Lady Vikings get No. 1 Chapel Hill in state quarters
Union Pines will try to continue its run through the NCHSAA 3A girls basketball state tournament against its staunchest test yet, top-seeded Chapel Hill, at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at Crown Coliseum.
Fayetteville's Crown Coliseum and Crown Arena will be the venues for five nights of the Eastern Region semifinals and finals (state quarterfinals and semifinals) Tuesday-Saturday. Greensboro is hosting the Western Region games in all four NCHSAA classes.
The eight state championship basketball games will be played March 15; four at North Carolina's Dean E. Smith Center and four at North Carolina State's Reynolds Coliseum . The 3A girls basketball final is set for 5 p.m. March 15 at the Smith Center.
No. 4-seeded Union Pines (24-4), the regular-season champion of the Cape Fear Valley Conference, advanced through three home victories last week.
The Lady Vikings defeated Southern Durham 64-47 in the first round on Monday. Sophomore guard Maresa Smith scored 12 points as seniors Tiffany Hicks and Lexie Coxe added 11 points each.
The next two rounds, on Wednesday and Friday nights, were tighter. Union Pines trailed 27-22 at halftime before rallying to beat Havelock 48-43. Freshman point guard Nyona Shields led UP with 15 points.
In the third round, sophomore center Stephanie Johnson scored 20 points and the Lady Vikings held off Rocky Mount's run in the fourth quarter, from 11 down beginning the period to as close as four points with a little more than five minutes left, for a 62-56 victory.
Meanwhile, undefeated Chapel Hill, champion of the Big Eight Conference, defeated Topsail 77-17 in the opening round, routed Swansboro 59-13 in the second round and beat No. 9 Northern Guilford 58-34 in the round of 16.
No. 3 West Craven (26-1) and No. 2 Northern Nash (26-1) will play the first regional semifinal/state quarterfinal at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Crown Coliseum.