NCHSAA 2A Basketball:
Published: Mar 03, 2013 11:15 AM
Modified: Mar 03, 2013 11:16 AM
CARRBORO - James Scott can recall the first Carrboro High School varsity basketball he attended.
“I remember coming here to watch a game when I was an eighth-grader, and we got smashed by 35,” Scott said. But by the time he was a freshman on the Jaguars’ junior varsity, “the varsity was beginning to turn it around.”
Carrboro earned its first playoff berth that year. Now, three years later, Carrboro is the best team in the Carolina-12 Conference.
Seeded No. 2 in the N.C. High School Athletics Association 2A East playoff, Carrboro defeated Durham School of the Arts 80-72 in the tournament’s opening round on Monday.
That same night, No. 4-seeded Bunn also eliminated the 13th-seeded Carrboro girls team with a 74-53 win at home in the first round of the state playoffs.
Even after the boys’ upset loss to No. 7 seeded Bunn, 67-65 Wednesday night, no one could take away Carrboro’s undefeated run through the Carolina-12 and a record-setting year for the Jaguars.
Carrboro (24-4 overall, 16-0 Carolina Conference) finished with a program record for wins and its first Carolina-12 championship in basketball.
“It definitely was a great year,” Scott said.
Scott, who is a 6-5 senior, and senior point guard Mclean Phipps will share Carolina-12 player-of-the-year honors this year. They are joined on the all-conference team by fellow Jaguars Trai Sharp and Matt Mackinnon. Marlin Johnson earned honorable mention.
“Of course, we wanted to go farther,” Scott said. “Give it to Bunn. They played their hearts out, and they were the better team on the court that night.”
Falling behind early in Wednesday’s second-round playoff game, Carrboro spent most of the first half fighting to get back within 36-33 by halftime.
The see-saw second half was marked by multiple ties and lead changes up to the final seconds.
Johnson hit two free throws to put Carrboro ahead 65-64 with 18 seconds left to play. But Bunn’s top scorer, DeShawn High, hit a backdoor layup with eight seconds left to put the Wildcats up 66-65.
Carrboro quickly worked the ball up court, but its last shot rimmed out. Bunn rebounded the miss with 1.2 seconds remaining and then hit one of two free throws to secure the win.
High ended up with 26 points. McLean recorded a double-double with 19 points and 10 assists. Sharp added 22 points and Johnson 14.
“I’m most definitely proud of this team,” head coach John Alcox said. “To date, it’s the best season in Carrboro basketball history.
“It was big to win the conference and to go undefeated in conference – that was gravy. But it was still nice to win to win the conference tournament and be one the teams talked about as one of the front-runners, because I was here in the beginning, when teams were lining up to play us because they saw it as an easy win. Now we’ve grown to the point that we’re competitive with anyone. It’s good to see.”