Southern Durham was seeing double Tuesday night as Chapel Hill’s sister act of sophomore Alliyah Chaplin and junior Tamia Chaplin each notched a double-double in a 60-56, come-from-behind Tigers win that knocked the Spartans out of first place in the Big 8 Conference’s girls basketball standings.
Alliyah Chaplin had 19 points and 13 rebounds, while Tamia Chaplin had 14 points and 13 rebounds. Autumn West added 10 points for Chapel Hill (19-5, 10-2).
Tuesday’s win was Chapel Hill’s eighth straight – all in conference games – since a 59-52 loss Jan. 14 at Southern Durham.
Tuesday’s result kept Chapel Hill at the top of the Big 8 standings at 10-2 and in a tie for first place with Northwood (20-3 overall) which was 9-2 in conference games when it played Tuesday night at last-place Northern Vance (2-17, 0-11).
Southern (16-6, 9-3) led 10-0 early Tuesday and was still ahead 47-46 after J’Naya Ephraim hit a runner 10 seconds into the fourth quarter.
Chapel Hill used a four-corners spread offense to draw Southern out of a zone defense in the fourth quarter and took the lead for good on a pair of free throws by Alliyah Chaplin, giving the Tigers a 48-47 lead with 7 minutes, 38 seconds left in the game.
A layup by Marissa Mackin kept Southern within 55-54 with just under three minutes to go. West provided what proved to be the winning points with two free throws with 1 minute, 31 seconds left.
Southern missed a chance to tie the game in the final minute when Mackins missed two free throws. Two offensive rebounds by Alliyah Chaplin off missed throws in the final 30 seconds helped ice the win.
The Big 8 tournament starts next week. If Chapel Hill and Northwood are tied, a draw will be held Friday to see who gets the tournament’s No. 1 seed.
Three to know
Alliyah Chaplin, Chapel Hill: In addition to her 10th double-double of the season on points and rebounds, Chapel Hill’s center also had three assists and blocked two shots.
Tamia Chaplin, Chapel Hill: After her sister drew a technical with 5 minutes left in the first half for protesting a walking call, Tamia Chaplin provided most of Chapel Hill’s strongest play in the post. All of her seven first-half points came from the paint or at the line.
Marissa Mackins, Southern: She hit her first two 3-point tries, setting the pace early and leading Southern to its opening 10-0 lead. She had five total treys by game’s end and finished with a game-high 26 points.
By the numbers
3: the number of teams tied for the Big 8 lead heading into Tuesday’s games: Chapel Hill, Northwood and Southern.
0: number of times Chapel Hill has failed to win the Big 8 girls championship since the league was formed at the last NCHSAA realignment.
5: number of seniors who started for Chapel Hill in its last home game of the regular season: Elizabeth McBurney; Joy Stouffer; Autumn West; Mariah Jacobs and Anna Grace Kelley.
They said it
“This was a big game for us. Not only did it mean that we get another conference championship, it means we’ve been undefeated since we started the second half of the conference season. We’ve played a lot better since then.” Sherry Norris, Chapel Hill head coach.