WEB: Saturday High School Sports Results
The Pinecrest girls fought off stubborn North Moore squad, 45-35, Saturday evening to gain a spot in Tuesday's Pilot Cup final opposite O'Neal.
Earlier, the O'Neal girls defeated Union Pines 49-46 in the most exciting of the day's four contests.
The Pinecrest boys will be seeking a third straight Pilot Cup title after defeating North Moore 78-49 in the nightcap at James Moore Gymnasium. Tuesday's opponent will be Union Pines, a 60-44 winner over O'Neal.
The North Moore girls led 31-29 early in the fourth quarter after an Allison Braswell free throw. But Leondra Smith knocked down a three and went on to score nine points during an 11-0 run that put the Patriots in command at 40-31.
Smith scored a game-high 19 points for the Patriots, now 2-0. Logan Monroe scored 11 points and Braswell had 10 in the season-opener for the Mustangs.
The defending champion O'Neal girls were the first team to punch their ticket to the final.
The Falcons led 27-16 late in the first half on a basket by Margaret Cross. But ignited by a pair of threes by Lindsay Cameron, the Vikings scored the next 12 points, taking a 28-27 lead on a basket by Tiffany Dowdy in the second minute of the third period.
The game was tied seven times and the teams were never more than three points apart the rest of the way. Carly Shiflett accounted for eight Viking points in a row at one point, giving her team a 42-39 advantage.
The Falcons regained the lead about two minutes later on a pair of free throws by Kristin Stewart, but Courtney Sauer then canned a short jumper to put the Vikes back in front 46-45 with 1:16 remaining.
O'Neal came out the winner by scoring the final four points of the game. Syd McIlwain knocked in the go-ahead basket and Cross sank two free throws with 11 seconds left. Cross then sealed the win by blocking Union Pines' desperation three-point attempt.
Cross led the Falcons (2-0) with 22 points and McIlwain added 15. The Vikings (0-1) were led by Cameron and Shiflett with 16 apiece.
The Union Pines and O'Neal boys were tied at 18 before a 12-3 spurt gave the Vikings a 28-21 halftime lead.
Led by the scoring and rebounding of Jared Korver, the Vikings enlarged the lead to 10 points midway through the third period and the Falcons never got any closer. Korver led the Vikings with 12 points and 10 rebounds, eight of them on the offensive board.
The loss dropped the Falcons to 0-2, while it was the season-opener for the Vikings. Falcon guard Ray Morganstern scored 15 of his game-high 16 points in the second half.
Fresh off his team's 23-9 victory over N.C. State, UNC defensive lineman Cam Thomas was on hand to root for North Moore boys. He played for North Moore in the first Pilot Cup in 2004.
A combination of ice-cold shooting and a tenacious Pinecrest defense had the Mustang boys looking at early 12-0 and 23-3 deficits.
The inside-outside combination of Jarrin Wooten, 16 points and eight rebounds, and Seth Maness, 18 points, including four treys, kept the Patriots rolling. Adam Wire scored seven points and led the Pats in rebounds (9), steals (6) and assists (3).
The Mustangs were led by guard Markus Brower with 17 points and center Terese Barrett with 13.
Tuesday's action at Pinecrest begins with the girls' consolation game between Union Pines and North Moore at 4 p.m. Then comes the boys' consolation game between O'Neal and North Moore followed by the girls' and boys' title contests.
Saturday matches, pending reports:
Freshman basketball -- Pinecrest at Overhills (boys only), 11 a.m.
Wrestling -- Moore County Duas, Union Pines, 9 a.m.; Pinecrest at Dudley Panther Duals, 9 a.m.
Check ThePilot.com for updated Moore County sports news, highlights and schedules.
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