The South Granville Vikings capped off a 24-0 regular season with a thrilling 78-74 win over their rival Granville Central Panthers at home on Friday night. The Vikings, naturally, finish in first place in the Northern Carolina 1A/2A conference. Granville Central fell to 17-6 on the year including a 9-3 mark in conference play. The Panthers’ record represents slight growth from last year’s squad that went 17-7 in the regular season. In a game played in an incredible atmosphere, the two high-octane teams saw their offenses stall out of the gate. Both groups looked a bit out of sync early on, but the confidence came as the game wore on and shots started to fall. South Granville held a slim 16-15 lead after the first quarter. The Panthers kicked their compete level up a notch in the second, and were rewarded for it with a lead that grew to as many as six in the quarter before the Vikings cut it down to three at halftime.
Granville Central standout Terence Harcum was instrumental in helping his team take that lead, but the prolific scorer was held in check by the Vikings in the third quarter as he did not score a point in the frame. South Granville point guard Bobby Pettiford poured in the points in the third with 11 to help the Vikings regain control of the game. The Panthers continued to fight back in the fourth quarter, but eventually South Granville was able to extend its lead to double digits with under four minutes to play. Pettiford threw down two big-time dunks in the final minutes of the fourth quarter to put an exclamation point on the win. Harcum finished with 30 points to lead the way for the Panthers. J.J. Tilley also had a great night offensively with 14 points. Pettiford led all scorers with 32 points, while Micah Jones and Colin Tanner eached chipped in 13 points for the Vikings.
Both teams will take part in next week’s conference tournament, where there is a decent chance the two sides will meet again in Friday’s conference championship game.