Published: Jan 22, 2012 02:00 AM
Modified: Jan 22, 2012 11:07 AM
CHAPEL HILL - Isaiah Hicks could make Oxford Webb the team to beat in the Carolina 3A Conference, but for now that team remains No. 1 Chapel Hill.
Hicks, a 6-8 University of North Carolina recruit who many regard as one of the nation's top power forwards, has been ineligible to play for Webb since he transferred back home in October from Raleigh's Body of Christ Academy. He hoped to have cleared all administrative hurdles and get back on the court for Granville County's second semester, but that had yet to happen by last Wednesday, when Webb faced Chapel Hill for a game to decide the leader of the Carolina 3A Conference.
The Warriors had to make do with only Hicks' best wishes from the stands and 20 points from K.J. Rogers. Chapel Hill countered with three players in double figures, led by Denzel Ingram's 26, in an 80-58 victory for the Tigers.
Anthony Vanhook added 13 and Stephen Himmelberg 12 for Chapel Hill (17-0, 3-0 conference).
Chapel Hill was itself without head coach Tod Morgan, who was with his wife Courtney after she had delivered their first daughter, Talley Grace, shortly after midnight Wednesday. Lason Perkins took over the CHHS lineup and is now 2-0 as an interim head coach.
"With all that was going on, the seniors really stepped up this week and got the team focused on tonight," Perkins said.
Perkins said the CHHS staff prepared practices with the thought that Hicks would play. Even without him, Webb (9-4, 2-1), had won six straight coming into Chapel Hill. The Warriors came out running and took an early lead, up to 15-6 after a 3-point basket by Becker Seifert. They were still ahead 18-14 after the second of two first-quarter treys by Rogers.
Ingram scored eight points in a span of 4:38 and assisted on two baskets to spark a 12-2 run that gave Chapel Hill the lead for good. Ingram's baseline jumper with 5:42 left in the first half put the Tigers up 28-22.
"We picked up the tempo after the first quarter," said Ingram, who finished with six assists. "We started a bit slow, but we got it going."
Brian Thornton's consecutive 3-pointers, 50 seconds apart, helped stretch Chapel Hill's margin to 48-39 in the third quarter.
Webb never again got closer than 50-45 at the start of the fourth quarter.
"Our game plan coming in was to push it and run," Perkins said. "At halftime, we kept talking about 'rebound and run ... rebound and run. We did that. We got some guys open, and Anthony (Vanhook) and A.G. (Andrew Grant) got them the ball. Credit to them for their unselfishness."
Ingram applied the coup de grace with three straight transition layups in an 8-0 mini-run, putting Chapel Hill up 64-51 with 4:34 to play. CHHS pulled away with another 12-2 run to end the game.
"Chapel Hill looked pretty good, didn't they?" Webb coach Leo Brunelli said. "We talked about stopping their transition, but we didn't do a very good job of that."
Brunelli said he was hopeful that Hicks will be available Feb. 3 when the Warriors host Chapel Hill. He was declared eligible Friday.
In Wednesday's girls game in Oxford, Chapel Hill got 14 points apeiece from Lila Scott and Arianne Jacobs to lead the tigers' balanced scoring in an easy 69-35 win.