N&O area No. 1 Heritage made a big statement in its blowout win over Millbrook, earning a chance to face offensive juggernaut and No. 2 team in the area, Garner, in Friday’s David West Bracket title game.
Here’s a roundup of Wednesday’s games.
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Ravenscroft 68, Southern Durham 45
Maybe it was a hearty breakfast, maybe it was a good night of sleep, but it was hard to tell Ravenscroft was only 12 hours removed from its last game in the John Wall Holiday Invitational as the Ravens gritted their way on the glass to trounce Southern Durham 68-45.
The Ravens dominated the glass, grabbing 15 offensive boards and surpassing Southern’s total of 26 by 23.
“I knew (Southern) was athletic … so we concentrated on getting back on defense and limiting turnovers,” Ravenscroft coach Kevin Billerman said. “We finished last night at 10:30 p.m. and played at 10:30 a.m. today. Our kids came to play.”
Southern, a 3A East semifinalist last year, isn’t accustomed to that kind of deficit.
“I didn’t recognize the team in black today, but I was coaching them. It’s on me,” Southern coach Kendrick Hall said. “No excuses. (Ravenscroft) had five guys rebounding and we only had two.”
Ravenscroft won last year’s tournament and is out of the running, but Chris Barnette, who scored 17 points on only 11 field goal attempts, said each game is still important.
“To be able to turn around, it’s a consolation game but we had to play to win,” he said. “This gives us a lot of confidence.”
Ian DuBose had 29 points, 11 rebounds and six assists for Ravenscroft. Southern was led by Dennis Gibbs, who scored 12 points.
Leesville Road 69, Broughton 51
Leesville Road outscored Garner in the final three quarters of Tuesday’s game, but still came out out bottom due to a sluggish first quarter.
On Wednesday, Leesville left no doubt that slow starts were a thing of the past, racing out to a 19-0 lead against Broughton. The Capitals needed 7 minutes and 44 seconds before they made their first field goal en route to a 69-51 win.
“Tale of two days for us … we came out and executed with more effort an intensity,” Leesville coach Russ Frazier said. “I thought the score should’ve been 25-0, I’m still disappointed in that.”
Leesville’s offense continued to roll through the half as D.J. Horne – who scored six points in 23:35 against Garner – led the way with 15 points in 13 minutes.
Horne finished with 28 points.
“I was just feeling it from the beginning and my defense led to my offense, it just kept coming to me,” Horne said.
“If (D.J.) keeps playing like he did today, we’re not losing no more,” Jon Mebane, who scored 14, added. “We played hard and strapped up on defense.”
Broughton has one more shot to earn a win in the tournament, but there’s a lot that will need to change on offense.
“We’ve got to find a way to do what we want offense efficiently and in a patient manner,” coach Jeff Farrell said.
Carson McCorkle scored all 16 of his points in the second half for the Caps.
J.M. Robinson 66, Thornlea School (Canada) 47
The second T.J. Warren game of the tournament and the first on Wednesday featured Robinson’s Lavar Batts, a senior destined for Virginia Commonwealth, and Thornlea’s Cashius McNeilly, the top-ranked class of 2020 point guard.
Batts wasn’t quite ready to allow the next generation to steal the thunder in his home state, leading the Bulldogs to a 66-47 victory.
The Canadian squad never took a lead as Batts attacked from the opening tip, sinking 10 free throws for 18 points in the first half.
Batts said playing against other highly ranked recruits doesn’t fuel his fire any more than any other player.
“I don’t really pay attention to who I’m playing, I just come out here and play my game and help my team and get the win,” he said. “That’d be selfish of me to think ‘Oh, this is me versus that guy,’ because at the end of the day, it’s Robinson versus the team from Canada.”
Batts finished with 24 points and Javonte Misenheimer added eight points on 4-for-4 shooting from the field.
McNeilly was held to five points on 2-for-9 shooting.
Heritage 67, Millbrook 43
Millbrook has dominated the Cap-8 in recent years, but after Heritage blew out the Wildcats 67-43 in the second round of the David West bracket, it appears the Huskies may be favorites to claim their first conference crown in arguably the most competitive conference in North Carolina.
The Huskies held a three-point lead at the intermission, but outscored the Wildcats 20-5 in the third quarter.
Heritage coach Tilden Brill said there were no magic words at halftime, but rather the team “stuck to the game plan.”
He continued: “We came out from start to finish and handled business. Defensively, we limited Whitfield and the shooters ... I try to not get too high with games like this and say it’s a statement win … we said in the locker room ‘This isn’t the highlight of our season.’”
Three players scored in double digits for the Huskies: Thayer Thomas (14), Jayden Gardner (14) and Jarren McAllister (18).
Millbrook was led by Chase Fowler, who scored 13 points on 75 percent shooting and grabbed seven rebounds.
“Chase reminds me that we say ‘next, next,’ that’s one of our mottos,” Millbrook coach Scott McInnes said. “This is one of those ‘next’ situations.”
Garner 77, Cox Mill 58
The Trojans’ offense continued to roll in a 77-58 victory over Cox Mill.
At the time of the victory, Garner had the top two highest scoring games in the tournament, scoring 78 against Garner on Tuesday. Tampa Catholic’s 71 against Cary was third.
More important than the offense was how the Trojans neutralized Wendell Moore, who had 28 points and 16 rebounds against Broughton on Tuesday.
Moore, who’s being recruited by UNC, finished with seven points and shot 2-for-11 from the field. Gray said Jim Valvano’s N.C. State box-and-1 defense inspired his game plan.
“Well, we saw (Moore) was the one scoring all the points,” Gray said.
Garner has an extra day off to prepare for Heritage in the David West bracket championship on Friday, but Gray said he’s focused on his own squad.
“I know I watched (Heritage) walk out and they looked really big. We’re going to try and do what got us here. I don’t keep up with who does what or names,” Gray said. “We’re going to focus on doing what’s gotten us here.”
Alex Reed and Kenyon Burt combined to score 43 points for the Trojans. Trayvon Ferrell and Demetric Horton each chipped in 11.
Cannon School 62, University School (Fla.) 59
Between seven ties and five lead changes, not a lot separated Concord’s Cannon School and Fort Lauderdale’s University School. Featuring two top-10 sophomores from University School, Vernon Carey Jr. and 7-foot-1 Balsa Koprivica, and top-50 junior Jarius Hamilton out of Cannon, a close game meant time for hero play.
Hamilton made the deciding play, bouncing an and-1 shot off the glass while falling away from the basket with 5.1 seconds to go. Michael Moore’s lengthy 3-pointer at the buzzer fell short.
“We had a play set up for me to kick I out to Qon (Murphy), but I saw my spot,” Hamilton said. “Time was running out and I had no choice but to take it to the rim.”
Hamilton finished with 25 points.
Vernon Carey Jr. scored 18 points. Kobravica had eight points, seven rebounds and three blocks in 20 minutes.
Hillcrest Prep (Az.) 69, Northwood Temple 57
Led by DeAndre Ayton, the No. 1 2017 recruit in the nation heading to the University of Arizona in the fall, Arizona’s Hillcrest Prep tightened down in the second half to defeat Fayetteville’s Northwood Temple 69-57.
The Hawks won the third quarter 18-3 to put themselves in a position to win.
Ayton had 11 points and seven rebounds; Josh Green led all scorers with 18 points.
Du’diese Toney and Mike Huiett combined for 33 for Northwood Temple.