RED SPRINGS — A dominant defensive performance by Red Springs against their biggest rival in the county, combined with a strong all-around performance by senior Robyn McPhaul led Red Springs to a 58-32 win over St. Pauls Friday night.
“This is the best we communicated on defense all year, we talked about it at halftime and came out strong in the second half,” Red Springs coach Steven Sinclair said.
The Red Devils got a run from the opening tip, but St. Pauls went on a 7-2 run late in the first quarter that got it within a single point. From there, things got out of control for the Bulldogs.
McPhaul hit a 3-pointer, then stole the ball to end the first quarter. The Bulldogs then struggled to finish shots the rest of the game.
“We just didn’t finish the play, we kept breaking the press and getting easy looks but didn’t capitalize,” St. Pauls coach Michael White said.
The Red Devils got the lead to 31-16 at halftime and continued rolling the rest of the way.
McPhaul finished leading her team with 16 points, seven steals and four rebounds.
Freshman Kristen Locklear led St. Pauls with 15 points and Desieree Davis made the Bulldogs only 3-point attempt.
Both teams advance to the playoffs, with brackets announced today.
“We fought hard, even with the loss we are glad to get in the playoffs,” White said “Taking a tough loss like this makes me anxious to play another game, I am confident in my teams ability to compete in the playoffs we just have to rebound.”
Red Springs’ boys wrap up No. 2 seed
RED SPRINGS — The Red Devils couldn’t topple Fairmont, but the rest of the Three Rivers Conference proved no match for Red Springs’ boys basketball team this season.
Glenn Patterson’s squad won its 17th game Friday night, cruising past St. Pauls, 72-53.
The Red Devils (17-6, 12-2) are 14-3 since starting in a three-game hole with all of those setbacks to the Golden Tornadoes. With a manageable playoff seed expected today thanks to a second-place league finish, Red Springs will get a favorable draw — at least in the opening round — when the postseason starts Monday night.
With a 58-32 win in the girls game, Red Springs bested its regular-season victory total by four from a season ago.
As a reward for the turnaround under coach Steven Sinclair, the Lady Red Devils (13-11, 11-4) will host a yet-to-be-determined opponent in the first round Monday night.
Fairmont puts finishing touches on conference title
ROWLAND — Fairmont’s boys put the finishing touches on another Three Rivers Conference championship season Friday night, streaking past South Robeson, 94-57.
The Golden Tornadoes (18-5, 13-1) will have a top seed in the 2A playoffs when tournament schedules are released later today by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, joining Red Springs and Lumberton as Robeson County’s only boys teams to advance. With the pod system no longer in play, remaining at-large teams chosen after a league’s automatic berths are given out will be determined by overall winning percentage making up the tournament’s 64 total teams.
The bracket’s then split into East and West sections. This change was made — in large part — to avoid conference rematches in the opening round.
Coach Michael Baker’s just ready to start the postseason.
“We’re not looking ahead to who we’re going to play this night or that, we just need to keep winning,” he said. “When you start looking ahead to sectional finals and that sort of thing, you get beat.”
Fairmont’s won 11 of its last 12 games and is guaranteed at least two home playoffs games as one of the highest seeded teams.
In the girls contest, South Robeson closed senior night with a 57-44 victory. Four Lady Mustangs were recognized for their contributions to the program before the game — Mirachol Hill, Savannah Hunt, Chennye Chavis and Jaquel Stackhouse.
Stackhouse was the last remaining member on South Robeson’s 19-7 squad in 2011 that reached East Regionals.