Basketball Rewind — NCC Tournament Finals + State Playoff Brackets

There weren’t surprises in the Northeastern Coastal Conference tournament finals on Friday at Hertford County.

No. 1 Bertie earned the girls championship as the Lady Falcons defeated No. 2 Currituck 38-31.

Currituck tried to slow down Bertie for most of the game, but the Lady Falcons outscored the Lady Knights 14-5 in the second quarter.

That burst of points by the Lady Falcons proved to be the difference.

In the boys final, Northeastern’s Damar Sutton led the Eagles with 18 points to secure the tournament championship with a 55-47 victory against Hertford County.

The Eagles complete conference play with a 12-0 regular season record with a 2-0 mark in the tournament.

Playoff Brackets
The NCHSAA released the brackets for the 2016 tournament for the boys and girls on Saturday.

First-round games begin on Tuesday.

BOYS

Northeastern and Pasquotank earned spots in the 2A playoffs, while Camden and Perquimans earned spots in the 1A playoffs.

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GIRLS

Currituck, Edenton and Pasquotank will compete in the 2A playoffs, while Camden and Perquimans will both be on the road to begin the 1A playoffs.

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Northeastern boys survives First Flight in NCC basketball semifinal

The Northeastern boys basketball team weathered a furious First Flight run in the second half to hold off the Nighthawks 55-52 in a Northeastern Coastal Conference tournament semifinal on Thursday night.

Trailing by three with seconds remaining, First Flight’s Blaiz Rodman missed a potential game tying 3-pointer as time expired.

With the win, NHS (22-2) advanced to the NCC final today against No. 2 seed Hertford County.

Leading 36-19 in the third quarter, it appeared the Eagles were set to cruise to another conference win, but the Nighthawks got rolling.

First Flight went on an 16-2 run to end the third quarter trailing 38-35.

Northeastern led 32-15 at halftime.

Most of the shots that the Nighthawks made were not the custom 3-point barrage, but by getting inside the paint.

Jack Konstanzer, Devan Rodman and Devyn Dodson carried the scoring load for First Flight (17-8) in the final two quarters.

Devan Rodman, who scored 12 points in the contest, cut the Northeastern lead to 42-40 after a drive and layup in the paint.

Konstanzer finished with 18 points, while Dodson added 11 for the No. 4 seed Nighthawks.

It was a subpar performance on the defensive end for Northeastern coach Ronald Nixon.

“We didn’t do a good job of closing out,” Nixon said.

The coach added that not rebounding and miscommunication on defense led to second-chance opportunities for First Flight.

The NHS offense struggled in the final two periods.

“The difference was that we were not knocking down shots,” Nixon said.

Northeastern — the No. 1 seed in the tournament — scored six points in the third quarter.

With the lead slowing slipping away, Trey Carver, Damar Sutton and Trevon Lamb scored key baskets down the stretch to help guide NHS to the win.

“They did a great job of attacking the basket,” Nixon said. “We are an inside-out team.”

Sutton led NHS with 14 points, while Carver followed with 13 and Lamb added 10.

In the third, Northeastern’s Shawn Walker Jr. fell hard to the floor after a basket and landed on his shoulder.

After a few minutes on the floor, the freshman walked back to the NHS locker room.

Nixon said that Walker sustained a shoulder bruise and added the point guard is questionable vs. Hertford County.

Malcolm Shields

Reports: ECSU targets Savannah State coach to lead Vikings in football

Elizabeth City State’s voyage in selecting its next coach could be near the end.

Television station WJCL in Savannah, Georgia reported Friday that Savannah State head football coach Earnest Wilson III was offered the same position by Elizabeth City State.

The station reports that Wilson plans to make his decision within the next 24 hours.

ECSU athletic director Derrick Johnson said Friday that the report that ECSU offered the job to Wilson was false.

“We are nearing the final stages of our search,” Johnson said. “Nothing has been offered to anyone.”

In three seasons leading the Tigers, Wilson compiled a 2-32 record. Savannah State was 1-9 overall and 1-7 in the Division I FCS Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

Savannah State posted a 0-12 record in 2014.

The Tigers snapped a 24-game losing streak by beating Florida A&M 37-27 last October.

If Wilson indeed is the pick for ECSU, those who know of Wilson say that he kept Savannah State players out of trouble.

Wilson’s hire would be approaching 100 days since ECSU fired Waverly Tillar as football coach in November.

Tillar compiled a 69-68 record in 13 season leading the Vikings.

The Vikings finished the regular season losing three of their final four CIAA games.

It was a part of a downward trend where the Vikings had three consecutive losing seasons, in which ECSU went 12-17.

Before leading the Tigers, Wilson was the offensive coordinator at Hampton and Jackson State.

Wilson has Division I experience as the running backs coach and recruiting coordinator at New Mexico State for five seasons.

Before his time with the Aggies, Wilson was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Benedict College from 2003-2004.

Wilson was at Benedict during the same time Johnson served as the head baseball coach at Benedict.

With the rumors swirling, ECSU offensive lineman Avery Wright is focused more on the team than the next coach.

“We the players are ready to win,” Wright said. “It’s more than a team with us it’s a family. We’re planning to dominate the CIAA no matter what the circumstances, we believe in us that’s all we need.”

For Wright it was not difficult for him to remain focus during offseason training, while not knowing who would lead the Vikings on the gridiron in the fall.

“As a leader I lead my team to push through each workout,” he said. “They push me to go harder. The way I described the team as is a brotherhood.”

Malcolm Shields

Basketball Rewind — Bertie at Northeastern

The top two teams in the Northeastern Coastal Conference were at Northeastern on Tuesday.

The NHS boys and the Bertie girls basketball teams were atop of the league entering their respective contests.

In the boys contest, Northeastern cruised to an 87-69 win over Bertie.

The Eagles (20-2, 11-0 NCC)  clinched the Northeastern Coastal Conference regular season title and moved one step closer to an undefeated conference regular season.

The Lady Eagles rallied in the fourth quarter but fell to the Lady Falcons 45-40.

The NHS boys and girls conclude their regular season schedules Friday against Pasquotank at the Vaughan Center on the campus of Elizabeth City State.

NCC wrestling tournament at Edenton

Currituck won the Northeastern Coastal Conference individual wrestling tournament on Saturday at Edenton. The Knights had 10 wrestlers reach final matches in their respective weight classes.

The Aces finished second, followed by First Flight, Northeastern, Pasquotank and Hertford County. Read more in Monday’s Daily Advance.

Here’s video of Pasquotank’s pep talk before the finals.

The tournament’s most outstanding wrestler, Currituck’s P.J. Connors, in a semifinal match at 160 pounds. He went on to win the final in 51 seconds.

Northeastern’s Javiaughn Basnight winning at 120:

Edenton also got a visit from alum J.W. Bass, a state champion at 145 pounds in 1996. He awarded medals to current Aces wrestlers (l-r) Jarvy Thomas (285) and P.J. Bunch (220).

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