DURHAM — Home court advantage was very kind to Durham Hillside, as the Hornets swept the PAC-6 basketball tournament for the first time in over 16 years.
After getting swept during the regular season, the Hornets outlasted Roxboro Person for a thrilling Friday night 64-62. Earlier in the evening, the Lady Hornets defeated Southern Durham 49-46 for the third time this season.
The Rockets defeated the Hornets in the first game on a last-second half-court heave by senior star Tyrone Outlaw. The second game took two overtimes before Person won.
But Hillside enacted sweet revenge when forward Darian Allen caught the deflection off a missed shot and laid it in with 3.4 seconds left to give the Hornets a 64-62 lead. Then the home crowd held its breath as Outlaw attempted a last-ditch 3-pointer that sailed wide.
The title is especially sweet for first-year head coach Crasten Davis, whose team struggled in the early going while trying to learn his new system.
"If you look at our team now compared to earlier this season, it's two different teams," Davis said. "We are so deep, we never know who's going to come through in the clutch. Each game is a different player."
In the women's game, Hillside had to rally to win its fifth conference championship in the six years since it moved up to the 4A conference. The Hornets have defeated the Spartans in 14 of the last 15 meetings.
Hillside trailed the entire first half and 26-18 at halftime. But behind senior center Morgan McGee's eight points, the Hornets outscored Southern 18-6 in the third period to pull ahead by four points.