Northern Durham shot 73 percent from the field in the first half and held off East Chapel Hill 57-41 on Friday night at Wildcats Gymnasium.
T.J. Bell led the Knights (16-5, 8-2) with 19 points, while Jalen Johnson and Emmett Tilley added 12 each. Nick Decapite paced East with 15 in a PAC-6 Conference showdown.
East (15-6, 6-4) entered the game looking to tie Northern for second place in the PAC-6. Instead, their hopes were dashed after being held to three points in the third quarter. Leading scorer Carter Collins was held to twelve points on 3 of 14 shooting. The Wildcats scored two field goals in the second and third quarters and shot 31 percent.
The Wildcats played without center Clay Watkins, who injured his ankle in a Wednesday loss to Voyager Academy.
The loss keeps East battling with Jordan for the third automatic playoff spot in the PAC-6.
Jordan (16-6, 7-4) did the Knights a favor Friday night by knocking off Riverside 76-63, dropping the Pirates to 15-6 overall, 7-2 in PAC-6 games.
Riverside, which won 60-57 at Northern in the conference-opener for both teams this season, hosts Northern for a rematch on Feb. 10. The Pirates then close their regular-season schedule with a game at East Chapel Hill, which is the only other PAC-6 team to beat Riverside so far this season.
A 15-3 Northern run to start the second quarter, which turned a 15-12 East lead at the end of the first quarter into a 27-20 Northern advantage. The Knights never relinquished the lead after that. Tilley had seven of his 12 points in the second.
They said it
"I thought we had a lot of patience. We were patient moving the ball against their zone and we took good shots. Emmett gives us an added ball handler. We have three guys who can dribble the ball and he's one of them," Northern coach Ronnie Russell.
By the Numbers
12: Number of points for Carter Collins, a season low. His previous low was 15 against the Burlington School on January 15. He averages 24 ppg.
72: Shooting percentage for Bell, included two breakaway dunks in the final minutes.
17: Northern's largest lead, which came in the final minute before Collins hit a late free throw.
Northern girls win with Council’s big game
Northern's girls team defeated East Chapel Hill 37-31 in a offensive struggle. Northern won with 27 percent field goal shooting, while the Wildcats shot 20 percent
Rihanna Council paced Northern with 16 points and 17 rebounds.
East Chapel Hill suffered its first loss in four games despite a team-high 15 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks from T.J. Johnson.
East Chapel Hill fell to 11-9 overall, 3-7 in conference games.
Northern’s win was the Ladies’ second straight after a string of three losses in midseason. It completed a home-and-away sweep of East Chapel Hill, and kept Northen (9-12, 5-5 conference) in fourth place in the PAC-6, one full game ahead of Cardinal Gibbons.