Gator boys collect first ever playoff win
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 29, 2004 2:00 AM
SEVEN SPRINGS -- The jinx is over.
Denied playoff success in each of its past two seasons, the Spring Creek varsity boys basketball team finally sampled that sweet nectar of victory Saturday afternoon against Union.
Senior guard Grey Wilson paced five players in double figures with 20 points, staking the Gators to an 80-58 win against the Spartans. The long-awaited postseason triumph sets up a Monday evening contest against Wallace-Rose Hill in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A sectional No. 4 championship game.
Union concluded its season 16-11.
"It was a sweet victory," first-year Spring Creek coach Sonny Kilpatrick said.
A change of scenery did the Gators good in the postseason this time. Their previous playoff losses occurred against Louisburg (2002) and Weldon (2003), which were both members of the Tar-Roanoke Athletic Conference.
Union entered the sectional as the No. 4 team from the Super Six Conference. Kilpatrick didn't seem too thrilled to see the Spartans again since his team had pulled off a four-point win against them Dec. 3, 2003.
"I was really worried coming in," Kilpatrick said.
His concern grew worse in the first quarter.
The Spartans uncorked a 7-0 run and led 13-5 with under three minutes to play. Kilpatrick burned a timeout, told his players to get the referees out of their head and relax.
Spring Creek (21-7) returned to the court and unleashed an 11-2 run of its own. Wilson got free for a pair of wide-open 3-pointers off Bishop assists. Shane Stevenson scored the other five points as the Gators moved ahead 16-15.
Wilson buried three 3-pointers in the second quarter, giving him 100 for the season. Chris Wright came off the bench to contribute seven points and one assist, while Michael Broadie and Shane Stevenson dominated the boards.
The Gators led 37-27 at halftime.
"We didn't start very good," Kilpatrick. "Once the guys got relaxed, they played ball. We ran the ball (in transition) good today and Grey hitting those five threes in the first half were big.
"We were looking for the outside shot (early) and not penetrating at all. If we can't penetrate and make them back in (toward the basket) a little bit, we don't have the outside shot. We have to work both of them together.
"If we overdo one, it throws the other off."
Wilson has hit at least one 3-pointer in 27 of 28 games this season. He added a second-half 3-pointer, boosting his single-season total to 101 -- which is believed to be a school record.
Bishop turned in a dominating third-quarter effort as the Gators started attacking Union's defense at will. Bishop tallied 13 of his 17 points during the period.
The Spartans' inside tandem of Quintell Corbett and Rodleck Beatty began to lose their presence. Corbett stayed in foul trouble, while the bigger Beatty struggled to run the court in the up-tempo affair.
Wilson's final 3-pointer with 1:08 left in the third gave Spring Creek its biggest lead, 60-42, at that point. The Gators maintained that advantage and built on it late in the fourth quarter.
Stevenson ended the day with 14 points, while Wright and Broadie each added 11.
Zack Honeycutt emerged the Spartans' top scorer with 19, including 12 in the third quarter. Corbett and Beatty contributed 14 and 13, respectively.
The Gators face a talented Bulldogs team, which is ranked No. 4 in the final ihigh.com poll. Wallace-Rose Hill (24-3) blistered Farmville Central 81-57 on Friday.
"I've heard great things about Wallace-Rose Hill," Kilpatrick said. "I know they are a good basketball team.
"We are, too."
Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
2004 N.C. High School
Athletic Association Class 1-A
Sectional No. 4 Playoffs
(at Spring Creek HS)
Union 15 12 20 11 -- 58
Spring Creek 16 21 23 20 -- 80
Antonio McKoy 2 0 2-2 6, Lamont Lamb 0 0 1-2 1, Dusty Weeks 1 0 0-0 2, Zack Honeycutt 4 3 2-2 19, David Hickmond 1 0 0-0 2, Blake King 0 0 1-2 1, Shamarrow King 0 0 0-2 0, Quintell Corbett 7 0 0-0 14, Rodleck Beatty 6 0 1-2 13. TOTALS -- 21 3 7-12 58.
SPRING CREEK (21-7)
Cliff Wilson 0 0 0-1 0, Grey Wilson 1 6 0-0 20, Josh Bishop 5 1 4-5 17, Shane Stevenson 5 1 1-3 14, Chris Wright 3 1 2-2 11, Michael Broadie 5 0 1-2 11, Jacob Odom 1 0 0-0 2, Brian Armstrong 1 0 1-3 3. TOTALS -- 22 9 9-16 80.
Three-point baskets -- S. Creek 9 (G. Wilson 6, Bishop, Stevenson, Wright); Union 3 (Honeycutt). Turnovers -- S. Creek 12, Union 20. Total fouls -- S. Creek 15, Union 18. Fouled out -- Corbett. Technicals -- none.
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