‘Road’ Warriors pull away from Northern, 80-55
Leo Brunelli likes his J.F. Webb team’s road uniforms, but he’s getting sick of looking at them. The Warriors played their fourth straight road game Tuesday at Northern Vance, winning 80-55, and travel to Chapel Hill Friday.
“I love them to death because I ordered them, but I’m really tired of it,” Brunelli said of the black threads. “It’s just been a grind. Hopefully we’ll be ready to play Friday night.”
Webb (18-3, 7-0 Carolina Conference) got a battle in the first half from a fired-up Northern squad, led by Le’Darius Brandon’s 25 points. Brandon nailed four 3-pointers in the first quarter and the Vikings led 20-14 entering the second period.
“Offensively, he definitely was the leader of our bunch,” said Northern coach Wilton Baskett. “He did a good job leading us offensively and leading the young kids.”
Webb’s Isaiah Hicks had four points after the first before exploding for a 14-point second quarter in the senior’s final trip to Henderson. He finished with 35 points, 14 rebounds, seven steals, and four blocks.
Still, the Vikings stayed close. Brandon hit another 3 with 50 seconds to play in the half before faking, taking a dribble and pulling up for a jumper to get the home team back within a point.
“They played extremely well,” Brunelli said of Northern. “These guys (Webb) need to truly understand that no one gives a flying flip what’s on their jersey. You don’t come to play, you’re going to get everyone’s best shot. The first half proved that. Northern played a completely different first half (than the previous game).”
The Warriors won that previous game 91-40 with the contest never in doubt.
Webb led 35-32 at halftime Tuesday before outscoring Northern 20-6 in the third quarter.
Hicks was too much for Northern to handle inside, scoring most of his second-half points on dunks and lay-ins. He did spot up for a third-quarter 3, one of only two made long-range shots for the Warriors.
“It’s a rivalry game,” said Brunelli. “And we have to make sure we get after it. It was a little disappointing early on, but I think we rebounded well.”
Devonte Williams added 14 points for Webb and Mitron Terry and Tyrek Beverly both had 10.
Tavin Moore added 14 points for the Vikings.
Baskett said the game was all about respectability for his team after the drubbing it took in Oxford.
“It definitely shows that our team is getting better and that we’re playing better,” he said.
Northern is 1-5 in league play and hosts Chapel Hill Wednesday.
Webb defeated Chapel Hill 56-35 in Oxford. The Tigers are playing at a deliberate pace this season, holding opponents to under 40 points per game.
The Warriors are unbeaten this season against NCHSAA teams. Two losses came to NCISAA opponents and the other to Shiloh High School of Snellville, Ga.
“Some teams that run are going to run and find out they can’t run with us,” said Brunelli. “Some teams are going to slow it down and they’re going to find out they can’t slow it down with us either. We’ve got a solid team and we’ll be ready for anything and everything.”
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