CARY — Green Hope's girls started quickly and Green Hope's boys began slowly before mounting a comeback as the Falcons swept a doubleheader in the first round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A basketball tournaments.
The Tri-Nine 4A champion girls (26-2) ran off to a 70-41 win against league rival Apex after taking leads of 30-10 in the first quarter and 49-22 at halftime.
In the boys' game, Green Hope (23-5) won 58-53 against Southeast Guilford after trailing 16-5 following the first quarter.
Southeast Guilford's boys got their first hint they were in for a long night when they filed into the gym as Green Hope's Kristen Gaffney was in the process of putting up 28 first-half points en route to a 35-point night.
With junior Ashley Williams scoring 25 points, Green Hope moved the ball well.
Four Green Hope girls scored in the first quarter and five took shots. Gaffney and Williams would have had about six more combined assists if it weren't for some missed shots and mishandled passes.
"When teams run a zone against Kristen, it leaves other girls open for shots," Green Hope coach Mike Robinson said. "We have to have confidence we're going to make those shots.
"In the first half, we took good shots, but we didn't run our offense the way we're supposed to in the second half. We didn't take good shots in the second half, and that can hurt us later."
Apex (7-16), which started three freshmen and two sophomores, didn't have a player in double figures as Tiffany Finley and Aliya Ruffin scored eight points each.
In the nightcap, Green Hope's boys outscored Southeast Guilford 39-19 in the second and third quarters in a game that wasn't as close as the final margin suggests.
Green Hope's Chris Flemmings scored 11 of his 16 points in the third quarter and John Mosser scored nine of his 16 points in the second and third quarters.
"We came out slow on defense in the first quarter," Green Hope coach John Green said. "It all starts with the defense, and in the second and third quarters we got some turnovers and long rebounds and were able to get our fast break going."