High-flying Hicks wows crowd in Webb’s win over Northern
Saturday’s Northern Vance-J.F. Webb match evolved into an Isaiah Hicks slam dunk contest by the second quarter.
The Warriors (12-3, 2-0) rolled to a 91-40 win, led by Hicks’ 24 points, nine rebounds, eight blocks, and eight steals.
Hicks was held in check early on before a 10-point second quarter. The 6-foot-9 North Carolina recruit’s first real crowd-pleaser came in the same quarter with a two-hand throwdown on an alley-oop pass from Devonte Williams.
“Sometimes I look and it’s, ‘Did he just do that?’ I’m in awe, just like everyone else,” said Webb coach Leo Brunelli.
The perfect 10 came with 3:26 left in the third quarter on a fastbreak. Hicks took flight just a couple of steps after crossing the free throw line and landed a one-hand windmill jam. When he landed, he smiled as many in the crowd rose to their feet — or wandered from their seats in awe.
“And he does it with a smile on his face, even when he was getting pushed around physically,” said Brunelli. “That’s when you know you have a special kid.”
Hicks added another windmill flush just before exiting the game near the beginning of the fourth quarter. This time he guided the rock through the rim with both hands.
“In practice sometimes, I tell him, you know you’re not going for the 10, you’re going for the two points first,” said Brunelli. “Almost every time something like that happens, you reflect on how special of a kid you get the opportunity to coach.”
Northern coach Wilton Baskett said he was pleased with his team’s defense on Hicks in the first quarter.
“They did a decent job with him at first, but did nothing with the other guys,” said Baskett. “And the other guys did a good job of hurting us.”
Mitron Terry (13 points), Tyrek Beverly (12 points), Devonte Williams (11 points), and Stefan Cates (11 points) were also in double figures for the Warriors, who led 52-12 at halftime and scored the first 13 points of the third quarter.
“When we get five or six guys in double figures, that’s big,” Brunelli said. “That’s what we try to do offensively is everyone score it.”
Webb’s starters outscored Northern’s 71-5.
The Vikings’ second-teamers played well in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Warriors 21-20.
Jaleel Seward led Northern with 11 points and Tavin Moore had 10.
“I know he had his second unit in too, but I thought my second unit did a much better job of ball movement and that type of thing,” said Baskett.
Northern’s inexperienced group dropped to 0-2 in conference play.
“Leo has a very nice looking team. But I knew that before I got here,” said Baskett. “I didn’t need anybody to tell me that. We’re just not in that league right now. But it’s coming. Just not now.”
Webb plays against Mount Tabor in the 11th MLK Day Classic at the Greensboro Coliseum Monday at noon.
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