Greene Central falls to South Central in boys, girls matchups
Greene Central’s Imajae Dodd defends South Central’s Day’ron Sharpe during Tuesday’s contest. Photo by William “Bud” Hardy / Neuse News
SNOW HILL | Greene Central wanted the challenge, but South Central was ready.
The Falcons broke open a highly-touted game in the second half, defeating the Rams 92-61 Tuesday in a matchup of state powers. The 4A South Central (1-0) were undefeated heading into the NCHSAA Eastern Regionals last season and picked up where it left off against the 2A state runner-up in Greene Central (1-1).
“I’m proud of the effort for the first game,” South Central coach Chris Cherry said. “We’ve got a long way to go, but we’ll continue getting better. We’ve got a lot of high goals (this year) and we’re just taking it one practice and game at a time.”
Shykeim Phillips started strong for the Falcons, scoring six points during a 9-3 run to start the contest. The Rams pulled within 11-10 late in the first after a Jekael Gay 3-pointer, but Travon Ward countered with a perimeter basket to spark an 11-2 run, punctuated by Day’ron Sharpe’s 3-point play to start the second quarter, to push the advantage to 10.
The Falcons amped up their defense in the second quarter, forcing 12 Rams turnovers and showcasing their abilities in front of a packed house at The Ram Pen.
We knew it was going to be a big crowd, so we needed to focus and do what our coaches told us in practice,” Phillips said. “If we executed, we knew we could come out with a win.”
Phillips would score 21 points and Sharpe would have a game-high 24, including a 3-pointer as time expired to put South Central ahead 47-28 heading toward intermission.
“It just gave us momentum coming from halftime,” Sharpe said. “My shot wasn’t falling (early) and I was able to get my confidence to shoot more.”
Greene Central wouldn’t get within 18 for the remainder of the contest as South Central pushed its advantage to 38. The scheduled doesn’t get easier for the Rams with a trip to the Jaguar Den Friday to face Farmville Central, but Coach Blue Edwards said the team will learn from its mistakes.
“Too many times, the ballhandler tried to beat the press all by themselves,” Edwards said. “When you do not get enough ball movement against a team that good with those players — when you try to force it, they are right there to capitalize. We will face pressure (later on in the season) and we should be able to handle it better because of tonight.”
In the girls’ game, with the exception of one strong Greene Central moment, South Central dominated in a 62-11 victory.
The Falcons (1-0) scored the game’s first eight points before Aaliyah Davis hit a free throw to put the Rams on the board, scored on a putback after missing the second at the line, then had another basket after a steal. South Central would go on a 16-0 run and while DiZiya Thompson’s 3-pointer ended it with 2:48 left in the first, it would be Greene Central’s last points for 21:30.
The Falcons would go on a 35-0 run from there and took a 48-8 lead into halftime, spurring a running clock. Kaliya Sutton’s basket came with 4:42 remaining in the game for Greene Central to break the drought, but South Central had full control.
Friday’s contest with Farmville Central is slated to start at 6 p.m. for the girls’ game and the boys to tip off approximately 90 minutes afterwards.
SOUTH CENTRAL 92, GREENE CENTRAL 61
SC 19 28 24 21 — 92
GC 12 16 10 23 — 61
SOUTH CENTRAL — Day’ron Sharpe 24, Shykeim Phillips 21, Jahzeer Baker 13, Howvante Hutcherson 13, Lewis 7, Ward 6, Jones 4, Thompson 3, Vann 1.
GREENE CENTRAL — Imajae Dodd 20, Jekael Gay 16, Corbitt 8, Hudson 7, Johnson 6, Taylor 2, Pridgen 2
Fouled out: None.
Technical fouls: SC — Phillips. GC — Corbitt.
Three-pointers: SC — Sharpe 2, Ward 2, Phillips, Hutcherson, Baker, Thompson. GC — Gay 4, Hudson.
SOUTH CENTRAL 62, GREENE CENTRAL 11
SC 30 18 4 10 — 62
GC 8 0 0 3 — 11
SOUTH CENTRAL — Ninevah Reddick 12, Mewborn 7, Jordan 7, Flo 6, Johnson 6, Wallace 6, Smith 4, Friend 4, Chen 4, Roach 2, Evans 2, Whitfield 2
GREENE CENTRAL — Davis 5, Sutton 3, Thompson 3
Fouled out: None.
Technical fouls: None.
Three-pointers: SC — Jordan 2, Mewborn. GC — Thompson.