Published: Feb 16, 2013 12:00 AM
Modified: Feb 15, 2013 11:28 PM
Moments after the end of Chapel Hill’s 48-36 win Friday over Cardinal Gibbons, Tiger head coach Sherry Norris was feeling far from triumphant.
“They were torturing me out there,” Norris said wearily. “It was like our first state championship. The girls just wouldn’t finish them off and kept stringing it out.”
Ranked No. 4 by the News & Observer, Chapel Hill (23-1 overall, 10-0 conference) won its second straight Carolina-6 title in girls’ basketball mostly thanks to its defense, sloppy as it was, and a 59-30 advantage in rebounding.
Chapel Hill started its five seniors, most of whom were used to coming off the bench, for their last regular-season game at home.
Jessica Wall led all scorers with 14 points for Chapel Hill.
Cardinal Gibbons took an early 4-0 lead and still led 9-8 at the end of the first quarter. Three-pointers by Jamella Smith and Wall put Chapel Hill in front 14-11 early in the second quarter, and the Tigers scored the half’s last six points to pull away for good.
The Tigers held No. 10-ranked Cardinal Gibbons (18-5, 8-2) to a single field goal in the first half and 4-for-39 shooting for the game. The Crusaders stayed in the game by going 28 for 39 at the line.
“We won,” but I’m not happy at all,” Norris said. “We just kept fouling those girls.”
Chapel Hill’s mistakes included fouling Cardinal Gibbons’s Olivia Smith on a 3-point attempt with 32 seconds left. Smith drained all three free throws and ended up with five points — all from the line.
Morgan Reid led Cardinal Gibbons with 10 points, despite being held to just two in the second half.
“If we could have hit a few baskets, then this would have been a different game,” Cardinal Gibbons coach Jessica Lowe said. “But we didn’t miss all those shots by ourselves. They played fantastic defense.”
The Crusaders succeeded in their mission to slow the tempo. Chapel Hill, which came into Friday averaging 70 points a game, was held to its lowest number of points in any win this year and the fewest since a 42-33 loss at North Nash.
Friday’s win was the Tigers’ 11th straight and guarantees them the No. 1 seed in next week’s Carolina-6 Conference tournament.Boys BasketballChapel Hill 55, Gibbons 44 RALEIGH
For the third year in a row Chapel Hill will finish at least tied for the regular-season championship in Carolina 3A Conference boys’ basketball after the Tigers closed out their schedule with a 55-44 win at Cardinal Gibbons.
Coach Tod Morgan’s squad is 20-4 overall and 9-1 in the league to tie Oxford Webb. Gibbons, which lost twice to both Webb and CHHS, took third place at 14-10 and 6-4.
“Another great year,” Morgan said. “Three straight 20-win seasons, three straight conference champs, I’m really proud of these kids.”
Webb and Chapel Hill get first-round byes in the conference tournament that starts Monday. Both will play Wednesday on their respective home courts in semifinal games.
Chapel Hill led most of the way, but Gibbons battled its way to a 25-24 lead early in the second half after a tap-in by Trevor Zaruba. But then the Tigers, led by senior Anthony Vanhook, scored the next eight points and led the rest of the way.
“That was absolutely disgusting,” Carrington said. “We took the lead and Vanhook made a great shot and they’re off to the races To beat Chapel Hill you’ve got to contain Vanhook and keep those guys off the boards. They didn’t shoot particularly well, but scored on second and third shots.”
Vanhook, a versatile player for the Tigers, ended the game with 18. Stephen Himmelberg added 10 for the Tigers.
“Vanhook does everything and somebody’s going to get steal with him on the college level because he’s been kind of under the radar,” Morgan said. “He’s starting to get some interest and he’s going to be a nice player for somebody.”
Gibbons had a balanced attack, led by Patrick Domville with 10, followed by Moses Morockie and Auston Burnette with nine each, and Zaruba with eight. David Justice, Correspondent
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