Holtzman: Webb, KVA boys, Lady Raiders teams to watch in second half
The J.F. Webb and Kerr-Vance varsity boys basketball teams, along with the Southern Vance girls hoops team, were the big winners of the first half of the high school basketball season, which kicks back into full swing this week.
Webb is 10-3 and KVA and Southern are both 11-1.
The Warriors and Lady Raiders begin 3-A Carolina Conference play Friday as Webb hosts Cardinal Gibbons and Southern welcomes crosstown rival Northern Vance. KVA is at home Tuesday against Rocky Mount Academy in conference action.
Webb (10-3) breezed through its non-conference schedule, with the exception of an 81-75 win at Person, before recording losses at national tournaments in Columbia, S.C. and Raleigh over the holiday break.
The Warriors lost 62-54 to Shiloh High School of Snellville, Ga. in South Carolina before a 70-57 defeat to Raleigh’s Word of God and a 65-52 loss to High Point Christian at the HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational. Each opponent boasts at least two Division I recruits or prospects.
Webb lost three conference games a season ago. Two were to Chapel Hill and one was to Gibbons in Raleigh.
In their last meeting in the 2011-2012 season, Webb eliminated the Crusaders from the league tourney semifinals in Oxford on a halfcourt buzzer beater.
Gibbons’ MaxPreps.com page lists its record at 7-4 with losses to Broughton, Ravenscroft, Porter Ridge, and Brother Martin of New Orleans.
The Warriors’ second match against Gibbons is slated for Feb. 1.
Coach Tod Morgan and Chapel Hill appear to be coping well to life without Denzel Ingram, who is averaging 7.1 points per game at Charlotte. The Tigers are 10-3 with three losses to 4-A schools by a combined 11 points.
Chapel Hill has allowed more than 50 points just once this season in a loss to Hillside. The Tigers have held opponents to under 40 points seven times.
The Tigers and Warriors meet Jan. 22 in Oxford and Feb. 8 in Chapel Hill. Webb overcame Chapel Hill’s raucous student section twice with Isaiah Hicks in uniform last season, once in the conference tourney final and again in the state playoffs.
The Warriors’ two visits to Henderson are scheduled for Jan. 29 against Southern and Feb. 5 at Northern Vance.
KVA is 11-1 with its lone loss coming to Calvary Baptist, then ranked as one of the top teams in NCISAA 2-A. The Spartans will get another tough non-conference test Wednesday, hosting Zane Waterman and Fayetteville Academy.
Fayetteville Academy is rated fifth in 2-A. Waterman is a 6-foot-8 junior drawing looks from ACC and mid-major schools, according to the Fayetteville Observer.
The Lady Raiders are also 11-1. Southern lost 37-32 at Greensboro Smith earlier this season.
Southern’s biggest challenges will likely come from Chapel Hill (12-1). The Tigers’ loss came in a recent road match at unbeaten Northern Nash. The Raiders visit Chapel Hill Jan. 18 and host the Tigers Feb. 5.
Southern enters Friday’s contest against Northern as the favorite while the boys match promises to be an intense one that could come down to the wire.
Warren County, Crossroads Christian and Victory Christian are also in action Tuesday. Warren County hosts North Johnston, Crossroads is away at Cape Fear Christian and Victory is at home to Haliwa-Saponi Tribal School in non-conference action.
Norlina Christian returns to play Friday, hosting Garnett Christian.
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