CARRBORO — East Chapel Hill learned some tough lessons the first time it played Carrboro this season, and the Wildcats put them to good use Friday to earn a sweep in girls and boys basketball.
East’s girls, led by 25 points from Ali Cyr-Scully, downed Carrboro 59-54 in overtime. The Wildcats won the boys’ game in easier fashion, 68-41.
When the boys’ teams met last month at Wildcat Gym, Carrboro (5-3) ran past East (5-4) and won by 21 points.
“We wanted to return the favor,” East coach Ray Hartsfield said. “The kids were focused on that, because they knew we were playing a really good team.”
In their first meeting, Carrboro had hit 8 of 19 shots from beyond the arc.
“We didn’t have another game this week, so we had a lot of time to talk about not being passive in our zone and getting out on their shooters. They like to shoot the three,” Harstfield said. “Our kids did a good job of that, and that frustrated them some, especially in the first quarter.”
The second prong of East Chapel Hill’s strategy was to get 6-7 Lawyer Dallas to match up tighter on Carrboro’s 6-7 James Scott.
In the first meeting, Scott had 8 points and a game-high 8 rebounds. More importantly, he was the pivot around which Carrboro ran its offense.
“We did not want James to get a lot of touches,” Hartsfield said. “He’s their distributor in the paint. Lawyer did a good job making sure James couldn’t give them an outlet to the post.”
Friday at Carrboro, with the middle clogged and with the quick 3-pointers now being contested, the Wildcats led wire-to-wire. They jumped out to a 12-0 lead, which grew to 25-9 after Tykeem Woodard laid in a transition basket with 2:17 left in the first half.
A Dallas basket with 2:40 left in the third made it a 40-17 lead, and he scored three consecutive baskets in a 10-0 East run in the fourth. He finished with 16 points and 15 boards total.
Dallas produced 12 points and 9 rebounds in the final two quarters, helping the Wildcats get 26 second-chance points for the game.
Arkavious Parks scored 13 second-half points to total a game-high 18.
Despite the special attention he received on defense, Scott still managed to score 11 points to lead Carrboro.
Girls: Carrboro rally falls short
East Chapel Hill coach Michelle Wood thought for while Friday night she would be able to enjoy the second half of her Wildcats’ win.
“We had to show some heart, and we stuck with it,” said Wood, her voice hoarse after the ‘Cat’s 59-55 overtime win. “We didn’t do everything right, but we were able to fix what we did wrong.”
Led by 11 first-half points from Ali Cyr-Scully and another 9 from Grace Haley — all on three 3-pointers — East Chapel Hill (4-3) led 24-11 at the break. The margin grew to 41-26 late in the third quarter.
Still down 45-32 after East’s Sarah Towne laid in a basket from the baseline with 6:03 to play, Carrboro (1-8) fought back with a 11-0 run, keyed by 7 points from Camille Gallagher. It stayed a one-possession game for the rest of regulation.
“When they went to a zone, we became a little stagnant,” Wood said. “That’s partly my mistake. I told the players to work the ball around and milk the clock. That wasn’t good for our shooting.”
Cyr-Scully put East up 53-50 with 16.5 seconds left by hitting both ends of a one-and-one.
After Carrboro called two timeouts to avoid turning over its final possession of the fourth quarter, Gallagher nailed a 3-pointer from just right of the key with one-tenth of a second left on the clock to send the game into overtime tied at 53.
The extra period proved anti-climatic, as the Jaguars turned over six of their next seven possessions. East hit 6-of-10 free throws, four straight by Cyr-Scully, to ice the win.
T.J. Johnson and Haley each finished with 11 points for East, while Gallagher led Carrboro with 16. Katherine Wood added 15 points and Carrie Davis 11 for the Jaguars.
“Just mentally learning to handle that pressure when it gets close is very important,” said Michelle Wood. “Ali and T.J. hit some big free throws late that were crucial.”