No. 5 New Hanover 56 No. 28 Sanderson 38
The New Hanover boys’ basketball team used a dominating effort over the final eight minutes of regulation to grab a 56-38 victory against No. 28 Sanderson in the opening round of the state playoffs at Brogden Hall on Tuesday night.
Senior Acchaeus Fields scored 11 of his game-high 23 points during the decisive fourth quarter push and went 7-for-7 from the free throw line to guide the Wildcats.
“We knew heading into it that Sanderson plays in the best conference in the eastern part of the state,” said New Hanover Coach Kirk Angel. “You’ve got to hit your free throws at this point of the season and we did that. Our guys battled down low and got some big help defense in the paint late. It was just a big game and good to get a win to keep the season going.”
Sanderson battled back from a 13-point deficit early in the second quarter to make it a two-possession game at the break. The Wildcats maintained a 37-33 advantage headed into the final frame before outscoring the upset-minded Spartans 19-5 during the fourth quarter.
Fields went 8 of 15 from the field, while sophomore Malique Jacobs finished with 13 points. Jacobs hit back-to-back buckets to spark the definitive run to put New Hanover in front, 43-33, with under six minutes to play. Following a three-ball for Sanderson to cut the lead to seven, good ball movement on the other end of the floor between Fields and Freddie Taylor led to points in the paint by Ramello Williams.
Jacobs grabbed a steal on the next possession and hit Fields on the fast break for a thunderous left-handed slam and one to bring the anxious home crowd to its feet. Two more free throws by Fields and a baseline drive by the senior standout with under two minutes left put the game in check.
“Coach told us that they were going to come to play and we just had to leave it on the floor because we weren’t guaranteed another game,” said Fields. “We know it’s one loss and it’s over, so it’s just about going hard every time out now.”
Williams and Shaq Hampton added seven points apiece as the Wildcats shot 78 percent from the charity stripe. Williams, Fields and Jacobs also combined for 24 rebounds.
New Hanover sprinted to a 17-8 lead after the first quarter, but Sanderson used a 12-2 run during the second quarter to get back in the game. Antonio Freeman played a big role for the Spartans with 10 points and eight rebounds, but Hampton battled in the post with the Sanderson big man through the second half to help shut down the visitors from Raleigh. The Spartans went just 2 of 12 from beyond the arc and committed nine turnovers after the break.
With New Hanover County Schools letting students out early on Wednesday due to the threat of severe weather, the Wildcats won’t be able to hold practice ahead of their second round match up against Green Hope.
“We’ll try to get out after school when we get back,” Angel added. “Get them a walk through and shoot around, something to eat and then it’ll be go time.”
No. 5 New Hanover entertains No. 21 Green Hope at 7 p.m. on Thursday.
New Hanover 17-10-10-19=56
No. 21 Green Hope 70 No. 12 Hoggard 54
No. 4 South Central 62 No. 29 Laney 36
No. 2 Garner Magnet 88 No. 30 Ashley 65
No. 6 West Brunswick 69 No. 27 Cleveland 57
The Trojans jumped out to an early double-digit lead and kept pace with No. 27 Cleveland during the second half to record a 69-57 victory in Shallotte on Wednesday.
Xavier Gause had a game-high 24 points, while Ty Hill chipped in with 15. Jon Jordan also pulled down 12 rebounds in the result.
West Brunswick led 22-13 after the first quarter and took a 41-27 advantage at the break. The Trojans were up by as many as 18, but Cleveland cut the deficit to 11 headed into the fourth quarter.
No. 6 West Brunswick will play at home against No. 11 Eastern Guilford in the second round of the 3A tournament on Thursday.
W. Brunswick 22-19-14-14=69
No. 5 Northside 68 No. 28 North Brunswick 48
No. 6 Hoggard 60 No. 27 East Chapel Hill 46
The back-to-back Mideastern Conference Champions held a two-possession lead at the break and surged to a 60-46 victory with a strong second half as Hoggard advanced through the opening round of the 4A state tournament on Tuesday.
Emma Haywood scored a game-high 21 points in the win. The senior standout went 6 of 6 from the field and 6-for-6 from the free throw line.
The Vikings overcame a slow start by outscoring East Chapel Hill 19-8 in a third quarter push that gave the home team a 38-23 advantage headed into the final eight minutes of regulation. Haywood sank a buzzer beater from long range to seize the momentum to close the third stanza.
Tara Poteat added 11 points and Alani Fisher drained two treys to put three players in double figures, with 10 points. Haywood also finished with five assists and five steals, while the Vikings shot 47 percent from the field.
The Lady Vikings play host to winner of No. 11 Heritage(21-5)/No. 22 Jordan(11-13) at James Hebbe Gymnasium on Thursday, Feb 25.
Chapel Hill 3-12-8-23=46
No. 15 New Hanover 62 No. 18 Laney 25
After both teams traded buckets through the opening six minutes, the New Hanover girls scored 23 unanswered points and never looked back to grab their fifth win against Laney this season following a 62-25 result at Brogden Hall on Tuesday night.
The Wildcats improved to 18-5 overall, advancing to the second round of the 4A state playoffs. Meanwhile, Laney saw their season come to an end with a 14-9 mark.
“We came out relaxed tonight and shot the ball well,” said New Hanover Coach Vertha Dixon-Wright. “When we’re able to get some shots to fall early, we’ve been able to build off that all season. It’s the slow starts that have given us problems, but a good win to move on.”
Anna Rae Porcelli knocked down her second shot from long range to give the Bucs a 13-10 edge with under three minutes to play in the opening frame, but Azariah Fields responded from beyond the arc and Michelle Jacobs sank a baseline jumper on the next possession for a lead New Hanover would not relinquish.
Amani Muhammad recorded a block and lay-in on the other end of the floor to close the first quarter with a 17-13 lead, while Jacobs added two more mid-range jumpers through the early stages of the second period. Laney committed seven turnovers during the frame, which aided the Wildcats’ run as Ayonna Cotten hit a 15-foot jumper coming ff a high screen by Elizabeth Criner to go up, 24-13.
“Ayonna [Cotten] was hot tonight,” Dixon-Wright added. “We’ve been pushing her all year to be the player we know she can be and tonight she got going.”
Fields hit back-to-back buckets late in the first half and Cotten sank her second shot from three-point land to cap a 23-0 run. New Hanover went 4 of 8 from downtown in the opening 16 minutes.
Cotten finished 6-for-9 from deep and led all scorers with 24 points. Fields added 13 points, while Muhammad chipped in with seven points andnine rebounds. Jacobs also hit 4 of 8 attempts to close with eight points.
The Wildcats look to keep their season going with a trip to Raleigh for a date with No. 2 Millbrook (25-2) on Thursday.
No. 3 Southeast Raleigh 61 No. 30 Ashley 29
No. 26 Eastern Guilford 49 No. 7 Topsail 29
Jazmine Harris had 17 points for Eastern Guilford to hand Topsail a 49-29 season-ending setback on Tuesday. Dominique Bryant scored 12 points to lead the Pirates, who finished the year 13-10 overall.
No. 15 Goldsboro 74 No. 18 North Brunswick 72