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Northwood boys' basketball team advances to the state title game

By Brent Cooper
Posted Monday, March 9, 2009

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Greenville, NC - The Northwood High School boys basketball team advanced to the 2A State title game with a resounding 59-21 victory over East Duplin Saturday evening at Minges Coliseum on the campus of East Carolina University. The Chargers advance to face Shelby in the 2A State Title Game Saturday at 2:30 at the Dean E. Smith Center on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill. This is the Chargers second trip to the 2A State title game.

After leading 10-9 at the end of the first quarter, the Chargers outscored the Panthers 15-2 in the second quarter to build a 25-11 halftime lead despite several players sitting most of the second quarter on the bench in foul trouble. In their absence, Juan Young, Chris Forbes, and Damian Simmons contributed productively throughout the second quarter along with Jake Houck and Ridge Smith.

Eastern Regional MVP Jack Houck led a balanced scoring attack with 13 points, as he connected on three 3 pointers, one each in the first, second, and third quarters. Houck scored 7 points in the decisive second quarter where the Chargers built the lead they would never relinquish. Houck once again collected a team high 5 steals that often contributed to easy baskets for the Chargers.

Ridge Smith directed the Chargers' offense throughout as they amassed their insurmountable lead in the second quarter, as he dished out 2 of his team high 7 assists late in the second quarter that put the game out of reach early. Smith also scored 6 points, collected 4 rebounds, and snatched two steals on the night. Smith was also named to the All-Eastern Regional team.

Terrance Hackney continued to provide steady Senior leadership and to serve as a dominating force inside as he collected another double double, with 10 points and a team high 12 rebounds on the night, to go along with 2 blocked shots, two assists, and one steal. Hackney was also named to the All Eastern Regional team.

AJ Farmer had a great second half as he scored all of his 10 points in the second half, and collected 7 of his 8 rebounds in the second half. Farmer was the fourth and final Charger named to the All Eastern Regional team.

Juan Young also had a great game off the bench as he continued to provide tenacious defense and provided important contributions throughout the game, especially when filling in for Chargers in foul trouble in the second quarter. Young scored a personal tourney high 9 points and collected 8 rebounds, including an important 3 point play late in the first half that surged the Chargers to their large halftime lead. Harold Baldwin also continued to provide the intangible leadership that he has provided all season that is often not recognized in the stat sheets.

Reserve Senior Cameron Goodwin closed out the scoring with a 3 pointer late in the fourth quarter after several made free throws late by Tra' Chandler and Ryan Seymour. Ryan Seymour's defense in the final minutes of a game clearly in hand where he dove on multiple occasions for loose balls revealed Coach Frazier's emphasis throughout the season on strong, pressure defense and what good team defense can lead to for a talented basketball team.

In conclusion, all Chargers played at least three minutes in a game that serves as an excellent example of what a team can accomplish when working and playing together throughout a game and a season.

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Northwood boys' basketball team advances to the state title game
Eastern Regional MVP Jack Houck led a balanced scoring attack with 13 points.

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