Voyager Academy’s most successful season ran into a road block when the Vikings lost to Pinetown’s Northside High 66-62 in overtime Friday in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1A semifinals at Crown Arena.
More specifically, Voyager collided with 6-foot-9, 232-pound junior Edrice Adebayo. The big man finished with 37 points, 23 rebounds and seven blocks as he brought his team from behind, scoring 18 points in the second half and eight in overtime.
“He’s a specimen and he’s skilled,” said Voyager head coach Mike Huff of the nation’s No. 2-ranked power forward and No. 10 player overall in the Class of 2016 by247sports.com.
Voyager finished with a 29-3 record. The seventh-year school had never advanced past the first round until this season.
The Vikings were seeded No. 2 and Northside (22-4) was No. 14, but Northside coach Michael Proctor admitted that was misleading. Northside finished third in the Coastal Pines Conference behind No. 1 seed East Carteret and No. 10 seed Pamlico County.
“We’ve got the toughest 1A conference in the state,” Proctor said.
Adebayo has averaged 32.3 points and 23.8 rebounds a game this season, but the Vikings “contained” him to 11 points and eight rebounds for a 27-24 halftime lead.
Voyager, which was tied 50-all at the end of regulation, defended Adebayo well with combinations of 6-10 junior Jay Huff or 6-5 senior Christopher Sause and 6-5 junior China Jones double-teaming him.
“I just had to get in the paint,” Adebayo said. “When you got somebody that size on you, you have to be able to do more things.”
Sause led the Vikings with 12 points, but he fouled out with 4:16 to play in regulation and Voyager leading 42-38. Collin Faucette and Chance Greene added 11 points each and Diante Parker 10.
Huff picked up two quick fouls early in the third quarter and fouled out with 27 seconds in regulation. He finished with five points, four rebounds and five blocked shots. All but two rebounds and one block of Huff’s totals were in the first half before foul trouble.