CHAPEL HILL — Holding Isaiah Hicks and his Oxford Webb team without a point in the final 4 minutes, 57 seconds, top-seeded Chapel Hill edged No. 2-seed Warriors 47-42 to win the Carolina-6 tournament Friday.
The No. 1-seeded Chapel Hill girls’ team also won, downing No. 2 Southern Vance 80-31 in the Carolina-6 finals at Chapel Hill’s Alumni Gym.
Chapel Hill (22-4) and Webb (21-5) came into the boys’ championship game with identical records, each having split regular-season wins on their home floors.
Chapel Hill won the conference tournament’s top seed, and the home-court advantage, based on a coin flip.
Just like last year, when Webb walked into a hot, packed Alumni Gym to beat Chapel Hill in the 2012 conference final, the two rivals played in front off a standing-room-only crowd for the league’s No. 1 seed in the state playoffs.
Doubling and sometimes tripling down on Hicks, a McDonald’s All-American committed to North Carolina, Chapel Hill held the 6-8 senior to four points in the second half. He finished with a game-high 15 points, but was held to a single basket in the game’s final 15:55.
“That was great team defense,” exclaimed Chapel Hill’s 6-2 Ryan Hegedus, who drew the primary defensive assignment on Hicks. “You can’t handle a player like him with one or two guys. It takes a compete team effort.”
With Hegedus hitting three 3-pointers on his way to a team-high 11 points, Chapel Hill led by as much as 28-18 in the first half, but Webb held the Tigers to 17-for-44 shooting for the game and clawed back to lead briefly in the second half. Hicks’ last layup of the game put Webb ahead 41-39 with 5:53 to play.
Webb missed its next six shots from the floor and turned over two other possessions.
Stephen Himmelberg’s layup with 3:08 left to put Chapel Hill up for good at 43-42. The Tigers used a four-corners delay for the game’s last minute and hit four free throws in the last 19 seconds to ice the win.
In the girls’ final, Autumn West came off the bench for 15 points and Jamella Smith and Raziyah Farrington each scored 14 for Chapel Hill (25-1).
Breona Jones scored a game-high 19 for Southern Vance (20-6), but it wasn’t enough to stop the Tigers from competing a season and tournament sweep of Carolina-6 opponents.