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GREENVILLE — It took a highly athletic Farmville Central team to take down the South Granville Vikings, serving the team its first and only loss of the season by a 66-63 margin in overtime during the regional round of the 2A N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs on March 7.
“Our kids played their hearts out, we just came up a little short,” said South Granville head coach Jake Wohlfeil, while reflecting on the game and the season. “Things bounced their way instead of ours.”
The Vikings finished the season with a 30-1 overall record and were undefeated Northern Carolina Conference Champions. This was South Granville’s first ever trip to the regional round of the state playoffs.
“The main thing I stressed to them in the locker room after the game is to not let this one game, one moment overshadow everything we accomplished this year,” Wohlfeil said. “We did things that South Granville has never done before. Farmville Central is a very talented team and there is nothing to be ashamed of. I’ll take our kids any day!”
South Granville needed to make a statement early against the Farmville Central Jaguars. Adrian Cearnel provided it.
He grabbed an offensive rebound and slammed the ball in the goal for the Vikings in the opening seconds of the contest.
Farmville Central countered with baskets by Samage Teel and 6-foot-7 Leontae Moye.
Famville Central’s length forced the Vikings to look at the outside shot first and Bobby Pettiford knocked down a jumper to tie the game. Collin Tanner connected on a long jumper from the corner and Micah Jones found a seam for an open-look shot from near the free-throw line.
Justin Wright gave the Jaguars an 11-8 lead with a drive down the right side for a score.
Pettiford tied the score and put South Granville in the lead with a drive a under the basket that ended with Pettiford flipping the ball behind his head for a layup.
Wright knotted the score at 13 apiece just before the first quarter came to a close.
The Jaguars went inside to their big man, Moye, for the next three baskets, while the Vikings relied on the sharp-shooting Tanner from the far corner to keep the game close. Micah Jones launched a jumper from the elbow to tie the game a 19-all.
Micah Jones lobbed the ball to the high-flying Kobe Jones on the next trip down the court for a rim shaking dunk. Micah Jones drove to the basket for a layup and the Vikings had a 23-19 lead.
Terquavion Smith scored on consecutive trips down the court for the Jaguars to tie the game again.
Tanner popped a 3-pointer and Kobe Jones lifted for a thunder dunk to put the Vikings back in the lead with a 28-23 working margin.
Cearnel capped another rebound with a basket and the Vikings had a 30-25 lead at the half.
Pettiford went to work early in the third quarter with a drive down lane and a fingertip roll to the basket to stretch the lead to 32-25.
Farmville Central worked close to the basket and Smith and Teel trimmed the lead to six.
Pettiford connected on a step back 3-pointer and Moye answered with a triple on the Farmville Central end of the court.
The Jaguars could not keep Pettiford off the board in the third quarter. He followed a missed shot with a tap-in for the Vikings. South Granville had a 37-32 lead midway through the third quarter.
Teel made a big shot to keep Farmville Central in the hunt and Pettiford scored on the other end of the court. Moye dropped in a basket for Farmville Central to trim the South Granville lead to 39-36.
Things got a little chippy on a rebound with Kobe Jones and Rashae Owens crashing to the floor. Both wrestled hard to hold on to the ball and eventually Owens became a little too aggressive and appeared to slug Jones in the face. Owens was given a technical foul and removed from the game.
Tanner came in to shoot the free throws and made one of two from the line for South Granville to give the Vikings a 40-36 lead.
Coda Foskey and Teel made the most of trips to the charity stripe and the Jaguars took a 41-40 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Moye opened the fourth quarter with a pair from the free-throw line, but South Granville countered with dunk by Kobe Jones.
Teel gave Farmville Central a 45-42 lead with a quick basket.
South Granville needed to answer and Micah Jones was bumped on the way to the basket. He made both free throws to keep South Granville close.
After a timeout, Pettiford tried to put the Vikings in the lead with a 3-pointer, but was fouled in the act of shooting. Pettiford went to the free-throw line and made two out of three shots to give the Vikings a 46-45 lead.
Jah Short put Farmville Central back up by one on a running one hander, but Kobe Jones turned the tables with a jumper from the left wing to tie the score.
Wy’kise Allen drew his fifth foul and had to sit for the Vikings midway through the fourth quarter.
Smith launched a 3-pointer to put the Jaguars in the lead, but Pettiford countered with a jumper and Micah Jones knocked down a triple to knot the score at 55 apiece.
Pettiford made the old-fashioned 3-point play to give the Vikings a 58-57 lead.
Wright drew contact on his jumper and went to the line and made one of two free throws to tie the score at 58 all.
Pettiford was closely guarded and had difficulty getting the last-second shot off before the buzzer sounded.
Teams head to overtime
The game was knotted at 58-all and headed to overtime.
Smith gave the Jaguars a 60-58 lead early in the four-minute overtime. Micah Jones made a 3-pointer to respond for South Granville.
Farmville Central had the opportunity to extend the lead, but missed three out of four free throws. Teel snagged the rebound on the last free throw and muscled it in for a 63-61 Jaguar lead.
Teel went to the line on the next trip down the court and made both attempts to give Farmville Central a 65-61 lead.
Pettiford brought the ball down and drove to the basket for a layup to trim the lead to just two points.
The Vikings stopped the Jaguars on their next trip down the court. South Grannville put the ball in Pettiford’s hands to make something happen with time ticking off the clock. Pettiford drove to the basket and managed to get the ball up on the glass, but the ball would not go in.
Farmville Central dribbled out the few seconds left on the clock and earned the trip to the finals to face Shelby on March 14.
Statistics: Bobby Pettiford (25 points, three rebounds, four assists and three steals), Kobe Jones (10 points, 14 rebounds, one assist and one steal), Micah Jones (15 points, four rebounds, and two assists), Adrian Cearnel (four points and six rebounds), Collin Tanner (nine points, four rebounds, one assist and one block) and Wy’kise Allen (five rebounds, six assists and one steal).