Headed Down Hicone Road

The new Guilford Great Eight polls will be out on Thursday, but Tuesday night the Northeast Guilford Rams made a statement that they want to move up in the rankings.  It was a sweep for the Rams over the Dudley Panthers and NEG was able to show that Dudley has some weaknesses and the Panther boys need to get to work in a hurry if they want to make it 3 in a row in the State title race.

Both NEG teams took out Dudley and in the girls game the Rams were led by Mercedes King who did it all for her squad during the curucial stages of the 4th quarter.  King hit nearly all of her free throws and she ran the point guard spot which allowed Mercedes to keep her hands on the ball.  NEG defeated Dudley 52-47 to grab the top spot in the Triad 3-A conference at 4-0 and the Panthers fell to 3-1.

Dudley was paced by Sierra Little, but Sierra continued her run in coach Kris Britton’s doghouse and SL spent much of the game on the bench, but still managed to score 17 points.  At 6’4, if Little decided she wanted to play hard the entire game then she could take over the game and own the opposition.  Fellow-senior Nikki Kee has also seen her playing time drop as her attitude has gone south and it makes you wonder if the Panthers can get it together again soon after two straight losses.

NEG’s girls on the other hand, seem to be playing with a positive flavor that comes from coach Wayne Stevens.  The Rams didn’t bring their “A” game to the Little Four Tournament but they are still battling hard in the conference wars. We mentioned Mercedes King and MK had scoring help versus Dudley from Talesa Milton and Je’Taime Stevens.  It was kind of a neat, end of the game touch, when the coach Wayne Stevens gave his daughter JT Stevens a big kiss on the forehead after the emotional win.  JT works hard and plays her heart out every night.  Great efforts by Shelley Reese, Deandre Murray, and Cecile Nettles as well for NEG.  Murray is a very reliable ball handler and can penetrate to the hoop.

For the NEG boys this was the first time that many Ram fans can ever remember Northeast beating Dudley.  Dudley beat NEG FIVE times last season.  Two times regular season, Little Four Tournament, Conference Finals, and Regional Finals.  Curtis Hunter and his NEG Rams are glad to have the monkey off of their backs or should we say the Panthers off their back.

NEG won it over Dudley in convincing fashion, taking it at home on Hicone Road, 60-48 vs. the Panthers.  NEG improves to 14-2 overall and 3-0 conference, while DHS goes to 3-1/10-3.  Dudley continues to need help from other sources besides Josh Chavis and Kenny Belton. KB had 18 and JC 17 and the next closest man had 4.  Dudley may need those Allen Middle Schoolers sooner than we thought.

NEG was led as always by Mezie Uzochukwu, but Markee Brown tied him for team honors with 21 points.  Uzochukwu will need to focus on his free throws or it will cost him in future games.  Early in the game NEG was playing Hack-a Shack on Kenny Belton and it kept Dudley out of order.  Late in the contest Dudley was forced to foul and NEG took advantage of numerous DHS turnovers.

Northeast has reached the top of a huge mountain by finally beating Dudley and now NEG will have to stay on top and Dudley will have to become the hunter as they chase after Curtis Hunter’s NEG Rams.

Several scouts from Guilford, Winston-Salem State, Lenior-Rhyne, and Greensboro College were in attendance.  Also at the game was NC A&T coach Jerry Eaves who shook hands and exchanged greetings with NEG coach Curtis Hunter before the game.  It is a bit ironic that Hunter was at A&T before Eaves took over the Aggie program and now Eaves is scouting Hunter’s NEG squad.