. Chapel Hill 18-4, 7-1.