Friday night in Creedmoor, NC, we were all in for a treat. There’s something about these public versus private school matchups that get everyone excited. We had one of the top public school teams in North Carolina in South Granville, led by Louisville commit, Bobby Pettiford Jr. Their opponent, The Burlington School (TBS), one of the top private school teams in the state, led by UNCW commit, Jamarii Thomas.
In the first quarter, TBS jumped out to an early 10-2 lead. Their offense was clicking. Kuluel Mading found Shane Peterson on the baseline drift pass for the corner three-pointer. Then South Granville went on their own 8-0 run that started with a Lureon Walker three. The next possession, Bobby Pettiford comes up with a steal and finds Collin Tanner for a layup. Then Bobby Pettiford drills a deep three-pointer. The stage was set. This game was going to go down to the wire. TBS held a 17-15 lead at the end of the first.
In the second quarter, TBS jumped out and took control of the game. Ryan Roberts came up with two steals that led to two baskets for TBS. Defensively, TBS was pressuring the ball and forcing turnovers that led to easy baskets on the other end. As a team, they had four steals in the second quarter. On the offensive side of the ball, TBS was sharing it with one another. Jamarii Thomas found Kuluel Mading over the top on the pick and roll for the dunk. TBS continued their great play, going on a 15-1 run to start the quarter.
But South Granville wasn’t done. They fought back. Bobby Pettiford was able to get out in transition and attack the basket. He is so lethal in the open court. And then some of the jumpers that they were missing just minutes earlier started to fall. Bobby Pettiford found Lureon Walker on the drive and kick, who then made the beautiful one-more pass to Collin Tanner for the open catch and shoot three. South Granville was able to fight their way back into the game, going on an 11-3 run to end the half. TBS held a 35-27 lead at halftime.
The third quarter was the Bobby Pettiford and Collin Tanner show. South Granville gets a stop on their first defensive possession, and then Pettiford drills a three-pointer on the other end. South Granville goes on a 10-3 run to start the half. Tanner knocked down back-to-back three-pointers, both assisted by Pettiford. South Granville took the lead at 40-39.
One thing to point out is the depth of TBS. Just when you thought South Granville had taken the lead and control of the game, Shane Peterson continued to step up and make plays for TBS. He found a way to make a play when his team needed it the most. In the third quarter, when TBS was struggling to score, he knocked down a three-pointer. Then he finished at the rim. Then he caught it on the wing, shot faked, drove it and found Jamarii Thomas on the kick-out three-pointer late in the third. TBS managed to escape with the lead at 49-48 at the end of the third quarter as Kobe George finished the put-back on the offensive glass.
The fourth quarter began, and you knew this game was going down to the wire. Collin Tanner made a crafty reverse layup on the baseline drive. Then Jamarii Thomas rung off three straight assists for TBS. He was getting into the paint and finding shooters and cutters.
With 3:11 remaining in the fourth, Collin Tanner found Lureon Walker for the top of the key three-pointer to take the lead 60-58 for South Granville.
Jamarii Thomas then comes down the court and drills a three-pointer of his own to regain the lead at 61-60 for TBS with 2:25 remaining in the fourth. And then, Kuluel Mading grabs the defensive rebound and pitches ahead to Ryan Roberts in transition for the dunk to extend the lead to 63-60.
With the 6.9 seconds left and South Granville with the ball trailing 65-63, they had a chance to tie or win the game. South Granville missed the three-pointer, and guess who came up with the rebound and a chance to seal the game on the other end for TBS? Shane Peterson. Once again, Shane Peterson found a way to come up with the ball on a long rebound. He got fouled and went to the line on the other end where he knocked down both free throws to seal the game for TBS at 67-63.
