Friday night’s Cardinal Gibbons-Cedar Ridge tilt didn’t figure to be a struggle for either team to reach 40 points. Cedar Ridge has Peyton Pappas, who averages 25.1 points per game. The Crusaders have Justin Reid, who averages 21.5 ppg. Cedar Ridge averages 80 points per game.
In theory, Friday’s Big Eight Conference showdown looked like a recipe for a 150-point night.
Instead it was a turnover plagued, poor shooting game.
Crusader junior Mark Schachte scored on a layup off an assist from Nick Forbes with 1:03 remaining as Gibbons finished with a 7-0 run to beat Cedar Ridge 39-34 on Friday night in Hillsborough.
Pappas finished with a team-high 14 points on 6-of-19 shooting, including 1-of-11 from 3-point range. The Red Wolves were 1-of-14 from beyond the arc.
Reid finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds, but managed only four field goals.
The win, combined with a Gibbons win over Orange earlier this season, plus (9-4, 4-1) Chapel Hill’s defeat Friday of Southern Durham (7-7, 4-1), gave Cardinal Gibbons (10-5, 5-0) sole possession of first place in the Big Eight Conference. Cedar Ridge (9-7, 3-3) dropped a full game behind Orange (6-5, 2-2).
“I never would have seen this coming,” said Gibbons coach Jim Ryan. “I scouted these guys, I watched all of their games from last year. I thought maybe both teams maybe tried too hard just to shake the rust off. I still thought it was an exciting game.”
Trailing 37-34 with nine seconds remaining, Pappas had three guys trailing him as he attempted to tie the game, a shot that missed right. Reid sank two free throws to keep the Crusaders undefeated in Big Eight play.
Both teams were coming off exam break, which has led to long layoffs and perhaps the lethargic play. Gibbons played its third game in three weeks, while Cedar Ridge played its first game in seven days.
Only four Red Wolves scored. Cedar Ridge’s Kyle Jones had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
“I didn’t know if we were going to get to 30 points, to be honest,” said Cedar Ridge coach Clay Jones, who doubles as the school’s head football coach. “We’re still looking for that third person (who can score).
“It’s no secret that Pappas and Jones have carried us, and I wish I could tell you I had a third person to help us. It may have to come by committee.”
Pappas’ layup with 1:52 remaining gave Cedar Ridge (9-7, 3-3) a 34-32 lead. After Schachte’s layup, Logan Bugg hit a free-throw to give the Crusaders’ a 37-34 lead.
In the girls game, Cardinal Gibbons defeated Cedar Ridge 58-36. The Crusaders are now 12-3 on the season, 4-1 in the Big Eight.