The Big East Conference has a new champion.
The Rocky Mount High girls’ basketball team won the conference regular season title after defeating rival Northern Nash, 46-42, on Friday at Northern Nash High School.
The Gryphons (19-4, 9-1) avoided any tiebreaker situations and earned the title outright. It was the first time RMH won the conference since it did so in the 2016-17 season. Wilson Hunt was denied a third consecutive crown, and finished in second place.
RMH’s only conference loss came against Hunt on Jan. 31 in a loss that at the time snapped a 15-game winning streak. Since that loss, the Gryphons won three straight games to close the regular season.
The Gryphons led 20-9 at one point in the second quarter, before Northern Nash cut the deficit to 20-18 at halftime. The Knights would grab a 37-33 lead in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t hang on. RMH scored the next six points, and never trailed again.
Northern Nash (16-6, 6-4) closes the regular season by winning three of its last four games.
North Johnston 50 Nash Central 40
The Bulldogs dropped an Eastern Plains Conference game on the road to finish the regular season.
It was the third game of the week for Nash Central (6-17, 2-8), which entered the game on a two-game winning streak.
Northern Nash 75 Rocky Mount High 61
The Knights took control in the second quarter and hung on for a home rivalry win.
Northern Nash (19-5, 7-3) pulled into a tie with RMH in the Big East standings, and avoided a season series sweep as RMH won the first contest. Each team won at home.
The Gryphons fell to 10-11, 7-3 with the loss.
Southern Nash 65 Franklinton 55
The Firebirds waited until the final game of the regular season before picking up their first Big East Conference win.
Southern Nash (7-13, 1-9) didn’t make it easy. The Firebirds fell behind by 17 points early in the game, before rallying to cut the deficit to six points at halftime. Michael Armstrong and Chason Royal each made 3-pointers to give Southern Nash a one-point lead into the fourth quarter.
Royal finished with 20 points, while teammate Jackson Vick added 15 in the win.
SouthWest Edgecombe 82 Wilson Beddingfield 64
The Cougars used a dominant third quarter to pull away in the second half of a road Eastern Plains Conference win.
SWE (18-5, 8-2) finished second in the conference behind unbeaten Farmville Central (22-2, 10-0).
3-A Individual Regional
Southern Nash’s Jose Rodriguez picked up a win by fall at 106 pound on Friday at the wrestling 3-A East Regional held at Cleveland High School. He lost his second match.
At 182, the Firebirds’ Jadel Davis had a bye through the first round, then picked up a win by fall. Davis is two wins on Saturday away from a berth in the first-place match. Terence Raspberry finds himself in a similar position just two wins away from a first-place match appearance. Raspberry, at 220 pounds, earned a win via fall after enjoying a bye in the first round.
At 170 pounds, Luke Coble went 1-1 and will have to win out on Saturday for a chance to reach the third-place match.
For Northern Nash, Garrett Williamson went 1-1 at 132 pounds, and will wrestle Topsail’s Robert Rouse on Saturday. At 138, Paul Powell won his first match by fall, then lost a major decision. Powell still has a chance at a berth in the third-place match on Saturday with three more wins.
Knights wrestler Kevin Gustace and Southern Nash’s Trondrayl Newsome will meet on Saturday. Each wrestler went 1-1 on Friday in the 195-pound bracket.