What's on tap: South-Triton headlines Friday hoops slate

From staff reports
Posted 12/2/21

A doubleheader at Triton headlines the local hoops scene this Friday.

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What's on tap: South-Triton headlines Friday hoops slate

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Local high school basketball teams are enjoying a full season following a compressed slate last winter. Area teams hooked up this week to continue their respective non-conference schedules, providing entertaining contests and individual performances in the process.

Here’s everything you need to prepare for a busy Friday of hoops action. 

South Johnston at Triton, 6/7:30 p.m.

Coming off last week’s championship win at the Bennie Pollock Memorial Tournament, Triton’s (4-0) girls team looks to continue its unbeaten start to the season when it welcomes South Johnston on Friday.

The Lady Hawks overcame a halftime deficit Wednesday to down Midway, 50-42, on the road. Freshman guard JaNiah Smith (16 points) led a group of three double-digit Triton scorers while also adding a team-high five assists.

Smith (12.5 points) is second to sophomore standout and Pollock Memorial MVP A’Shari Watlington (14.5 points) in scoring.

South Johnston (1-2) is coming off a 44-31 loss at Harnett Central on Wednesday, despite holding a first-quarter lead.

Freshman guard Lannah Price leads the Lady Trojans in both scoring and rebounding in the early going, while senior guard Kennedy Byrd paces the team in steals.

The boys’ contest features two groups looking to establish a rhythm.

Triton (2-2) drew its record to .500 with a 62-58 overtime win at Midway on Wednesday.

Junior guard Jalen Evans finished with a team-high 23 points and five assists, while Will Heard poured in 21 points, adding three steals.

South Johnston (0-3) is still searching for a win after falling, 45-32, at Harnett Central on Wednesday.

The young Trojans, who also fell to former league opponent Cleveland on Tuesday, hope to get more from their senior backcourt of Ricardo Perez and Jaydn McNeill as key players recover from offseason injuries. 

Overhills at Lee County, 6/7:30 p.m.

Crowned as Harnett County’s top boys basketball team for an eighth straight time, Overhills (4-0) continued its hot play to start the year with wins over Cape Fear and Southern Lee this week.

Pollock Memorial MVP Ayden Gittens averages north of 16 points per contest to lead a trio of Jags double-digit scorers. Senior forward Damien Robinson, fresh off a monstrous 21-point, 18-rebound effort against Cape Fear on Monday, comes into Friday’s matchup with Lee County (1-1) averaging a double-double. 

On the girls’ side, Overhills (2-2) got back in the win column with a dominating 41-11 win at Southern Lee on Wednesday.

Freshman guard Morgan Williams and sophomore post Eva McRae pace the Lady Jags’ scoring efforts this season as they look to create their first win streak of the year against winless Lee County (0-2).

West Johnston at Western Harnett, 6/7:30 p.m.

Making the Pollock Memorial final last week, the girls’ team at Western (1-2) hopes to pick up another win on the year following a setback to Union Pines Wednesday.

Makenyia Mackey and Shay McCants lead the offensive and defensive charge for the Lady Eagles this season. They’ll host a West Johnston (1-1) group fresh off its first loss of the season this week.

The Eagles (0-3) also fell to Union Pines, and search for its first win against a 1-1 West Johnston team. Senior guard Christian Fielden serves as Western’s leader and top scorer.

Midway at Lakewood, 6/7:30 p.m.

Both Midway teams are looking to recover from back-to-back losses, hosting a familiar Sampson County foe Friday.

The Lady Raiders (1-2) couldn’t hang on to an early lead in the home loss to 3A opponent Triton this week. Morgan Williams and Rylie Williams have shouldered most of the scoring load early on, while Kris’Shyia McKoy has led the team in steals.

On the boys’ side, Midway (1-2) looks to shake off a heart-breaking OT defeat to Triton, that followed a loss to former league opponent James Kenan on Tuesday.

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