DURHAM — Durham Hillside rallied from a 10-point third quarter deficit and made all the plays down the stretch to take a 62-57 boys basketball win over Durham Jordan on Friday night in a loud, packed Jordan gym.
The Hornerts (21-7) lost to the Falcons three times this season, but battled their way to a win that keeps their season alive. Broughton, Fayetteville Seventy-First and Clayton complete the field in the 4A Eastern Regional in Fayetteville next week.
“I knew we could get here, that was our goal,” said Hillside coach Crasten Davis. “That became our goal last year after we lost to Apex in the second round of the playoffs.”
With balanced scoring and strong inside defense provided by 6-9 senior Jerrod Hendryx, who blocked 11 Hillside shots, Jordan used an inside bucket by A.J. Alston to take a 39-29 lead with under two minutes left in the third quarter.
Hillside trailed 42-36 entering the final period. Jordan lost its touch and the Hornets found magic, going on an 11-0 run that started with a three-pointer by Robert Robinson.
De’Shon Self capped the rally with a layup and free throw and Hillside led 49-44 with 2:45 to play.
“Robinson is a good shooter but he struggled early,” Davis said. “Then he hit the big shot that got us going.”
Self’s free throw was the first of nine in a row for Hillside. “
“This was a college style atmosphere right here. Rarely will you get a crowd like this,” Davis said. “And to get our guys to play four quarters like they did is a testament to our players. We’ve been up and down hitting free throws this season, but tonight we put it all together. We were clutch when we needed to be clutch.”
Hillside senior Marius McAllister scored eight of his 14 points in the final three minutes. Malik Evans, a 6-2 junior, scored 14 points inside against Hendryx and Self added 12 points.
For Jordan, Darien Ortiz scored 15, followed by Josh Thompson with nine, and Alston and Hendryx with eight each.
“A tough loss, we didn’t close it out,” Jordan coach Kim Annas said. “We had some inopportune turnovers and they capitalized on every one of them, I think. We had beaten them three times and they had a chip on their shoulder. You have to give them credit, they played a great game.”