Roberts, Henderson lead Raiders to win
After picking up his third foul, Ty-Traveon Roberts was forced to sit nearly the last six minutes of the first half Saturday against N.C. School of Science and Math.
Roberts, Southern Vance’s leading scorer and rebounder, switched defensive assignments with Torian Henderson in the second half. That helped keep Roberts out of further foul trouble and the Raider senior shined on the offensive end, scoring eight consecutive points down the stretch in Southern’s 65-60 win.
“The team has to rally,” Southern head coach Greg Ackles said of Roberts’ first half substitution. “Somebody has to step up.”
Henderson did, finishing with 15 points and eight rebounds while guarding Justice Obasohan. While not completely dominant offensively, the versatile 6-foot-5 junior forward still had a huge night with 18 points, 17 rebounds, seven blocks, and five assists.
“Kid like that, you’re not going to stop,” said Ackles. “You just want to make everything hard. As long as he earns his points, we’re fine. He’s one of the best players in the conference.”
So is Roberts, who tallied 23 points and 10 rebounds. He nailed the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:26 to play before Henderson came up with a steal on the Unicorns’ ensuing possession. Henderson then hit Roberts in the same right corner for another triple.
Roberts nabbed a steal of his own with 1:55 left and scored at the basket to put Southern up 62-56.
Ackles said he expects Roberts to make those kind of plays and knows Roberts expects it too.
“Everybody has a job to do,” said Roberts. “I’m just trying to bring my job to the table.”
Roberts praised Henderson’s play in the post, where most of his points came.
Obasohan scored 10 of his 18 in the second half and nailed two 3-pointers in the third quarter.
“He’s tough. He’s a good basketball player,” said Henderson. “He can also dribble. To be that big, he’s a decent dribbler.”
Southern used an 11-0 run to erase an eight-point deficit in the third quarter and the Raiders trailed 30-29 at halftime.
Qualik Shearin also scored in double figures for Southern with 12 and Johnny Hawkins had seven points and 11 rebounds.
Southern improved to 6-5 in the 2-A Northern Carolina Conference and sits in fourth place behind Warren County, Bunn and Franklinton. Only the top three teams get automatic state playoff berths. Southern could also play its way into the playoffs by winning the conference tournament.
The Raiders host Warren County on Tuesday.
“We are scrapping at this point,” said Ackles. “We certainly dug ourselves a hole but I told them if you want to make the playoffs, you have to win games. That’s all you have to do.”
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