North Pitt’s girls were looking to start a new win streak. Thanks to Nyjanique Langley, the Panthers did so Friday night.
The Panthers rallied from a 14-point deficit to beat Farmville Central 57-53 in an Eastern Plains 2A Conference contest.
Langley finished with 37 points, 17 rebounds and six steals.
“I can’t say enough about her,” North Pitt coach William Knight said.
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Farmville Central’s boys, led by senior Tyler Maye, ran out to an early lead and held on down the stretch to clip North Pitt 92-90. Maye had 43 points, 12 rebounds and four assists.
On Tuesday, Farmville Central will host Beddingfield, while North Pitt will travel to Washington to take on the Pam Pack.
The Jaguars (11-3, 2-2 EPC) stepped into passing lanes to force six North Pitt turnovers in the third quarter and forged a 46-32 lead with 35 seconds to go in the period.
North Pitt switched to a man-to-man defense, and Langley flipped a switch, pulling down rebounds following Farmville Central’s missed shots and converting them into mid-range shots and layups on the other end.
Yet Farmville Central was ahead 48-38 with 4:46 to go.
“I tell them to run the motion offense, which kills the clock,” Jaguars coach Hollis Harper said. “Ball game won. But we didn’t do it. Hats off to North Pitt.”
Knight used the depth on his bench and got the defensive response he sought. And Langley kept hitting shots.
“We worked on her mid-range jump shot in the middle of the week,” Knight said. “If we can get her to stay out of foul trouble and she can play her game, she’s good to go.”
Langley had 19 points, six rebounds and three steals alone in the final eight minutes, going 7-for-8 from the free throw line, including the final two with three seconds left to put the game away.
The Panthers (14-2, 2-2) had dropped their last two games, snapping a 33-game winning streak going back to last season when they won the N.C. High School Athletic Association 2A title.
“We definitely needed a wake-up call,” Knight said.
Qynesha Pettiway paced Farmville Central with 14 points, and Kayla Barrett added 10.
The Jaguars (10-5, 5-0) have won seven consecutive games following a 3-5 start to the season in the aftermath of a NCHSAA 2A title. Farmville Central coach Larry Williford credited one thing.
“Hard work,” he said.
Maye, who averages better than 32 points per game, had 36 after three quarters as the Jaguars led 69-58 with a period to play.
But North Pitt (11-6, 2-2 EPC) did not go away quietly, cutting the lead to three with five minutes to go. Devonte’ Pettaway’s old-fashioned three-point play with 52.6 seconds remaining brought the Panthers within one, 88-87.
Maye, the 6-foot-2 senior point guard, answered with a driving layup with 42 seconds to go.
North Pitt tried a game-tying 3-pointer with 10 seconds to go.
Zaquarious Sherrod-Wilson got the rebound and hit one of two free throws to bring the Panthers within 90-88 with 7.5 seconds left. Kameron McNeill was quickly fouled and drained a pair of free throws with 6.4 seconds to go to give Farmville Central some breathing room.
Pettaway finished with 39 points and three rebounds for North Pitt. Kevius Whitfield had 16 points and Reggie Carney chipped in 10.
Jahkei Harris had 14 points for Farmville Central. McNeill and Justin Wright added 12 points apiece.