High School Sports

Corinth Holders earns basketball sweep of South Johnston boys, girls

South Johnston's Javonte Smith (23) makes contact with Corinth Holders' Cameron Walden (24) but wasn't able to stop the basket or the extra point. Coverage from the prep basketball games between the Corinth Holders Pirates and the South Johnston Trojans played in Archer Lodge, N.C. on Friday, January 13, 2017. The Corinth Holders's girl team defeated South Johnston 58-26 and the Corinth Holders' boys won over South Johnston 47-43.
South Johnston's Javonte Smith (23) makes contact with Corinth Holders' Cameron Walden (24) but wasn't able to stop the basket or the extra point. Coverage from the prep basketball games between the Corinth Holders Pirates and the South Johnston Trojans played in Archer Lodge, N.C. on Friday, January 13, 2017. The Corinth Holders's girl team defeated South Johnston 58-26 and the Corinth Holders' boys won over South Johnston 47-43.

With the winter weather behind them, area schools are getting back in the swing of their respective basketball schedules.

Corinth Holders swung a little faster and a little harder to take a pair of Two Rivers 3A Conference wins over visiting South Johnston Friday night.

In the opener, the Corinth Holders girls ran past the Trojans, 58-26, while in the nightcap, the Pirates erased an eight-point first-half deficit to grind out a 47-43 victory.

GIRLS

It was a slow start for coach Shannon Lee’s Pirates (7-8, 3-1), as they managed only a pair of field goals in the game’s first three minutes.

But a 17-2 run spanning the first and second quarters put the game out of reach.

“We’ve had a lot of ups and downs as a team this year,” she said. “Just a lot of adversity. But this was one of those games where it just felt like everything clicked. We had some of the flow that we’ve been looking for and we were able to finish and knock down shots. That’s been one of our issues this year.”

Everyone wearing a Corinth Holders jersey scored, with Grace Farmer’s jumper late in the fourth quarter sealing that distinction — to the delight of her teammates.

“Everybody scored,” Lee, a South Johnston graduate, said. “They wanted that for her. We are as close and as in sync with each other as we’ve been all year, and it’s happening at a really good time for us.”

Melanie Tola paced Corinth Holders with 19 points and eight rebounds while Gabby Miller and Mikayla added nine and eight, respectively.

Kelly Dorman scored eight points while Mary Ann Brown added seven to lead South Johnston (1-15, 1-3).

BOYS

South Johnston started fast, building a 15-7 lead after the opening frame. But the Trojans (10-6, 1-3) squandered all of their lead by halftime and came up a little short down the stretch.

“They’re physical,” South Johnston coach Brody Massengill said. “We had a couple of calls that went our way and a couple that didn’t. Both teams played their freaking guts out. .. We had some guys get in foul trouble that we’d normally have on the floor, but we had two sophomores on the floor at the end of the game. I can’t ask any more of our guys. They played their guts out.”

A Johnavan Neal free throw snapped a 43-43 tie at the 1:24 mark, and South Johnston missed a pair of free throws and all of its field goal attempts the rest of the way.

Corinth Holders (4-10, 2-2) missed a few at the line along the way — a fact not lost on coach Chris Davis.

“Making free throws would alleviate some of that pressure at the end of the game,” he said. “Some nights, we make a lot of them. Some nights, we don’t.”

The Pirates got to the line often by pounding the ball inside and putting pressure on the Trojan defense.

“My guys on the inside are pretty good,” Davis said. “If we focus on getting the ball inside, it’s going to put pressure on anyone we play. When we’ve got a couple of slashers and a shooter out there, it’s hard to double down on those guys.”

Neal led all scorers with 17 points while Brian Frazier chipped in nine for the Pirates.

Javonte Smith paced the Trojans with 13 points, while Landon Lockemy added 10.

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