Northern Durham used its size and quickness to pull away in the fourth quarter for a 78-67 win against Jordan in PAC-6 4A boys’ basketball action Friday night.
Four Knights scored in double figures: Jalen Johnson (22), Erick Stokes (21), Timothy Bell (20) and Emmett Tilley (10).
The victory keeps the Knights (14-5, 6-2) in second place behind Riverside. Jordan (14-6, 5-4) came into the game tied for the third place with East Chapel Hill.
In the girls’ game, Jordan used a 15-0 run in the third quarter to overtake Northern Durham and cruise to a 62-44 win.
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The victory keeps the Falcons (11-9, 6-3) in third place behind Hillside and Riverside. The Knights (7-12, 3-5) lost their third straight game and remain in fourth.
Free throws makes difference
With the boys’ score tied at 50 heading into the fourth quarter, the lead seesawed for the first three minutes until Northern Durham took a 61-57 lead with 5 minutes, 5 seconds left.
The Knights never trailed again as they built the lead to as many as 12, helped by 16 free throws compared to Jordan’s five. Bell, who also had five blocks, Johnson, Stokes and Tilley combined for 24 of Northern Durham’s 28 fourth-quarter points..
The teams played an even first half. Jordan held a 20-18 lead, with guard Mikal Gaylord collecting 11 of those points. He finished with 19.
But it was Stokes’ turn in the second quarter. Stokes hit 13 points, including three 3-pointers. The Knights scored the final five points to take a 39-34 lead into the locker room.
Falcon girls contain Council
Jordan had no answer for Northern Durham guard Rhianna Council in the first half. The senior guard scored 19 of the Falcons’ 30 first-half points, including their final eight in the first quarter, to help Jordan turn an tie into a seven-point lead.
Jordan reserve forward Ni’Amoni Bagley gave her team a spark in the second quarter. With the Falcons trailing by six and Northern Durham seemingly on a roll, Bagley hit back-to-back 3-pointers to cool the Knights’ momentum.
But Council again took control and helped Northern Durham to a 30-21 halftime lead.
But the story in the second half was Jordan’s defense.
The team rolled out 15 straight points to take a 36-30 lead, led by junior forward Liz Layne’s seven points, and contained Council to just two points in the quarter. Northern Durham didn’t score until 1:48 left.
“I told them (at halftime) they were better than they were playing,” Jordan coach Ty Cox said. “They had to make a conscientious decision how they want to finish this season off. Intensity was the key.”
The Falcons kept up the pressure in the fourth, creating steals and dominating in the paint, and Northern Durham never threatened.
Jordan forward Talia Barnes led the team with11 points. Council finished with 26 but only seven in the second half.