Northwood pulls another upset, advances to third round

BY DON BEANE, News + Record Staff
Posted 3/8/19

WENDELL — The magic carpet ride continues for the Northwood boys’ basketball team!

For the second time in three days the Chargers knocked off a heavy favorite, this time East Wake on Thursday …

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Northwood pulls another upset, advances to third round

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WENDELL — The magic carpet ride continues for the Northwood boys’ basketball team!

For the second time in three days the Chargers knocked off a heavy favorite, this time East Wake on Thursday night in Wendell, by a 37-35 count.

The grind-it-out win for Northwood coach Matthew Brown’s club left everyone clad in green and gold all smiles.

“It wasn’t pretty, but its ‘survive and advance’ at this point of the season, and I want to give all of the glory to God,” Brown said. “We came out great on defense to start the game, holding East Wake to zero points in the first. But we had trouble finding our rhythm and finding the basket to capitalize off of our defense. We missed a lot of easy baskets around the rim, but give East Wake a lot of the credit for that. They were the best defensive team we have seen all year.”

Northwood (19-9) held favored East Wake (20-7) scoreless in the opening quarter, but managed only four points in the stanza.

East Wake came out with eight straight points in the second, sparked by a trey each from Zach Sloan and Dorez Wynn, and a driving hoop by Daveon Vick at the 4:52 mark.

An Aaron Ross tip cut the gap to 8-6 moments later before the teams traded buckets with time winding down and the Warriors clinging to a 14-13 advantage.

Just before the half, the Chargers missed a trey to take the lead and East Wake’s Zach Logan corralled the long rebound, spun and launched a shot from 10 feet behind the mid-court stripe. The prayer attempt hit only net and the gym erupted as the hosts took a 17-13 lead into the break.

Undaunted, Northwood used a couple of inside baskets by a driving Ross to tie the game at 17-all at the 5:49 mark of the third before Northwood used an 8-3 spurt highlighted by a rebound basket by Ross, and a long jumper from Deuce Powell to go up 25-23 with :06 seconds left in the period.

East Wake came down and Wynn, a 6’3, 260-pound forward, rattled home a 3-pointer from the left wing at the buzzer to send the Warriors in front 26-25, setting off another wild royal blue and yellow celebration in the stands.

The game remained tight in the fourth with Powell scoring off a nice feed from Alex Snively and Jalen McAfee driving down the lane from the top of the circle and soaring high for a two-handed jam that sent Northwood up 32-29 with 3:27 left to play.

Sloan evened the score at 32-32 with a trey with 2:52 remaining. Foul shots by McAfee sent the Chargers back in front 37-35 with 11.7 seconds left, forcing East Wake to try a last shot, which was short from the left corner by Sloan to preserve the exciting Northwood win.

“Our boys never gave up and kept on fighting,” said Brown, whose club advanced to take on Northern Nash (26-1) in Rocky Mount on Saturday. “These kids are fighters and want to keep on playing. I am very proud of them and happy for the school, community, Pittsboro, the families, and the boys. So happy to have another chance to play and practice today and tomorrow.”

Powell closed with 15 points and four rebounds for Northwood in the win while McAfee added nine points and seven boards, and Ross eight points and five rebounds.

Sloan had 12 points to pace East Wake in the loss.


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