Parrott boys fall, girls win on Senior Night
From left, Thomas Grubb, Matthew Huntley and William Hill played in their final game for Arendell Parrott on Senior Night Friday. Photo by William ‘Bud’ Hardy / Neuse News
Arendell Parrott Academy’s boys ran into a hot-shooting buzz saw, but the Patriots girls pulled away late to salvage a split on Senior Night at Ellis Simon Gymnasium.
The girls finished the contest on a 14-1 run to break open a close game and knock off Grace Christian 41-23.
The Patriots girls (10-10, 2-4 NCISAA 3A Eastern Plains Conference) led 27-22 with 4:52 remaining and converted 6-of-9 free throws (four by Mary Helen Hood) to build a workable margin.
A layup by Alex Melk off a nifty assist from Rachel Okonkwo made the score 32-23 with 3:19 to play and proved to be the coup de grace.
“We struggled offensively and won the game on the defensive end,” APA coach Kelly Johnson said. “Our press seemed to wear them down as the game progressed. Our defense helped generate some good scoring chances in the last four minutes.”
Ava Blair led the Patriot offense with 10 points, while Melk added 9.
Parrott led by two at halftime before widening the gap in the second half.
The Patriots graduate just one senior, Karmen Heath, who missed most of the season with a back injury.
“Karmen didn’t get to play much because of the injury, but she was an important part of this team,” Johnson said. “All season she was very supportive and used her experience to help our younger players. Her leadership was a tremendous asset.”
In the boys’ contest, not only did APA have no answer for Grace Christian’s 6-11 center Jaylon Gibson, but they also fell victim to an Eagles offense that connected on 15 of 24 shots in the first half to build a 38-14 lead at intermission.
Gibson scored 13 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, and blocked 4 shots in three quarters of action.
Britton Kilby tallied 19 to pace the Eagles, who scored the final 15 points of the first quarter to break open a 5-5 tie.
“They couldn’t miss in the first half and we couldn’t hit anything,” APA coach Dory Hines said. “That’s not a very good recipe for success.”
Although things evened out a bit in the second half, Grace still finished the contest 27-of-50 (54 percent) from the field.
The Patriots connected on just 15-of-53 field goal attempts, 28 percent, and were outrebounded 40-25.
Caleb Jones was the lone Patriot in double figures with 11.
A trio of seniors played their final game at Hugh Pollock Court: Matthew Huntley, William Hill, and Thomas Grubb.
All three contributed (Huntley 7 points, Grubb 4, and Hill 3).
“Great young men, all three,” Hines said. “It’s been a pleasure to coach them.”
Grace 20 18 21 11—70
Parrott 5 9 15 14—43
EAGLES—Britton Kilby 19, Jaylon Gibson 13, Matthew O’Connor 12, Lucas Pereira 10, Brown 6, Kaleta 3, Petaway 3, Anderson 2, Hukins 2.
PATRIOTS—Caleb Jones 11, Harrison 9, Huntley 7, Grubb 4, McLawhorn 3, Prado 3, Collins 3, Hill 3.
Grace 7 4 6 6—23
Parrott 11 2 12 16—41
EAGLES—Morris 7, Braswell 6, Tharrington 5, Swecker 3, Masemore 2.
PATRIOTS—Ava Blair 10, Melk 9, Okonkwo 8, Langston 8, Hood 6.