Pasquotank vs. Manteo
It was 8AM and already over 100 people were in the gym, cheerleaders on their A-game with coaches screaming and players diving on the floor. This is, after all, the Hoop State. In a game that started off slow, even a little late, ended up being a very competitive matchup.
Manteo did their damage running a zone defense, feet inside the arc, and running a methodical offense, passing, cutting and movement. They showcased great continuity in this one with 5’11” 2020 Darren Saunders reaping the benefit with open looks, bombing 7 3s, and 23 total points.
Pasquotank ran and played man to man. Their success came when they exploited their athleticism. They had some intriguing underclassmen, with 5’10” junior Daekwon Jones showcasing the ability to really shoot the ball, with 22 points on 6 made 3s. He catches that thing shot ready, and gets it out of his hand quickly.
However, the real story was 6’6” freshman Jermari Hawk. The lengthy left-hander finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds, while showcasing a motor and touch 15 feet and in.
Despite the contrasting styles of play, this game was pretty evenly matched looking at the “winning stats” Manteo won the rebounding total 33-32. Pasquotank won the 3s made 7-6. Manteo had the turnovers edge 19-21. Good way to start the day on the court, but the energy level was what stood out.
Hertford County v. Camden County
The second game of the day featured a pair of intense, no-nonsense teams in Hertford County and Camden County. It’s been said that Hertford is among the more underrated teams in their classification, and that was evident throughout this contest. Their toughness and two-way play was led by Keondre Rodgers and Daylan Askew, although Quinton Wright also had an excellent showing. Camden battled hard and played quite well through Bradley Harrell, who scored with great efficiency from all three levels. His scoring outburst wouldn’t be enough, as Hertford County held off Camden County by a score of 75-62.
Washington v. East Carteret
The third game of the day kicked off between two competitive, evenly matched squads in Washington and East Carteret. Washington opened the game with an early lead and did a great job of causing problems with their defensive pressure and intelligent offensive approach. Rashod Smith shined for Washington, operating as their primary decision-maker and filling up the stat sheet quite reliably. East Carteret was much more aggressive in this showing and remained neck-and-neck from start to finish. They took the lead entering halftime behind the steady play of Perry Austin and Bennie Brooks. There were plenty of entertaining factors, but due to late game heroics East Carteret won 78-77 over Washington.
Ocracoke v. Cape Hatteras
The fourth game of the day featured two small, local programs in Ocracoke and Cape Hatteras. It began with Cape Hatteras taking control of this game behind the play of Jose Cirisa, who outscored the entire opposition in the first half. His ability to lead and control the tempo was undeniably important to this group and their eventual success. Ocracoke continued to battle hard on both ends of the floor and showed flashes of spunk towards the closing minutes. Cape Hatteras claims a 62-42 victory over Ocracoke.
Pender v. Trinity Christian
Although Trinity Christian has consistently proven themselves as one of the top teams in the state, they were forced to do battle with an incredibly tough Pender squad. Pender seems to play up to their competition and, behind the play of Jajuan Carr, show flashes of excellence in every contest. This one was no different, as it was close for the entirety of the first half. After the break, Trinity Christian began to pull away through their ridiculous depth of talent. It was a team effort but Todd Burt and Jamori McDougald seemed to shine the brightest during this showing. Trinity Christian held their second half lead with a tight grip, winning 77-62 over Pender.
Currituck v. Washington County
After so many close battles, it was only expected that things would settle down, which is exactly what happened between Currituck and Washington County. This game was never really in question, as Washington County quickly asserted themselves, secured the lead, and never turned back. Currituck continuously battled from start to finish but ultimately fell short down the stretch. Washington County closed out an 82-39 victory over Currituck.
Landstown v. Trinity Episcopal
Few contests brought the excitement and anticipation like the two Virginia squads, given their local rivalry and amount of pure talent on the floor. Easily the best, most competitive game of the day, Landstown and Trinity Episcopal left nothing to be desired. Although Trinity Episcopal was ahead for most of the time, Landstown was not far behind throughout. Henry Coleman, Burke Smith, and AJ Williams combined for an incredible show, firing on all cylinders and leading the statistical charge with relative ease. Donald Hand and Kaleb Peterson were the leading forces for Landstown, but Trinity Episcopal would go on to win 74-72 over Landstown.
Myers Park v. South Central
The games and competitive nature has certainly amped up as the day continues, and Myers Park versus South Central was arguably the best game thus far. This might come as a surprise given Myers Park victory over Trinity Episcopal last night and the level of talent South Central lost over the last calendar year. However, culture and coaching have proven to be major factors in the success of South Central. Freshman guard Daylinh Brown has been unbelievable as their leader, but this team is littered with talent from top to bottom. Myers Park hung strong behind Drake Maye but also needed big hustle plays from Noah Hooper down the stretch. Myers Park claims a 62-60 victory over South Central.
Word of God v. Farmville Central
Of all the games scheduled, no contest brought more excitement and anticipation than the battle between Word of God and Farmville Central, and it certainly delivered. Word of God opened this contest in dominant fashion, jumping out to a strong early lead and showing signs of never letting up. However, Farmville Central completely changed the game in the second half, highlighting a newfound sense of pride and determination. Isaiah Todd and Saiquone Harris were nearly uncontainable for Word of God, but Justin Wright and Samage Teel took complete control of the momentum late in the fourth quarter. Farmville Central battles back to secure a 66-64 victory over Word of God.
Kinston v. First Flight
In the closing game of Good Guys versus Cancer, First Flight hosted Kinston in a battle between eastern North Carolina squads. It opened up with a ton of competitiveness but quickly turned to Kinston’s favor behind the absolute dominance of Dontrez Styles. First Flight continued to push behind the show that is Dylan Blake, but simply didn’t have enough horses to hang with Kinston. This game still held its entertainment value, as Kinston secured a 85-61 victory over First Flight.