High School Sports

Southern Durham unbeaten in Big 8 boys basketball, beats Cedar Ridge

It’s hard to beat Christmas in December, a fact that Cedar Ridge learned the hard way.

J’Tori Christmas scored 14 points, including four 3-pointers, as Southern Durham (7-2, 3-0) defeated Cedar Ridge 71-59 on Friday night at Spartans Gym.

Christmas hit two 3s in the opening four minutes as Southern bolted out to a 12-4 lead. The Spartans led by no fewer than 12 points in the final 30 minutes, pushing the advantage to 42-23 early in the third quarter.

Cedar Ridge (6-5, 0-3), which has dropped three straight, was led by Peyton Pappas’ 22 points.

Rashad Dixon led the Spartans with 15 points, Jajuan Whitted added 14. Whitted, a wide receiver for the Southern football team that played for the 3AA state championship last Saturday, played in his second game after rejoining the basketball team on Monday.

The Red Wolves, who committed 25 turnovers in Tuesday’s loss to Northern Vance, made 17 against Southern’s pressure.

Southern travels to Hillside on Saturday night. The Hornets won the first game 63-57 on December 5th.

Turning Point

Early 3-pointers by Christmas bolted the Spartans to an early advantage as the Red Wolves spent the whole game swimming upstream against the relentless Spartans pressure.

They Said It

“I think we started thinking about the Hillside game in the third quarter. We started playing some other type of basketball. Not the type that gave us the lead. We’re ready to go up there and play. Last time we were a little short handed. It’ll be good to have a full hand.” Southern coach Kendrick Hall.

By the Numbers

2: Number of games where Cedar Ridge has played where they didn’t have a lead. They trailed the whole way on Friday night, as well as the Northern Vance game on Tuesday.

2: Number of basketball practices for Jajuan Whitted after finishing football season on Saturday in Southern’s loss to Crest in the 3AA Championship game. He still scored 14 points on Friday.

12: Number of players who played for Southern in the first half, or all of them.