The Burlington School – Final Stats
Shane Peterson – 15 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
Jamarii Thomas – 14 points, 5 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 steal
Isaiah Escobar – 9 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal
Kobe George – 8 points, 4 rebounds
Kuluel Mading – 7 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
Ryan Roberts – 7 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 2 steals
Jakel Powell – 5 points, 1 rebound
Zion Walker – 2 points, 2 assists, 1 rebound, 1 steal
South Granville – Final Stats
Bobby Pettiford – 24 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds, 4 steals
Collin Tanner – 19 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks
Lureon Walker – 10 points, 3 assists, 1 rebound
Kaleb Hedgepeth – 6 points, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks
Daniel Morton – 2 points, 3 rebounds
Adrian Cearnel – 2 points, 2 rebounds
The Pre-Game Headline Story: Bobby Pettiford versus Jamarii Thomas
This matchup between two of the best point guards in North Carolina lived up to the hype. Both players made so many plays on both sides of the game. They are two of the toughest competitors you’ll find. One word to describe them both: DOGS!
Louisville commit, Bobby Pettiford, finished the game with 24 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds, and 4 steals. Pettiford is electric in the open court. When he gets downhill, he is incredibly difficult to contain. He has great body control and changes pace really well. In addition, his perimeter shot looks really good and is consistently knocking down three-pointers with range. He knocked down five three-pointers on the night. He will have an exceptional career at Louisville.
UNCW commit, Jamarii Thomas, continues to have a stellar year. He sets the tone for this TBS team with his passion and energy. In the fourth quarter, he did what he does best. He got into the lane and found open teammates, whether they were spotting up for three or cutting to the basket.
Shane Peterson is a Winner
TBS has depth. That is what makes them so dangerous and special. You never know who will step up and hurt you. Friday night, that person was 2022 Shane Peterson. Peterson has made a name for himself as a knockdown shooter for this TBS team. Watching them play several times this season, he always finds a way to make a big shot when his team needs it the most. He has done that time and time again. But what was most impressive with his play against South Granville was his ability to come up with timely plays on both sides of the ball. On the defensive end, he would come up with a steal or he would grab a rebound. After South Granville missed a three-pointer to win the game, Peterson grabbed the rebound, got fouled, and knocked down the two free throws to seal the game. On the offensive end, he is not just a shooter, although he does that extremely well. In the third quarter, he was huge for TBS as South Granville seemed to be taking control of the game. He drilled a three-pointer, then finished at the basket, and then later drove and kicked to Jamarii Thomas for the three-pointer. Plays like this is what makes him so valuable to a team. Simply put, he makes winning plays! Time and time again!
The Burlington School’s Depth
As mentioned above, the depth of TBS is what makes them special. You never know who will step up each night. Peterson and Thomas were the only ones to score in double digits, but the balanced attack from the rest of the team helped secure the win. Four players scored at least seven or more points, with another adding five points.
Senior Isaiah Escobar is another role player worth mentioning. He finished with nine points, seven of which were in the fourth quarter. He also has a knack for making timely plays and shots.
Kuluel Mading may have not had his normal night from a scoring and rebound perspective considering he was below his season averages of 14 points and 9 rebounds, but he impacted the game on the defensive end. Although he didn’t have any blocks on the night, he forced opponents to shoot difficult shots over his length at the rim. He stepped up in the fourth quarter as he scored four points, grabbed three rebounds and dished out an assist late in the game.
Freshman Kobe George is a young man that has a bright future ahead of him. He plays with confidence and poise beyond his young years. He is aggressive getting to the basket and finished through contact. He made a huge tip-in at the end of the third quarter to help regain the lead for TBS as they entered the fourth quarter. Plays like this helped swing the momentum back in their favor.
Junior Ryan Roberts also came up with some big plays throughout the game. In the second quarter, he had two steals on back-to-back possessions that led to baskets for a teammate and himself. He is also a consistent threat from the perimeter with his shooting ability.
Collin Tanner Continues to Impress
Collin Tanner continues to have an impressive junior season. He is scoring the ball at a high level all season, and that continued Friday night. Early in the first half when shots weren’t necessarily falling, he found a way to impact the game, finding teammates for assists and rebounding the basketball. Then in the third quarter, he exploded for eight points which was key in South Granville’s run to take the lead. He finished the game with 19 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 blocks. Look for Tanner to continue to play at a high level as South Granville makes a push at a deep state tournament run.
South Granville Got a Big Boost from Lureon Walker
Senior guard Lureon Walker came up big for South Granville. He finished the game with 10 points, 3 assists, and 1 rebound. He knocked down three three-pointers on the night. His outside shooting will be valuable for South Granville moving forward.