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BIG EAST ROUNDUP: Knights bested by Wilson Hunt in semifinals

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BY SAMUEL EVERS
Sports Writer

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

At the seven-minute mark of the fourth quarter on Wednesday night for the Northern Nash girls’ basketball team against Wilson Hunt, the game was either team’s to win.

A 3-pointer by NNHS’s Jadaysia Hedgepath had just tied the Big East Conference tournament semifinals at 40, but the Warriors were the ones who took control from there, responding with an 8-0 spurt to eventually beat the Knights, 58-46, at the Rocky Mount Event Center.

With the win, Hunt advances to the conference tournament finals at the RMEC at 6 p.m. on Friday against Rocky Mount High, which defeated Franklinton on Wednesday, 53-45, while the Knights’ up-and-down season will now depend on an at-large bid in the 3-A state tournament.

(Because both teams finished the regular conference season at 5-5, Northern Nash and Franklinton will play a third-place game Thursday at Rocky Mount High School at 6 p.m.)

The Warriors entered the game as the No. 1 seed. They had lost only one conference game all season, though that was to Northern Nash. In the other game against the Knights, Hunt only won by two points.

So, for coach Grover Battle, an upset was not out of the question. The Knights led, 14-9, after the first quarter and we’re only behind by three at half time, briefly grabbing a one-point lead in the third quarter before running out of gas midway through the fourth quarter.

“We just made some mistakes, we made some mistakes, but I think our kids grew up tonight,” Battle said. “We missed some easy baskets but I can’t fuss about my girls. They’re young, they’re sophomores and juniors.”

Girls 

The Rocky Mount High girls’ basketball team, playing in the Big East semifinals Wednesday night at Rocky Mount High, held on to beat Franklinton, 53-45, advancing to the conference finals against Wilson Hunt on Friday at the Rocky Mount Event Center.

In the victory, the Gryphons overcame a deficit after the first quarter and halftime. They trailed by six entering the third quarter but outscored the Red Rams in the second half, 31-17, to secure the trip to the conference finals.

Boys

Northern Nash 70, Wilson Hunt 61

The nine-point victory for the Knights on Wednesday night at the Rocky Mount Event Center clinched a spot in the Big East tournament championship game.

Wilson Fike 60, Southern Nash 46

With the victory, Wilson Fike moves to the Big East title game against Northern Nash at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at the Rocky Mount Event Center.

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