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Northwood advances to regional basketball finals versus East Duplin

By Brent Cooper
Posted Friday, March 6, 2009

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Northwood to play Saturday at 5 p.m. versus East Duplin at Minges Coliseum on the campus of East Carolina University

Greenville, NC - The Northwood High School boys' basketball team rallied from a first half deficit to defeat the South Brunswick Cougars last night 53-46 to advance to the 2A Eastern Regional Finals Saturday night at Minges Coliseum on the campus of East Carolina University. The Chargers move on to face East Duplin who upset Mid State 2A Champion Burlington Cummings last night in the other Regional Semifinal, at 5pm Saturday again at Minges Coliseum on the campus of East Carolina University. The winner advances to the 2A State Championship game next Saturday at the Dean E. Smith Center at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Though the Chargers trailed by as many as 8 points in the first and second quarter, and 25-21 early in the second half, the Chargers never lost their composure and slowly took control of the game throughout the second half. Jake Houck tied the score on a three pointer at 27-27 with 4:27 left in the third quarter. Soon thereafter, Houck slapped the ball away from a Cougar player to Ridge Smith for a break away lay up that gave the Chargers a 29-27 lead that they never relinquished.

Ridge Smith led all Chargers with 21 points and 6 assists. Smith also connected on a three pointer at the end of the third quarter that gave the Chargers a 37-27 lead heading into the 4th quarter.

Senior Jake Houck added 18 points and a team high 5 steals, and three rebounds, two in the closing minutes of the game that helped seal the victory for the Chargers. Houck also connected on five of six free throws in the closing minutes to keep the Charger lead at a comfortable margin.

Senior Terrance Hackney continued to assert his dominating defensive presence inside as he scored 7 points, collected a team high 6 rebounds, blocked 3 shots, and dished out two assists while altering many other inside shots throughout the night. Hackney made a key defensive stop with 2:15 left blocking two shots and collecting a steal on the same play.

AJ Farmer added 4 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocks, as he kept the team in striking distance with outstanding first half play. Juan Young and Harold Baldwin played well defensively and assisted with ball handling responsibilities throughout the night.

Good luck to the Chargers as they look to advance to the 2A State Championship game with a victory Saturday afternoon. Thanks to all staff members, Varsity Cheerleaders, students, the Charger Nut House Student Fan Club, parents, AD Chandler Gray, Coach Hall, Coach Thomas, Coach Oakley, Coach Novak, Coach Hackney, Coach Bean, Mr. Blice, and Mr. Dixon for traveling to Greenville Thursday night in strong support of the Charger Basketball team.

 
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Northwood advances to regional basketball finals versus East Duplin
Ridge Smith led all Chargers with 21 points and 6 assists.
photo by Gene Galin
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