The Page Pirates had no trouble with East Forsyth last night beating the Eagles 72-57 to move on and face #1 Grimsley in the Metro 4-A boy’s championship on Friday night at the Bob Sawyer Gym. Grimsley ran into a buzz-saw early in their semifinal matchup with the Northwest Guilford Vikings. NWG led by Spencer Marzouk, Joe Graves, Chris Ford, and Pat McCarthy was hotter than a two dollar pistol, hotter than a firecracker on the Fourth of July at the Guilford Battleground Park, hotter than an egg frying on the sidewalk in Dustbowl, Arizona. NWG was hotter than their red uniforms and Marzouk got them going early with back-to-back threes to start the game and then Graves got hot and then it was Ford’s turn and even the big-man McCarthy was draining threes.
NWG hit 6 threes in the first quarter and led Grimlsey 20-15 at the end of quarter number one but the Whirlies out-scored NWG 11-3 take a 26-23 lead into the locker room at halftime. The Whirlies went on to win the game 59-48 but NWG did make a late third quarter/early fourth quarter run to cut the lead to 4 but Grimsley went on to close things out and now the Whirlies will face Page in the finals on Friday night. JB Beloved and Keith Manley had 13 points each for Grimsley. Christian Tonkins had 12 for the Whirlies but I was impressed with the job Tonkins did on the boards and his defensive rebounding in particular. David Dupont brought the ball up on offense and was very effective hitting key shots. Joe Graves stayed hot the entire game for NWG and paced the Vikings with 15 points. He hit three-point shots and even hit the three free throws when hit got fouled shooting a three. Remember Grimsley-Page on Friday night at 7:30.
Page got a superb effort from their big center Julius Brooks. Julius got off to good start and he was hitting inside bank shots off the glass from both sides of the basket and he was rebounding with the idea in mind to do something with the ball once he corralled it. Page led East Forsyth 18-11 and the end of the first quarter and then went up 33-20 at the half. The lead stayed at 13 after three periods 48-35 and the Pirates went on to win the game by 15, 72-57.
Luqman Tijani topped the Pirate effort with with 15 points and Julius had 14, while Deonte Maddox kicked in 12. Jordan Weethe had a couple of threes and AJ Finney did a solid job of getting the ball up the court quickly. Christian McCain gave Page strength inside and Mitchell Oates was part of the guard militia out front for Page.
Page loves to run the ball up and down in a hurry and Brooks will have to have another huge game scoring and rebounding in order for Page to beat Grimsley. Grimsley has yet to lose to a Metro 4-A team this season and only has three losses, to Ragsdale, Dudley, and West Forsyth. Page(15-11) has already lost twice to Grimsley(21-3) this year.
Also last night we had what could be considered two upsets in boy’s basketball. Northeast Guilford was at home but they had lost both games to Northern Guilford in 2007/2008, but last night NEG got the victory with a 67-65 win over the Nighthawks at NEG. NEG will now play Dudley in the Triad 3-A conference finals for the second consecutive season on Friday night at NEG. Dudley the #1 ranked 3-A team in the state whipped Western Guilford 72-57 behind freshman PJ Hairston’s 18 points to set up the championship game with NEG.
The other major upset was the Ragsdale boys losing to Asheboro 59-56. Ragsdale did the same thing last year, playing well all season long and then coming apart at the end. Wally Jones led the Tigers with 16. The Eastern Guilford boys lost in the semis to Reidsville 98-81 and the Wildcats had come into the game as the #1 seed.
In girl’s action, Southeast Guilford defeated Eastern Randolph 64-52 and now the Falcons face the Ragsdale Tigers tonight for the Mid-Piedmont 3-A conference title at Asheboro. Haley Hackett, Amy Beasley, Paris Alston, and Jazz Gibbs continue to play well for SEG. High Point Andrews knocked off Piedmont 3-A number one seed Southwest Guilford 67-65 and HPA moves on to the finals.
Tonight we have the Metro 4-A girl’s semifinals at Grimsley with #2 Page vs. #3 High Point Central at 6pm and then #1 Grimsley faces #4 NWG at 7:30. In the Triad 3-A at NEG you find #1 NEG vs. #4 Morehead at 6 and then #2 Dudley meets #3 Rockingham County at 7:30. In the North State 2-A girl’s championship game tonight it’s Eastern Guilford vs. Reidsville(Who must have upset #1 Reidsville? Not Southern, according to MJ Jenkins). We would assume this game will now be played in Reidsville, site of the #1 seed.
In the Piedmont Triad 3-A boys HP Andrews plays Reagan in the semis tonight at 6pm at HPA. The Greensboro Day School Bengals will open play today in the NCISAA state tournament with a 2:30pm contest at Raleigh Ravenscroft. The Bengals are the number two in the tourney.