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“I wanted to make up for the mistakes I made Saturday,” Peter Agba of North Cross said.
T.J. WITTEN | Special to The Roanoke Times
Peter Agba (right) of North Cross shoots over Quincy Cunningham on Wednesday.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Considering a winning 33-point high school basketball scoring margin and 30-rebound edge on the backboards , defense wouldn’t seem to be the first topic that comes to mind.
With 10 North Cross players scoring and a 77-44 VISAA Division III tournament quarterfinal victory over Evangel Christian in the books, there was no questions the Raiders had the attack in high gear Wednesday.
Leave it to the winning coach to see the other side of the winning equation.
“Our kids came out with their focus on and really played well defensively,” Raiders coach Bill Hodges said.
At no time better than in the first half when the visitors from Colonial Heights were limited to 16 points, six of that in the first quarter. North Cross (21-6) led 30-16 at intermission and the rout was well under way.
“Sixteen points? That’s a heck of a half of basketball on defense,” Hodges said.
Evangel Christian coach Bill Jongebloed saw other factors at work in the first half, injustice to be specific.
“When the foul count is 11-1 in the first quarter, that’s kind of ridiculous,” he said. “I’m not saying we didn’t foul. I did question some of them. But they just had one? After that, it was over.”
Hastening that end was a contingent of Raiders rebounders led by post Peter Agba. The final count was 52-22 in North Cross’ favor. Just about every Evangel possession was one shot and done. If the basketball didn’t fall, the visitors didn’t see it again.
Agba, a solidly built, 6-foot-5 sophomore, collected 21 rebounds to which he added 23 points before the evening was through.
Later, Agba explained that he had been unhappy with his performance last weekend when North Cross fell 44-41 in the VIC Division II championship to rival Carlisle. Agba had two points.
“I wanted to make up for the mistakes I made Saturday,” he said.
Hodges said he thought the young man was being hard on himself.
“Offensively, he didn’t play as he is capable,” Hodges said. “But the kid had nine rebounds. And he played well at the defensive end. When kids don’t score, they think they’ve had a bad game.”
Against Evangel Christian, contributors were many. Zach Lawson had three of the Raiders’ six 3-pointers and scored 13 points, a game termed his best of the year by his coach. Jordan Lowery added nine points and a 7-for-7 performance at the free throw line to pace a 23-for-30 team effort. Nine more points came from Bennett Holley.
Hodges raved about his bench.
“When I subbed, we didn’t lose an iota,” he said. “I mean they did just as well as the guys who started the game did. Offensively and defensively, you wouldn’t even know we didn’t have our starters in there.”
C.J. Williams scored 19 points to lead Evangel Christian, 10 of that in the second half. His last points, with :02 showing in the fourth, were from a breakaway dunk. At that point, his coach called the last of three timeouts, all in the final minute.
Next up for the Raiders is the fourth meeting with Carlisle, this one a tournament semifinal noon Friday at Virginia State University in Petersburg. Carlisle has won each of the previous matches, the 57-45 margin Feb. 9 being the largest.
“Our kids wanted another shot at Carlisle,” Hodges said. “Well, they got it. We’ve got our opportunity. Let’s see what we can do with it.”
EVANGEL CHRISTIAN (29-11)
Robertson 3 2-2 11, Williams 9 2-2 19, Hollins 1 4-8 6, Jongebloed 1 3-4 5, Person 1 0-0 2, Cunningham 0 1-2 1, Hill 0 0-0 0, Haskett 0 0-0 0, Jun 0 0-0 0, Purnell 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 12-18 44.
NORTH CROSS (21-6)
Oddo 2 0-0 6, Doughty 1 3-3 5, Holley 3 2-4 9, Calloway 2 1-1 5, Agba 8 7-11 23, Lawson 5 0-0 13, Dakermanji 0 1-2 1, Smith 1 2-2 4, Bagliani 0 0-0 0, Lowery 1 7-7 9, Call 0 0-0 0, McCoy 1 0-0 2. 24 23-30 77.
Evangel Christian 6 10 10 18—44
North Cross 14 16 20 27—77
3-point goals — Evangel Christian 4 (Robertson 3, Williams), North Cross 6 (Lawson 3, Oddo 2, Holley). Total fouls — Evangel Christian 22, North Cross 17. Fouled out — Jongebloed. Technical Foul — Evangel Christian coach, Jongebloed.
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