By Bill Woodward
FAYETTEVILLE -- Fayetteville Seventy-First built a 12-point lead midway through the third quarter but had to hold off a furious Garner rally to defeat the visiting Trojans 70-62 in the second round of the NCHSAA 4A playoffs.
The teams battled to a 36-36 halftime tie, but the Falcons (26-2) went on a 16-4 run to begin the second
half and took a 52-40 lead with 4:14 left in the third quarter.
Garner (22-5) battled back, pulling within 57-56 with 5:20 left in the game, but could never take the lead
in the second half. Seventy-First, up 64-60 with two minutes left, hit six of seven free throws the rest of
the way to seal the victory.
“It was a game of runs,” Garner coach Eddie Gray said. “They got the last run. We had the opportunity to
take the lead at the end and had a couple of turnovers. We never could get the lead when we made the
run at them. If we could have gotten the lead, they may have had a different mindset.
“They have a real quick, talented team and gave us some matchup problems. But I was real proud of
how our kids hung in there. We fought hard to the very last.”
Senior guard Demarcus Sanford led the Trojans with 20 points and Jasper Stallings added 14.
Seventy-First got 17 points each from guards Sidney Knox and Marcus Williams.