Carrboro turns back Chargers for Carolina 12 crown
Northwood, with the benefit of playing on its home floor even as the lower-seeded squad, gave top-seeded Carrboro (22-3) a major test down to the last couple minutes but the Jaguars completed a perfect season through the Carolina 12 with a 63-55 victory in the tournament final Friday night.
Trailing by a bucket going to the last quarter, the Jaguars opened the period with seven straight points and, even as the Chargers worked back within a one-possession game on a couple of occasions, Carrboro held off the Chargers (16-10) for the third time this season.
Carrboro bolted in front with an 11-0 run, for an 11-3 lead, in the first quarter. The Chargers had a bigger answer opening the second period with a 12-0 run.
Point guard Aumad Walker drained a three, then faked a three and drove in for a tough lay-up through contact for a 16-15 Northwood lead. Ti Pinnix's three-point play on a drive to the hoop made it 21-15 Chargers. Northwood held a 27-21 halftime lead as Walker scored 16 points in the half.
Carrboro rallied to tie the game, 31-31, on Trai Sharp's three-pointer, then move ahead, 35-33, on Marlin Johnson's jumper in the paint.
Momentum swings, with each side of Northwood's gym feeling the swings, continued so the Chargers had the next one. Walker banked in a three for a 36-35 Charger edge followed up with Kadarus Rone finishing a wild scramble of back-and-forth steals with a driving basket.
A 7-0 Jaguar lead in the first 1:33 of the fourth period switched the lead for good. A Walker three-pointer brought the Chargers within a 55-53 deficit as the clock ticked under four minutes. Carrboro got the next five points though and Northwood didn't get within a chance to tie or lead again.
Carrboro had a balanced offensive attack with junior center James Scott getting 15 points and nine boards. Johnson had 14 points, Sharp had 12, McLean Phipps had nine and Matt McKinnon had eight points. Phipps added seven assists as well.
Walker finished with 26 points, including four three-pointers, for the Chargers. Pinnix scored 11 points and had four assists. Elijah Washington had 10 points and eight rebounds.
Northwood, as the No. 2 seed out of the 2A Carolina 12, will be in the NCHSAA 2A State Tournament which starts Monday night.