Cardinal Gibbons solidified its hold on first place in the Big Eight Conference boys’ basketball standings this week with a 62-59 win Tuesday night at home against Chapel Hill.
The Tigers were able to hold the Crusaders’ top scorer, Justin Red to 14 points – seven under his usual 21.5 ppg average – but Cardinal Gibbons then turned to Logan Bugg for a game-high 24 points, his season high in scoring. Nick Forbes chipped in 11 points to help the Crusaders win their fifth straight.
Heading into a game Friday night at Orange, Cardinal Gibbons (11-5, 6-0 in the Big Eight) had yet to lose to a 3A opponent this year. The Crusaders’ only losses in their first 16 games came against private academies or NCHSAA 4A schools.
Wednesday night at Tiger Gymnasium, Chapel Hill (10-5, 5-2 in the Big Eight) bounced back for its sixth win in eight games by using a 17-0 run in the final minutes of the second quarter to get a 69-52 win against Northern Vance.
With Chapel Hill trailing 25-20, Tigers coach Bill Walton shifted Chapel Hill into a full-court press that forced six turnovers and kept the Vikings scoreless for 4:54, putting CHHS ahead for good.
“We needed to go to the press because our shots weren’t falling. We were frustrated. It’s been like that for a couple of games for whatever reason,” Walton said. “The way you counteract act is play harder defense and get easier shots.”
The easiest shots were free throws. David Caraher led the Tigers with 24 points and 13 rebounds, including 11-of-12 shooting from the foul line.
“We made some adjustments to get him the ball, and thank God the ball started going in for him,” Walton said.
Kristopher Haywood led Northern Vance (3-11, 0-6) with 18 points, but he was the lone Viking to get double digits
One night after falling to conference leader Cardinal Gibbons, the Tigers forced 23 Vikings turnovers and held Vance to five points in the fourth quarter.
A 3-pointer by Jamil Walker off an assist by Ben Brower gave CHHS a 37-25 halftime lead after Vance had led 18-13 at the end of the first quarter.
Brower finished with 14 points for Chapel Hill.
CHHS out-rebounded the Vikings 43-31.
The Tigers led by as many as 18 in the third quarter, but a 14-2 Viking run narrowed the deficit to 57-49 early in the fourth quarter.
Haywood scored 10 during the Vikings’ last run, but he fouled out midway through the fourth quarter. The Tigers held Vance to three points in the final seven minutes.
“When 22 (Haywood) went out of the game, that made it easier for us,” Walton admitted.
Chapel Hill played its third game in four days when the Tigers visited Northwood on Friday. The boys’ and girls’ varsity games were played too late to be included in Sunday’s edition of The Chapel Hill News. See www.maxpreps.com for scores.