Greene Central reaches third straight Regional, rolls past Hertford County

Greene Central reaches third straight Regional, rolls past Hertford County

Greene Central's Imajae Dodd skies for one of his five dunks in the Rams’ win over Hertford County in the fourth round of the NCHSAA 2A playoffs. Photo by William ‘Bud’ Hardy / Neuse News

SNOW HILL — Greene Central's first trip to the 2A Eastern Regional during its impressive run came against Hertford County, and history repeated itself Tuesday.

Behind big games from Imajae Dodd and B.J. Corbitt, the Rams overwhelmed the Bears 90-57 in the fourth round of the NCHSAA 2A playoffs. Greene Central (23-7) made its third straight trip to the Final Four, the first coming two years ago after a 62-42 win over Hertford County (19-11) at home.

The Rams dominated in the second and third quarter, allowing first-year head coach and former ECU star Blue Edwards an easy transition to Greenville Saturday. Dodd had 26 points, 11 rebounds and seven blocks with Corbitt adding 24 points.

"This program was already great (under Charles Harris) when I was given the reins, and the players have high standards," Edwards said. "Last year the team made the state championship and the year before that Regionals, so the only thing we're missing is another trip to the title game and win.

"We're in a great rhythm right now and we have to be just as good, if not better, if we're going to defeat Farmville Central Saturday."

The Bears kept the game close early, getting within 20-19 early in the second on a Jaheim Wiggins basket, but Kentrell Suggs responded with consecutive field goals to spark an 8-2 run. Dodd scored 16 in the first half, including a pair of monstorous slams, and Corbitt added 11. The junior point guard hit a 3-pointer as time expired in the second quarter to put Greene Central ahead 46-27 at the break.

"Last year I didn't get to play much, but this year I was looking to prove what I could do out there on the court," Corbitt said.

Greene Central shot 42 percent in the first quarter, but went 64 percent from the field in the final three. Corbitt had several impressive drives, Dodd added three big dunks, and Zakvil Smith and Donte Johnson threw down slams.

Defensively, the Rams held the Bears to 33 percent shooting in the contest.

"They're a quick team, so we had to switch up everything defensively," Dodd said. "After halftime, we came out with a lot of intensity, but hats off to them. They had a great season."

Greene Central went up by as many as 36 and Johnson recorded the 1,000th point in his career, connecting on a free throw with 2:23 remaining. 

"It's an amazing accomplishment," Johnson said. "It was a lot of work involved, but we pushed through. Me and the guys worked hard this season and I thank them for everything."

Saturday's matchup against Farmville Central will be the fourth between the teams. The undefeated Jaguars beat the Rams handily in the first meeting 65-45 on Nov. 30 at home, but the Rams kept it close in the rematches (72-64 on Dec. 7 in Snow Hill and 77-71 in overtime Dec. 28 at Greenville Rose.)

The time hasn't been set for the game as of Tuesday night; the NCHSAA will announce it on Wednesday.

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