Tigers sweep Carolina 6 championships
Chapel Hill took down the Webb giant and his Warriors to win the championship in the Carolina 6 Conference Tournament on Friday.
Chapel Hill didn’t allow Webb to turn the game into a track meet and held on for a 47-42 victory in front of a lathered home crowd that savored the opportunity to spend the night trying to pluck the nerves of mild-mannered, 6-8 Isaiah Hicks.
Hicks will be in Chapel Hill in the coming months getting ready to play basketball for North Carolina. Some of his future teammates and UNC coach Roy Williams were in the gym to see him combine a game-high 15 points with some nasty shot blocks.
Tar Heels Leslie McDonald, Dexter Strickland, Reggie Bullock and P.J. Hairston also saw a Chapel Hill team with no stars put on their hardhats and go to work.
“It’s all about that heart,” Hicks said. “I guess they wanted it more.”
The Tigers took the air out of the ball with a 43-42 lead and a minute and change left in the game.
Webb had to foul and was able to get some offensive opportunities but couldn’t get the ball to go down.
Seniors Elliot Orenstein and Stephen Himmelberg Jr. each hit two free throws down the stretch to seal the game for Chapel Hill.
“Two good teams competing, and tonight they made more plays than us,” Webb coach Leo Brunelli said.
A year ago, Chapel Hill had a brilliant scorer in Denzel Ingram, who as a senior was the N.C. Basketball Coaches Association 3-A player of the year and now suits up for the Charlotte 49ers.
“When 25 points a game leaves and everybody says, ‘Well, it’s going to be a rebuilding year,’ and these guys said, ‘No, we’re going to do what we do,’” Chapel Hill coach Tod Morgan said. “And they believed in it and bought into playing defense. We have to defend people. We don’t have the ability to score it like we used to, but we score just enough some nights, and tonight was a great night.”
Chapel Hill senior Anthony Vanhook (6-4, 204) had the evening’s toughest defensive assignment. He had to guard Hicks.
“It’s all a mind game,” Vanhook said. “You’ve just got to stay in front of him. He’s a McDonald’s All-American. It’s not that easy, but I was up for the challenge.”
NOTES — After the game, Morgan was acknowledged as the conference’s coach of the year and Hicks as player of the year. ... Chapel Hill and Webb were co-champs of the league during the regular season. ... Chapel Hill starts its run in the state playoffs at home at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, according to the school.
Chapel Hill (B) 47, Webb 42
WEBB — Devonte Williams 9, Isaiah Hicks 15, Mitron Terry 6, Stefan Cates 10, Tyrek Beverly 2.
CHAPEL HILL — Stephen Himmelberg Jr. 6, Anthony Vanhook 6, Jamarius Jones 2, Elliot Orenstein 4, Shane Turner 3, Andrew Grant 5, Brian Thornton 2, Ryan Hegedus 11, Treshawn Craig 8.
Records—Webb 21-5, Chapel Hill 22-4.
Chapel Hill girls roll
Conference tournament down, state championship to go.
The Chapel Hill girls’ basketball team unloaded on Southern Vance for an 80-31 win that earned the Tigers their third straight Carolina 6 Conference title on Friday.
“I thought they played with great intensity tonight, and they were ready to play,” Chapel Hill coach Sherry Norris said.
Seemingly everything the Tigers put up fell through the nets.
“We hit our shots — outside, inside — and it does make it easier, but we kept pushing the ball up the court because (No.) 23 is their go-to player,” Norris said of Southern Vance point guard Breona Jones. “She is just fantastic, and she was so tired at the end of the first half and that’s what we were wanting to do.
“We respect her, because she is such an amazing player. She had 30 points the other night against Cardinal Gibbons and 11 assists.”
Jones (19 points) left the game crying and holding her face after taking a blow to the head in the second half.
Freshman Autumn West (15 points) was among five Tigers who scored in double figures.
“Offensively, she has a lot of weapons,” Southern Vance coach Amy Simpson said. “You try to key in on one, then someone else is going to step up and try to take over.”
The hardware the Tigers hope to hoist would be after a run in the state playoffs that begins next week, Norris said.
“That’s what we’re wanting. We’re wanting that state championship,” Norris said.
NOTES — After the game, Norris was acknowledged as the conference’s coach of the year, and Chapel Hill’s Jamella Smith earned player of the year. ... The Tigers were league champs at the end of the regular season. Chapel Hill is scheduled to start its journey in the state playoffs at home at 6 p.m. on Monday, according to the school.
Chapel Hill (G) 80, S. Vance 31
SOUTHERN VANCE — Rashyda Burwell 7, Kiyanna Kearney 2, Breona Jones 19, Mikayla Sellers 2, Tiara Jordan 1.
CHAPEL HILL — Tamia Eatmon 7, Laura Musalem 3, Arianne Jacobs 7, Jessica Wall 11, Mariah Jacobs 2, Raziyah Farrington 12, Catherine Romaine 10, Jamella Smith 12, Jasmine Suitt 1, Autumn West 15.
Records— Southern Vance 11-6, Chapel Hill 25-1.