Ashe County High senior Zeb Richardson has been named to the Class 2-A All-State Team in men's basketball by N.C. Preps.com Richardson, has yet to sign to his national letter of intent to play college basketball last season, led the Huskies to a one of their best seasons in school history. Ashe County,
which won the regular-season championship in the Mountain Valley 1A/2A Conference, was 25-4
this season. The Huskies, who lost the MVC Tournament title to Wilkes Central, made it to the second round of the state playoffs before they were eliminated by Shelby.
Richardson averaged 15 points and ten rebounds a game for the Huskies this past seasson. He also blocked a school-record 136 shots. Richardson was named the Player of the Year in the MVC, and he will play in the Carolinas All-Star Basketball Classic next Saturday, March 17, in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
ROCKY MOUNT DEFEATS HICKORY TO WIN STATE TITLE
The Rocky Mount High men's basketball team, which dominated its opponents this season, staged a late rally and defeated Hickory 78-64 in the Class 3A state finals Saturday night at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill. Prior to Saturday's game, Rocky Mount's (27-3) closest game in the state playoffs was 14 points. Sophomore Dante Battle of the Gryphons was named the Most Outstanding Player. He had 20 points and 16 rebounds.
Hickory led by as many as 11 points in the second quarter, and despite a strong run by Rocky Mount to close out the first half, the Red Tornadoes (28-4) still led 32-29 at the break. But Rocky Mount responded. In the third quarter The Gryphons sparked an 11-0 run over 4:16 and outscored the Red Tornadoes, 22-13. After shooting 58 percent from behind the arc in the first half, Hickory shot 10-for-38 from the field in the second half, and turned over the ball a total of 20 times.
Darius Malbon led Hickory with 17 points; Jalen Byrd had 15 points.
Siler City-Jordan-Matthews (31-0) defeated Wilkes Central 56-39 in the women's Class 2A state title game at the Smith Center Saturday. The Eagles (31-2) only trailed 24-21 at halftime, but the Jets proceeded to out score Wilkes Central 35-18 in the second half. Wilkes Central turned the ball over 25 times, handing the Jets 29 points. The Jets opened up a 41-31 lead after three quarters and the lead grew to 16 points in the final stanza on a layup by Aquilla Mateen with six minutes left to play. The Jets owned their biggest lead at 20 points with 32 seconds to go. Mateen finished with 14 points; the Eagles never got any closer than 11 points in the fourth quarter.
Mylina Garner of the Jets led all scorers with 22 points; Paige Love, who will play at UNC-Asheville next season, led the Eagles with ten points. Katie Ryder had nine.
SATURDAY'S STATE CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES
WOMEN: BISHOP McGUINNESS 60, SOUTHSIDE 44
MEN: WINSTON-SALEM PREP 61, PLYMOUTH 49
WOMEN: JORDAN-MATTHEWS 56, WILKES CENTRAL 39
MEN: KINSTON 58, CUTHBERTSON 55
WOMEN: HARDING UNIVESITY 65, WALTER WILLIAMS 43
MEN: ROCKY MOUNT 78, HICKORY 64
WOMEN: RALEIGH-MILLBROOK 57, WEST FORSYTH 40
MEN: NEW HANOVER 67, WEST CHARLOTTE 56