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CBA hoopsters fall to Saints, but still have a shot at the postseason

Southern Wayne’s Kalvix Thornton (32) and Tyaire Allen (11) battle C.B. Aycock’s Neal Clark for a rebound during last week’s crucial conference battle between the two teams. Southern Wayne won, but CBA can still make the playoffs. (photo by Keith Jordan)

By Michael Jaenicke, Staff Writer

Down but not out.

The Charles B. Aycock boys’ basketball team missed a chance at securing a position in the state playoffs with a 51-43 loss to Southern Wayne last week and know what it’s like to pick themselves up and continue the pursuit.

The Golden Falcons (7-14) were all but out of the game near the end of the second quarter but kept fighting and got to within a basket late in the contest.

Aycock must now rebound with a win over Eastern Wayne to capture one of two spots the Eastern Carolina 4-A/3-A Conference owns in the NCHSAA’s 3-A postseason tournament.

CBA beat Eastern Wayne on Jan. 17 and fell to Southern Wayne on Dec. 19. The Warriors and the Saints earlier in the season and the two will play round two this week.

Victories by Aycock and Southern will clinch the spot for Tod Morgan’s Falcons.

Michael Williams came alive in the second half as Aycock recovered from a 20-point deficit to get within 42-40 with 5:51 remaining.

CBA had numerous chances to take the lead but were unable to complete the comeback.

Tyrick Ford nailed a pair of charity tosses at the 2:18 mark to trim it to 46-43 and the Falcons were set up in the half court for a potential tying basket.

More opportunities came when the Saints failed to convert free throws. But they hit three of four in the final 40 seconds to slip away with a win.

Williams, who missed a pair of free throws with 56 seconds left and a three-point deficit, led all scorers with 21 points. He also had 18 rebounds, his 18th double-double of the season.

The Saints hit the Falcons in the mouth during a 9-0 start. Only a Williams dunk and free throw saved a 13-3 beginning from being a complete rout in the opening quarter.

Williams had a steal and jam and two free throws but CBA was losing ground, down 20-8.

Southern then ran off 10 straight points to grab a 30-10 lead.

Brice Jordan set up Williams for an easy hoop and CBA nailed five free throws in the next 1:10. Then Williams scored on the break with 16 seconds left in the half to get the contest to 32-19.

CBA continued to get at it offensively in the third and also turned up its defense, forcing turnovers and turning them into points. Scores by Neil Clark, Chandler Matthews, Jordan, and Williams cut it to 36-30.

A drive by Ford put it at 38-34, but a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Pearsall Xzavier took some luster out of the shine.

But CBA wasn’t done yet. Williams cut hard to the basket twice and Clark hit a jumper to make it 44-41.

The key basket for Southern Wayne came from Jaylen Roberts at the 2:18 mark, putting the lead at 46-41. Chance after chance slipped away in the final two minutes for the Falcons.

A day later CBA fell to South Central 73-68. Williams tossed in 27, Clark 17 and Trae Woodard 12.

South Central (17-3, 9-1) led 33-32 at halftime. CBA rolled to an 18-11 push in the third quarter go in front 50-44. But a 29-18 roll for Central sealed it in the fourth quarter.

CBA hosts Eastern Wayne today in Pikeville.

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