Webb faces veteran Word of God team at Holiday Invitational

Dec. 27, 2012 @ 04:37 PM

J.F. Webb will meet Raleigh’s Word of God Friday at 9 p.m. after rolling over Clinton 88-67 in a first-round game Wednesday at the HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Hoops Invitational at Broughton High School.

Word of God advanced to the second round of the Shavlik Randolph Bracket by defeating Apex 58-47 Wednesday.

The Holy Rams have nine seniors, led by point guard Josh Newkirk, a Pittsburgh recruit. Newkirk had 16 in Wednesday’s win. Shane Whitfield, a 6-foot-7 Lehigh recruit, had 18 points to lead the team. 

“We’re going to have to play really well, especially offensively,” said Webb coach Leo Brunelli. “Better shot selection and we have to sprint back better.”

Mitron Terry and Isaiah Hicks combined to score 54 points in the Warriors’ win over 2-A Clinton. Terry had a game-high 30 points and Hicks finished with 24 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks.

Webb (10-1) entered the tourney on the heels of its first loss of the season, a 62-54 defeat in Columbia, S.C. to Shiloh High School of Snellville, Ga.

Brunelli said both the South Carolina showcase and games against rival Person prepared Webb for the standing room only atmosphere at Broughton.

“We tried to teach them from the beginning to play at the highest level possible. And this is it,” said Brunelli.

Terry scored 23 of his 30 in the second and fourth quarters, the majority of which came on slashes to the rim. He had one 3-pointer on the night.

“I think it’s a lot to do with them playing together and playing hard. Then it all takes care of itself,” Brunelli said of Terry’s improved play. “But the kid has a lot of talent, a lot of skill. Everyone is doing their part in our system right now. We try to find the advantage for us and the hot hand.”

Webb led 21-15 after the first quarter with Hicks held to four points. The North Carolina signee said he encourages his teammates to take advantage of open looks.

“If I don’t start it, they will,” Hicks said. “They pick me up, they make me better.”

Hicks had eight in the second quarter as the Warriors opened up a 44-31 halftime lead.

The highlight play of the night came with 5:38 to play in the game as Stefan Cates tossed a high lob up for Hicks in transition. Hicks soared above the defense and threw down and two-hand slam, igniting the crowd at Holliday Gymnasium.

Hicks fouled out with 2:44 left.

Tyrek Beverly joined Hicks and Terry in double figures with 15 points. Also scoring for Webb were Bryan Smith (8), Devonte Williams (5), Cates (4), and Desedric Downey (2).

Contact the writer at kholtzman@hendersondispatch.com.