Warriors welcome No. 13 Asheboro Monday

Feb. 23, 2013 @ 08:52 PM

J.F. Webb’s loss to Chapel Hill in Friday’s Carolina Conference Tournament final set up a first-round rematch with Asheboro for the Warriors, who Saturday were handed the four seed in the Mideast Bracket of the 3-A state playoffs.

Webb knocked off Asheboro 72-56 in the first round last season in the eight-nine seed game. The Blue Comets (13-13), of the Mid-Piedmont Conference, earned a 13 seed this season.

The winner of Asheboro at Webb (Monday, 7 p.m.) will meet either No. 5 Southern Wayne (16-8) or No. 12 Mayodan (16-9) McMichael in Round 2.

By winning Friday’s game, Chapel Hill earned the top seed in the Carolina Conference after the Tigers and Warriors shared first place for the regular season.

Webb’s only two NCHSAA losses this season have come to Chapel Hill.

“They’re a good team,” said Warrior coach Leo Brunelli. “I don’t think there’s anything difficult (about playing them), I think it’s just a matter of two teams competing. We both want the same thing.”

Webb and Chapel Hill met four times last season, twice in the regular season and once in the league tourney before the Warriors won at Chapel Hill in the second round of the state playoffs.

The growing rivalry could add another chapter Friday in the third round.

“We have to get there,” said Chapel Hill coach Tod Morgan. “I feel like they’ll be there for sure next Friday. If we can get there, I feel like we’ll see them again.”

The top-seeded Tigers host No. 16 Eastern Guilford Monday and would face either No. 8 Spring Lake Overhills or No. 9 Eden Morehead in the second round.

Morgan said an emphasis on boxing out and “a lot of drills” helped his Tigers keep Isaiah Hicks away from the basket Friday. Hicks was held to four second-half points and six rebounds, all grabbed in the first quarter.

Chapel Hill is 2-2 at home in the last two seasons against Webb when Hicks has been in the lineup. Each time, the teams have played to a packed gym, highlighted by the rowdy Tiger student section.

“It’s like Duke and Carolina,” Morgan said of the rivalry. “It’s just amazing. Coach Brunelli and his staff do a tremendous job. Everybody talks about Isaiah Hicks and certainly he is a tremendous talent. As a Carolina graduate, I’m looking forward to him in the future. But the rest of the guys are so talented too.”


Warrior girls headed to Mebane

The J.F. Webb girls have the 13 seed and will visit No. 4 Eastern Alamance (21-6) of the Mid-State Conference Monday.

Webb (13-11) finished fourth in the Carolina Conference and is returning to the postseason after missing the state playoffs last season.

Contact the writer at kholtzman@hendersondispatch.com.