Powell charity toss lifts Northwood to opening-round shocker over Southern Durham

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

DURHAM — Entering Tuesday night’s NCHSAA 3A State Playoff opener, Northwood was very familiar with its opponent.

The Chargers were taking on Southern Durham, a squad Northwood had lost to on …

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Powell charity toss lifts Northwood to opening-round shocker over Southern Durham

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Posted

DURHAM — Entering Tuesday night’s NCHSAA 3A State Playoff opener, Northwood was very familiar with its opponent.

The Chargers were taking on Southern Durham, a squad Northwood had lost to on three previous occasions in the 2018-2019 season.

None of that mattered on Tuesday night, as it was a new day, a new time, and a new opportunity for a Northwood team playing its best basketball off the season in recent weeks.

Southern Durham found that out the hard way on Tuesday evening as a free throw by Deuce Powell with :04.1 seconds remaining lifted Northwood to a shocking 48-47 victory.

Northwood (18-9) would move on to face East Wake in the second round while Southern Durham closed the season at 20-7.

“All the glory to God, I am so excited for these guys. We finally got over the hump of beating a team that had beaten us six straight times over the past two years, with all six games being very close, and we knew that we had it in ourselves to finally get over the mountain,” said NW coach Matthew Brown. “The boys were devastated after the loss to Southern in the conference tournament a week ago, but I told them after the loss, that everything happens for a reason, and that we had the making of a special run come the following week, and that nothing is better than making a run in the state playoffs. Lo and behold we had to play Southern Durham again, and we came out on top, and got to move on to the next round. Southern had a great team this year and had a tremendous  season.”

The Powell foul shot, a front end of two, came after the shifty junior maneuvered through traffic to the basket, and missed a lay up, but was fouled by a Spartan player.

Powell missed the second free toss, and Southern Durham called timeout to set up a final shot attempt for the win. The Spartans got a nice look, but Jayvis Harvey’s shot clanged off the back of the rim to preserve the 48-47 Northwood win.

“We wanted to be sure to have the last shot,” Brown noted. “The worst thing that could happen was to go into overtime.”

Northwood started fast and used a 13-9 run in the opening period to garner some early momentum. Powell and Aaron Ross each had four points in the period while Harvey countered with three.

Powell got into early foul trouble in the second period and Southern Durham rallied to take 27-23 advantage at the intermission.

That Spartans lead grew to 36-28 midway through the third only to see the Chargers embark on a 10-2 run to close the quarter and tie the game at 38-38. Alex Snively had a big three in the Northwood surge and Jalen McAfee added four points.

The teams went back and fourth in the final stanza, with Powell and Ross striking for back-to-back buckets to give the Chargers a 47-43 advantage with 3:04 left on the clock.

Jalen Person and Ahmad Hamilton would score on driving hoops for the Spartans to tie the game at 47-47 with time winding down, setting Brown calling time out with :32 seconds left, and the Powell heroics in the closing seconds.

Powell closed with 14 points and two rebounds to pace the Chargers while Ross added 13 points, seven boards and an assist. Snively also contributed nine points to the Northwood scoring attack while McAfee chipped in nine points, four rebounds and three assists, and Jack Thompson three points and seven rebounds.

Harvey had 14 points to lead Southern Durham.

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