Viking Boys Advance to Semifinals
The Viking boys' scored 56 points in the second half to topple the Triton Hawks 85-72 ,Monday at Union Pines in the first round of the Cape Fear Valley conference tournament.
Union Pines' senior captain Derrick Ross was unstoppable as he scored 21 of his game-high 26 points in the second half.
Union Pines held a slim 19-15 lead after one period, despite the fact that the Hawks were on fire from the field as they made three long-balls and sank nearly every shot they put up. Triton added two more treys in the second quarter and finished the half on an 8-2 run to take a 33-29. Hawk all-conference swingman, Demetrius Chance, led his team at the half with 11 points (and 3 three-pointers.) While Vike sophomore Jon Toomer had a team-high eight.
As the third quarter began, the Vikings increased the pace by using a press defense and taking the ball to the rim on offense. With his team down 45-46, J. Toomer scored three the hard way as he converted down low and made his free throw to give the Vikes a one-point lead with 2:56 left in the third. Union Pines' junior guard Will Maness then scored four straight points, off a jump shot and then a steal and lay-in, to give the Vikes a 52-48 lead with 1:20 to go. Sophomore Eric Smith made a pull-up jumper off a crossover that put Union Pines ahead 54-49 with forty-seconds remaining.
Ross and senior captain Travis Monroe both scored 6 points in the third quarter and J. Toomer added 7. Union Pines led 56-51 after three.
Early in the final frame, Smith blocked a ball that Ross recovered and flung down court to Darrell Toomer. Toomer caught the ball in stride and propelled himself in the air from behind the left block as he slammed down a Jordan-esque-one-handed leaner over a Hawk, which created a full-fledged frenzy among the Viking fans and put Union Pines in front 62-55. With the score 64-59, Ross scored Union Pines' next six points as he drove to the basket at will. After Ross's run, the Vikes led 70-66. Then Smith made a one-handed jam on a fast break to push Union Pines' edge to six points. Ross made three free throws sandwiched between a backward reverse by J. Toomer and Bam; the Vikings led 77-66 with 2:14 remaining in the game.
For good measure, Ross received an outlet pass from Monroe and simply beat the Hawks entire team down the floor as he pounded home a left-handed tomahawk from way above the rim. He got down the court with such speed that three Hawks did not even see Ross approaching, as they had not yet turned around to play defense. The extraordinary display from D.R. gave Union Pines a 79-68 advantage with 1:49 left in the contest, essentially putting the game away.
Union Pines scored twenty-nine fourth quarter points, after putting down 27 points in the third. The Vikes outscored Triton 56-39 in the second half, despite a valiant effort from Chance who had fifteen of his game-high 26 points in the second half. Chance made shots from all over the place all night at a high percentage. He nailed four three-point field goals and seven field goals in the game, scoring all his points without a single trip to the foul line.
J. Toomer had 17 for the Vikes. Monroe, Smith, and D. Toomer each scored twelve points, as Union Pines finished with five players in double figures.
With the win, Union Pines (17-8) advances to the conference tournament semifinals, where they will face third seed Harnett Central in the first semifinal, at 6 p.m. Wednesday, at Southern Lee. In the teams' first two games, each squad prevailed on its home court. (Central won the first game 65-51, Union Pines took game two 71-53). First seed Southern Lee and fifth seed Overhills will square off in the second semifinal game at 7:30 pm.
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