Webb withstands rally in Greensboro, hands Mount Tabor first loss

Jan. 21, 2013 @ 08:24 PM

J.F. Webb’s Isaiah Hicks told his teammates in the second half to keep their composure, that they were just as good as Mount Tabor, a 4-A school that entered Monday’s match ranked 22nd nationally by MaxPreps.com.

Hicks was limited to two points in the second half, as Webb, up 40-22 at halftime, withstood a furious Mount Tabor comeback.

Tyrek Beverly and Stefan Cates came up with crucial points at critical moments as the Warriors (13-3) held off the charge, 64-63, in a high noon tilt at the 11th MLK Day Scholastic Classic in the Greensboro Coliseum.

“He told us he needed us to step up and finish the game,” Beverly said.

“Thank God they did,” said Hicks. “I got tired in the second half and they stepped up and played hard.”

Hicks finished with 18 points, 12 blocks and seven rebounds.

Facing full-court pressure, Webb turned the ball over with 6.9 seconds left in the game.

Mount Tabor point guard Matthew Madigan, a Brown recruit, missed a 3-pointer from the right wing with less than a second remaining and the Winston-Salem squad suffered its first defeat of the season.

Madigan scored 11 of his 16 points in the second half, including three 3s.

Webb coach Leo Brunelli said while Hicks wasn’t scoring, he wasn’t taken out of the game entirely.

“How many passes did he have (before the assist)?” said Brunelli.

Eight of Hicks’ 12 blocks also came in the second half.

“You block 12 against the No. 22 team in the country, No. 3 in the state, undefeated,” Brunelli said. “That just tells you a little bit about him.”

Beverly, Cates and Mitron Terry picked up the scoring slack. Beverly had 13 points, Cates had 14 and Terry finished with 10.

Terry said he doesn’t think that other teams look past the Warriors not named Hicks.

“(They know) this isn’t a one-man team,” said the Webb junior.

Beverly came away with a steal before laying in two points underneath the Warriors’ basket with 1:20 to play, giving Webb a five-point advantage.

Beverly said he likes playing against quality teams like Mount Tabor, which featured five seniors in its starting lineup. Hicks is Webb’s only senior starter.

“When we’re the underdog, I like to prove a point,” said Beverly.

Webb’s three losses have all come in showcase events like the MLK Day Classic. The Warriors lost to Shiloh High School of Georgia in Columbia, S.C. before dropping games to Word of God and High Point Christian at the Holiday Invitational in Raleigh.

“This (win) just proves that we can play with anybody,” said Hicks.

Cates came away with a big steal with 50 seconds remaining that led to two Beverly free throws and knocked down two foul shots of his own to make it 63-60 with 13.3 on the clock.

“We just knew that we had to step up and play our game because we know anybody on the team can score,” said Cates. “We just had to step up.”

Mount Tabor (16-1), boasting seven players 6-foot-4 or taller, completed its comeback with 4:20 to play, tying the game at 53.

Webb’s start may have proved just as important as the finish. Once again, the Warriors responded well to a big stage, catching fire early on. Hicks and Terry both sank a pair of first quarter 3s and Beverly added one more.

“It’s a noon game in the Greensboro Coliseum, all the ACC tradition,” said Brunelli. “And you come out and shoot the lights out like we started the game. And we needed every one of them.”

Webb will need a few more at home Tuesday against Chapel Hill (12-3, 1-0 3-A Carolina Conference). The Tigers-Warriors matchup developed into an intense rivalry last season with Chapel Hill taking the two regular season meetings before Webb won in the conference tourney final and state playoffs.

“We don’t want to slack off,” Hicks said of conference play. “We just want to go in there and beat everybody.”

Other Monday matchups in Greensboro included Charlotte Christian vs Greenfield, Greensboro Page vs High Point Christian, Northwood vs Greensboro Day, Christ School vs Ravenscroft, and Greensboro Dudley vs Wesleyan Academy.

MOUNT TABOR  — Nate Long 12, Deion Robinson 9, Tyquan Bitting 6, Lepreece Lynch 16, Matthew Madigan 16, Trae Brown 2, Jay McCorkle 2
WEBB — Isaiah Hicks 18, Devonte Williams 4, Stefan Cates 14, Mitron Terry 10, Tyrek Beverly 13, Bryan Smith 4, Mack Lyon 1

                                           1                       2                          3                       4                        FINAL
MOUNT TABOR               12                      10                       19                      22                          63
WEBB                                21                      19                     10                        14                          64

Contact the writer at kholtzman@hendersondispatch.com.