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AREA ROUNDUP: Lady Panthers hold off South Johnston, 40-36

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KENLY — The North Johnston High varsity girls basketball team survived a fourth-quarter push from South Johnston on Thursday night in prevailing, 40-36.

The 2-A Eastern Plains Conference Lady Panthers (4-2) never trailed, but when the 3-A Greater Neuse River Conference Lady Trojans (0-8) began to face guard and deny senior point guard Jordyn Scott, they slowed down North Johnston’s attack. 

The defense of Scott — who finished with 23 points and eight steals — allowed the Lady Trojans to get within three, 39-36, with 40 seconds left. But missed layups and free throws plagued South Johnston, allowing North Johnston to prevail.

“What you saw tonight is a young team still learning time and score situations,” North Johnston head coach Jay Poole said. “We would be in a situation where we need to run some clock, but we would get impatient and the first open look would be taken. This is definitely something we can build on and learn from. You can learn from losses, but it’s nicer to learn from wins.”

Arial Pearce was the second-leading scorer for the Lady Panthers with five points. Imoni Hines had five points and a team-leading nine rebounds. Nykia Blue had four points and Lindsey Massengill had three points. Emma Jernigan paced the Lady Trojans with 12 points. 

SOUTH JOHNSTON (36)

Jernigan 12, Ward 7, McDonald 6, Byrd 5, Lee, Brown 2, Blackmon 1.

NORTH JOHNSTON (40)

Scott 23, Pearce 5, Hines 5, Blue 4, Massengill 3.

Score by quarters:

South Johnston 8 9 10 9 36

North Johnston 13 13 8 6 40

BOYS BASKETBALL

Defense not enough in Panthers’ loss

KENLY — A solid defensive performance was not enough to enable the host North Johnston High varsity boys basketball team to end county rival South Johnston’s unbeaten run Thursday night.

South Johnston of the 3-A Greater Neuse River Conference climbed to 8-0 with a 55-40 triumph against the Panthers of the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference. North Johnston dropped to 3-3.

North Johnston struggled offensively with a season-low 40 points. Panthers head coach Chris Batten iterated that, defensively, his team is ahead of schedule, but the offense is a bit behind.

“If you hold a team to 50 points, then, you should win the basketball game,” Batten said. “I felt like we played well enough defensively to win the basketball game. We struggle seeing the right pass and, tonight, it really showed.”

Justin Vann emerged North Johnston’s top scorer with 11 points. Savon Foye netted nine points.

SOUTH JOHNSTON (55)

Thornton 20, Ray 19, Norris 5, Blackman 4, Honeycutt 3, Raynor 3, Webster 1.

NORTH JOHNSTON (40)

Vann 11, Foye 9, Hinnant 7, Pitts 7, Lucas 4, York 2.

Score by quarters:

South Johnston 12 13 12 18 55

North Johnston 10 8 10 12 40

WRESTLING

Falcons settle for two quad victories

PIKEVILLE — The annual Terry Pilkington Duals transformed into a quadrangular match in the Charles B. Aycock High gym Thursday night, but the host CBA wrestling team made the best of the situation by notching two wins against one loss.

Golden Falcons coach Brian Doyle explained the Duals usually attract six teams and a full round-robin format. But with numerous teams unable to attend because of testing, the event became a quad match with no team trophy presented.

CBA responded by edging Southern Nash, 37-36; bowed 42-39 to D.H. Conley and dominated undermanned North Johnston of the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference, 63-12.

CBA and Conley are 3-A members of the 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference and Southern Nash plays in the 3-A Big East Conference.

CBA seniors Torrence Franklin, Alex Soroka Jr. and Tyler Hughes and sophomore Omar Tucker each emerged undefeated in three tests. Finishing 2-1 were juniors Canon Barrett and Mikhael Riser and sophomore Turner Bass.

With a 14-8 record, the Falcons visit county rival Rosewood on Thursday, Dec. 27, for a tri-match with Rosewood and Ayden-Grifton. On Dec. 28, CBA hosts the Falcon Invitational with individuals from 18 teams expected to compete.

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