Crosstown rivalry win propels New Hanover girls to conference crown; Wildcats take over top spot

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Boys basketball

New Hanover 57      Hoggard 41

After dropping a two-point contest to their crosstown foes earlier this season, New Hanover used an 8-0 run off the opening tip on Friday night at Brogden Hall. The Wildcats moved into the driver’s seat atop the Mideastern Conference following a decisive 57-41 win against Hoggard.

Blake Smith helped New Hanover get going early on Friday. Photos courtesy- Rodney Williams
Blake Smith helped New Hanover get going early on Friday. Photos courtesy- Rodney Williams

New Hanover never trailed in the game, improving to 9-2 in league play and 19-5 overall. Four players finished in double figures for the Wildcats to grab their fifth win in a row.

Blake Smith connected on a pair of field goals early, including one from long range and Colton Casto sank a three-pointer before the Vikings could get on the board to give New Hanover an early edge. Hoggard pulled to within one, 12-11, off a Robert Wilkerson field goal late in the opening period, but Jahann Simmons answered to keep it a three-point lead after the opening eight minutes.

With a 27-22 advantage moving into the second half, back-to-back buckets by Freddie Taylor put New Hanover ahead, 42-30, until Wilkerson knocked down his second shot from beyond the arc to close the gap to nine.

The Wildcats carried a 10-point cushion into the final frame and outscored Hoggard 15-7 during the fourth quarter. New Hanover went 14-of-17 from the stripe. Simmons had a team-high 11 points, while Smith, Hayden Edgar and Ramello Williams finished with 10 points apiece. Taylor dished nine assists.

Hoggard saw its 10-game winning streak snapped in the setback. Wilkerson led the way with 14 points. Grantland Adams chipped in with 13. The Vikings fell to 8-3 in conference and 16-7 overall.

Hoggard  11-11-12-7=41

NHHS     14-13-15-15=57

 

Ashley 50     Laney 46

Altavon Mack scored a game-high 14 points and Jordan Gagum chipped in with 12 to lead Ashlsey in a 50-46 victory. Cam Sidbury paced Laney with 13 points. The Bucs fell to 3-7 in league play and 10-12 overall.

 

West Brunswick  70   South Brunswick 63

West Brunswick carried a 10-point advantage into the fourth quarter and held off a South Brunswick surge over the final eight minutes to pick up a 70-63 result in Shallotte. The Trojans moved to 7-3 in conference and 15-6 overall.

West Brunswick connected on a total of 27 free throws in 38 attempts. Khalil Bland paced three players in double figures with 15 points. Josh Woodard added 13 points and Brandyn Parker chipped in with 10.

It was a two possession game until the third quarter when the Trojans outscored South Brunswick 14-7 over the eight-minute stretch to take a 50-40 lead. Brandon Gonzales and Jace McKinney each hit a pair of treys during the final period to close the deficit, but the comeback attempt was not enough. Gonazles paced South Brunswick with 19 points. McKinney added 17.

 S. Brunswick 19-14-7-23=63

W. Brunswick 20-16-14-20=70

Coastal Christian 49    Parrott Academy 36

 

Girls basketball

New Hanover 45   Hoggard 31

Trailing by six at the break, league leading New Hanover used a complete team effort to rally past Hoggard over the final 16 minutes of regulation as the Wildcats clinched the Mideastern Conference Title with a 45-31 victory at Brogden Hall.

Azariah Fields continues to help lead New Hanover this season.
Azariah Fields continues to help lead New Hanover this season.

After going 0-4 against their crosstown rivals in the 2015-16 season, New Hanover has beaten the Vikings in both meetings over the last month to improve to 11-0 in conference and 21-2 overall. The Wildcats extended their winning streak to 14 straight games.

Turnovers proved costly for Hoggard, who dropped to 9-2 in the division and 19-4 on the year. A slow start for both teams saw the Vikings use a 9-2 spurt late in the second quarter to grab a 16-10 advantage at halftime.  Blair Barefoot knocked down a pair of free throws to cap the run. Hoggard went 4-of-12 from long range, but just 19 percent (5-for-26) from the field.

However, New Hanover went on a 6-0 push to start the third quarter to tie the game. Kayleigh Merrell pulled down an offensive rebound and put back to get things going and the senior finished  a pick-n-roll off an assist from Ayonna Cotten to tie the game 16-all. Michelle Jacobs added back-to-back buckets later in the frame to give the Wildcats a 29-21 lead, while Essence Newkirk hit a pair from the charity stripe for New Hanover’s largest lead of the game to that point.

Alani Fisher brought Hoggard back to within striking distance with a pair of three pointers in the second half, but New Hanover used solid free throw shooting down the stretch to secure the win. Fisher scored all nine of her points from behind the arc, but the Vikings had zero players in double figures and committed 22 turnovers.

The Wildcats outscored Hoggard 21-8 during the third quarter and 35-15 in the second half.

Hoggard 6-10-8-7=31

NHHS     6-4-21-14-45

 

Ashley 36    Laney 31 

South Brunswick 63    West Brunswick 41

North Brunswick  61   Dixon 37  

The Scorpions remain the team to beat in the East Central Conference. North Brunswick rolled to its nine consecutive victory on Friday night with a decisive 61-37 win over Dixon. The Scorps are 8-0 in the division and 18-2 overall. Unique Hines scored 14 of her team-high 18 points in the first half.

North Brunswick carried a 20-2 advantage after the opening eight minutes. Taylor Perkins knocked down three treys in the effort and finished with 17 points.

Wilmington Christian 31      Bethel Christian 28

Abby Squires recorded an impressive double-double with 20 points and 19 rebounds to lead Wilmington Christian.

Coastal Christian 34      Parrott Academy 29

Sam Stanko knocked down four treys for a game-high 12 points, while Julia Masters pulled down 10 rebounds and dished four assists. Lillian Quinn added eight points in the win.