GREENSBORO—The Lincoln Charter boys couldn’t overcome the smothering defense applied by Reidsville, falling to the Rams by a score of 77-60 in the 2A West Regional Finals played at Grimsley High School in Greensboro on Saturday afternoon.
With the game tied at 9-9 in the final minutes of the opening quarter, Reidsville went on a 6-0 run to close out the period with a 15-9 lead.
The Rams then scored the first five points of the second quarter to extend their advantage to 20-9, seizing control of the game.
Late in the first half with the Eagles trailing by 12, the Eagles closed out the period scoring seven straight. Lincoln Charter headed to the locker room at the break down 31-26, and appeared to gain some momentum.
But unfortunately for Lincoln Charter, the Rams exploded for 27 points in the third quarter to take a commanding 58-36 lead heading to the final period.
Reidsville continued to maintain the lead while running time off the clock on just about every possession. The Rams pulled their starters out of the game with a minute-thirty left in the contest to let the starters be recognized, while giving others a chance to get on the court in a Regional championship game.
Reidsville was led by a pair of freshmen, along with a senior. Amari Baggett, one of five seniors on the team, poured in 19 points from his guard position.
But the story for the Rams was the play of their two freshmen multi-sport stars.
Dionte Neal and Kendre Harrison, who helped lead Reidsville to the 2A football state championship game in December, combined to score 45 of the Rams 77 points on Saturday.
Neal led all scorers with 26 points, and his ball-handling abilities were key in handling the Eagles defensive pressure. The 6’8” Harrison added 19 points and close to 20 rebounds.
As for the Eagles, their season ends with a record of 25-12, with the majority of those losses coming to very good non-conference opponents prior to the start of conference play. Lincoln Charter had won 18-straight games prior to Saturday’s loss.
The Eagles will lose just two players off of a team that was runner-up in the West region. However, they are very valuable members of the squad.
Senior Elijah Burnett averaged 17 points per game for Lincoln Charter this season. Fellow senior Xavier Crawford averaged 12 points per contest.
Lincoln Charter 9 17 10 24 - 59
Reidsville 15 16 27 19 - 77
Lincoln Charter: Kelan Flowers 20, Elijah Burnett 11, David Reed 8, Xavier Crawford 8, Krishtan Flowers 6, Joseph Bruce 2, Cairo Morales 2.
Reidsville: Dionte Neal 26, Kendre Harrison 19, Amari Baggett 19, Landon Denny 6, Tamir Johnson 4, Nasir Bell 2, Al Jariq Lee 1.
(Published March 6, 2023)
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