Vikings roll into Carolina 12 semifinals
South Granville beat Granville Central to the life preserver and survived the first round of the Carolina 12 2-A conference tournament with a 58-53 win on Monday.
Granville Central coach Mike McDaniel said he would have liked to have seen how this one would have turned out if his Panthers hadn’t missed free throws.
“Credit South Granville,” McDaniel said. “I’m not making excuses. They beat us.”
But Granville Central normally shoots 67 percent from the free throw line, McDaniel said.
“Tonight, it was not 67 percent,” McDaniel said. “I have a young team. None of my kids have varsity experience.”
The game got interesting after Kaleb Hunter’s halfcourt heave beat the third-period buzzer to cut South Granville’s lead to one.
“The kid made a great shot,” South Granville coach Jake Wohlfeil said. “The kid’s a freshman. (It was a) big-time shot.”
Wohlfeil said he kept telling his players that Hunter (12 points) and Jeremiah Green (14 points) were the only Panthers who could do them any real harm, so a body needed to be on those guys at all times.
“Then we ... left them open,” Wohlfeil said. “I was getting incredibly frustrated with our guys.”
Two Michael Freeman free throws gave Granville Central a 44-43 lead early in the fourth period.
The game was tied at 53 with one minute left in the game.
South Granville’s Shawn Montren, who had been fairly quiet all night, hit a basket with about 40 seconds on the clock.
Taz Strudwick dropped in a couple of free throws, and J.C. Shelley made a freebie from a technical foul with one second to play, sealing it for South Granville.
The Vikings haven’t been able to deliver a knockout punch, but they keep jabbing and there’s something to be said about their mental toughness, Wohlfeil said.
“I’d love to be able to sit down and enjoy the last minute and get some guys some time and all that,” Wohlfeil said. “But at the end of the day, as long as we’re winning, I’ll be OK.”
South Granville (B) 58, Granville Central 53
GRANVILLE CENTRAL — Nyquan Wortham 6, Jeremiah Green 14, Michael Freeman 13, Josh Fletcher 4, Peyton Thomas 2, Kaleb Hunter 12, Jonathan Price 2.
SOUTH GRANVILLE — Dylan McFalls 3, Brandon Ragland 3, Taz Strudwick 10, Jonathan Newton 7, Ansar Muhammad 5, Shawn Montren 4, Mario Thorpe 16, J.C. Shelley 10.
Records—Granville Central 8-17; South Granville 16-9.
Granville Central girls advance
Point guard Keena Evans’ 25 points powered Granville Central to a 62-45 win over South Granville in the opening round of the girls’ bracket.
“My shots were on tonight,” Evans said.
Tiana Jones’ seven first-half free throws helped South Granville keep it close, but three 3-pointers from Evans put some padding in Granville Central’s 35-25 halftime lead.
Evans scored 14 points in the second half, which included two more 3-pointers.
“I’m real confident,” Evans said. “I just felt more and more confident the more I kept shooting.”
“She’s the best-kept secret in this area right here,” Granville Central coach Ken Blocker said.
Briona Blair scored 10 and Tamara Crews put 19 on the scoreboard for Granville Central.
Jones finished the game with 20 points for South Granville.
“We’ve gotten better every game,” South Granville coach Debbie Bell said. “People walk in here and they beat us the first game, and we give them a fit the second game.”
Granville Central 62, South Granville 45
GRANVILLE CENTRAL — Tamara Crews 19, Keena Evans 25, Alexis Bailey 6, Aquayla Swann 2, Briona Blair 10.
SOUTH GRANVILLE — Hunter Mundy 8, Katelyn Brooks 4, Cameron Patrick 7, Nisah Darby 6, Tiana Jones 20.
Records—Granville Central 20-5; South Granville 6-16.