Let the battles begin: Webb goes back to work Friday
J.F. Webb resumes its quest for a Class 3-A state title tonight against Eastern Alamance at Fayetteville’s Crown Coliseum.
The fourth-seeded Warriors (24-5) knocked No. 1 Chapel Hill out of the third round last Friday to earn the Eastern Regional berth. Tonight’s game is scheduled to tip at 8:30 p.m.
No. 3 Eastern Alamance (25-5) is riding a 16-game win streak that included Mid-State Conference regular season and tourney titles. The Eagles set a school record for wins in a season (25), topping the 1991 state championship team.
Eastern Alamance had two early losses this season to Graham and Southern Alamance before dropping games to Western Alamance, George Washington (Danville, Va.), and Burlington Cummings.
Webb has two N.C. High School Athletic Association losses, both to league rival Chapel Hill. The other three defeats came in showcase tournaments to Shiloh High School of Snellville, Ga., Word of God Christian Academy and High Point Christian Academy. Each team boasts Division I recruits.
“I would put anybody in the state against what we’ve competed against,” said Warrior coach Leo Brunelli. “I’m very pleased with where we are as a basketball program right now and what we did to get here.”
Eastern Alamance got to the regionals on a miracle shot.
Diminutive, but dynamic playmaker Lamont Robinson, the Mid-State Player of the Year, converted a four-point play to send the third-round game at No. 2 Fayetteville Westover to overtime. The point guard then sank a halfcourt, buzzer-beating 3-pointer to send the Eagles back to Cumberland County.
No. 1 Rocky Mount (25-2) vs No. 3 West Craven (25-4) precedes the Webb-Eastern Alamance match, tipping at 7 p.m.
Both Rocky Mount and West Craven made the regional round a season ago.
“It’s a little more familiarity,” said West Craven coach Bryan Goehring. “Last year, everything was new to us. Logistics, how to get here, the planning. This year, there’s a little more comfort with it.”
“Whenever you get to playing this late in the season, all four teams are tough,” added Goehring. “Rocky Mount is the defending state champion. Then you have Webb with Isaiah Hicks, a Carolina recruit, and then Eastern Alamance, I think they’ve battled pretty tough to get here.”
And the battles to reach the state championship continue.
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