Darius McGhee continued his historic tear, but it was Voyager Academy that kept its win streak going in Wednesday’s boys basketball game at Helena Elementary Gym in Timberlake, a few miles south of Roxboro.
The visiting Vikings won 80-61 to break a tie atop the North Central Athletic Conference against McGhee and the Bulldogs. McGhee, a 5-foot-9 guard who scored 41 points, has now scored three straight games of 40-or-more points, tied for the most in NCHSAA history.
“Once he gets started, he can score from anywhere, and so we were just trying to make it as hard as we could for him,” said Voyager coach Mike Huff. “It felt like he had 50 ... I think we did make him work.”
In the girls’ game, Roxboro’s girls stayed perfect in NCAC play with a dominating 89-21 victory.
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Jay Huff, the 6-foot-11 senior and coach Huff’s son, had to laugh as he listed his team’s goals entering the game and then realized mid-sentence that none of them were met despite the solid win.
“We were trying to not turn the ball over very much, which didn’t really work, we had 29,” Huff said. “We were also trying to hold Darius to less points which... also didn’t work, I guess. But we held the other players.”
The Voyager boys (14-3, 8-0) did a little bit of everything to try and take McGhee out of it early. He was face-guarded by Nelson White to deny the basketball, but McGhee still broke free enough to keep the Bulldogs in it.
The post potent weapon the Vikings had for McGhee was something that can’t be coached: height.
Huff and 6-foot-6 China Jones disrupted McGhee’s floaters and mid-range shots just enough.
“That length kills us,” said Roxboro coach Justin Bettendorf.
That size helped on offense as well.
“There’s just not much that they can do about it when their tallest starter is 6-1,” coach Huff said. “They did a good job trapping and making it hard on guys on the outside, but once we got it inside, there wasn’t much they could do.”
Chance Greene added 16 points for the Vikings. Jay Huff had a quick
Roxboro (8-8, 7-1), which is in second place halfway through the NCAC slate, had no one else score more than four points.
Roxboro (14-2, 8-0) jumped out to a 48-18 halftime lead and didn’t look back. Coach Brian Cousin’s NCAC frontrunners got the running clock going by outscoring Voyager (3-12, 2-6) 35-2 in the third period.
“Our shooting percentage hadn’t been what we wanted but we finished well tonight,” Cousin said.
Cousin’s two top players were in their usual form. Roxboro junior forward Mya Johnson (34 points) was active on the offensive glass, outscoring Voyager by herself. Sophomore Elana Ingram did the same, scoring 27 points.
To get going offensively, Johnson said, “If the shot’s not working, just go the basket, follow the shot, get the rebound.”
Sophomore Anna Teer Barringer led the Vikings, who have just one senior this year, with 13 points.