OXFORD — Challenges keep popping up for Chapel Hill, but the Tigers stayed undefeated Friday night with a 63-56 win at Oxford Webb.
The 22-0 Tigers topped the Warriors 80-58 a couple of weeks ago in Chapel Hill, but this time Coach Tod Morgan's Tigers had to go on the road to a loud, full gym to face a better Webb team that now has a 6-foot, 8-inch Isaiah Hicks. The tall, talented and athletic junior already has committed to North Carolina.
He lived up to his reputation and scored 18 points, grabbed 16 rebounds, blocked seven shots, and altered several more shots against the Tigers.
Hicks missed the first semester this year after transferring to Webb. He played at the Oxford school as a freshman, transferred to Raleigh Body of Christ and returned last fall.
"You can see why Roy Williams likes him. He's a pretty good player, isn't he?" Morgan said after the win. "I was really proud of our effort, because we just don't have that size. He did intimidate us early."
The win leaves the Tigers in first place in the Carolina Six 3-A Conference with an 8-0 mark with two games to play. Webb is 14-5 and in second place at 6-2.
Hicks helped his team bolt to a 12-2 lead, but the Tigers' combo of high-scoring guard Denzel Ingram (29 points) and 6-3 workhorse post player Anthony Vanhook (17) pulled the Tigers back together. Chapel Hill used a 24-11 second quarter advantage to lead 32-23 at halftime. The Chapel Hill lead was 54-49 entering the final period.
Webb exploded, though, and scored 16 straight points to take a 55-54 lead with just two minutes to play. Hicks hit a three-pointer to put his team in the lead.
Down the stretch though, Vanhook grabbed three big defensive rebounds and Ingram scored eight points, including six of six free throws, and the Tigers did what they do best: They won again.
"We didn't play our best game, but Chapel Hill had a lot to do with that," Webb coach Lee Brunelli said. "But with Isaiah back in school here I think we'll keep getting better."