Westover Ends Vike Boys Season
One quarter of the way through Monday’s first round boys’ state 3-A tournament basketball game, Westover seemed very confused by the zone defense of Union Pines.
The Wolverines passed the ball around the perimeter, taking a peek inside now and then before resetting. By the end of the period, the Cape Fear Valley Conference regular-season champions had only one field goal and trailed the visiting Vikings 13-4.
“It’s funny, we played them three times and started each game with it,” Viking coach Nick Boney said of his team’s zone. “We can play it really well. We beat Southern Lee with it, but when they (Westover) started making shots, we lost our focus.”
About a minute into the second quarter, Alphonzo Josey drained the first of six Wolverine threes in the period. The barrage offset an 11-point first half by the Vikes’ Parris Manning. The home team led by 10 points at the intermission on the way to defeating the Vikings for the third time this season, 66-52.
Westover, 19-7, advances to a second-round home game against Eastern Alamance on Wednesday. The Vikings, led in the game by Manning with 20 points, finish with a record of 13-13.
For the first eight minutes, Manning provided the bulk of the offensive production by both teams. The senior’s runner for two provided the only points in the first half of the period. He canned a three making it 5-0 before Irving Augburns made the first Wolverine basket at the 2:50 mark.
A jumper late in the quarter gave Manning nine points and the Vikings their 13-4 lead.
Wolverine coach George Stackhouse acknowledged that the Viking zone is a good one.
“They played it a lot the last time we played them so we were expecting it,” he said. “To be honest, I thought we were a little tentative. We just came out tight and didn’t move the ball good enough.”
A pair of threes by Josey and one by Augburns, tied the game at 13-13. Manning fed Shane Davis for two and then scored off a pass from Lewis Chalmers, making it 17-13. But the Wolves countered with a three and then a jumper for two by C.J. Ford.
The Vikings took their final lead at 19-18 on a basket by Chalmers before a three by Ford started an 11-0 run that gave the Wolves a 29-19 lead at the intermission. The points put Ford, a Murray State commit, over the 1,000 mark for his career.
“I was really surprised by that, especially by some guys I hadn’t seen shoot them before,” Boney said of the six threes made by the home team in the quarter. “They got some good looks and knocked them down.”
The Vikings guarded well in the third quarter, but couldn’t make up ground because they made only three baskets at the other end. They trailed 43-26 going to the fourth. Senior Lashan Brower and junior Braxton Ross combined for 15 in a 26-point final period for the Vikings.
“You could tell who wanted to continue on to Wednesday,” Boney said. “They showed that with their effort.”
The Viking coach looks for the Wolverines to do well in the playoffs.
“You try to stop one thing they do and they’ve got other things they can go to,” he said. “They have everything they need to be successful in the state playoffs.”
Steadwell and Ross led the Vikings with six rebounds each. Manning was the assist leader with four. The game was the final one in a Viking uniform for Manning, Chalmers, Brower and Steadwell.
Union Pines 13 6 7 26 — 52
Westover 4 25 14 23 — 66
Union Pines: Brower 5 0-0 12, Steadwell 1 0-0 2, Manning 8 1-1 20, Ross 3 3-6 9, S. Davis 2 0-0 4, Packer 0 0-0 0, Chalmers 2 0-1 5, Quick 0 0-0 0, Crawford 0 0-0 0, Williams 0 0-0 0, L. Davis 0 0-0 0, McRae 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 5-8 52.
Westover: Saylon 3 1-1 7, Moody 1 0-0 2, Lathan 1 5-6 7, C. Ford 4 2-4 12, Augburns 2 0-0 5, Tillman 1 1-2 3, B. Ford 1 1-2 4, Josey 5 3-3 17, Jackson 1 1-1 3, Foxx 2 0-0 4, Ellerbe 1 0-1 2. Totals 22 14-20 66.
Three-point goals: U 6 (Manning 3, Brower 2, Chalmers); W 8 (Josey 4, C. Ford 2, B. Ford, Augburns).
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