RED SPRINGS — Jared Foster’s received most of the circles on opposing scouting reports this season as Red Springs’ standout newcomer.
But it was the play of another senior that helped the Red Devils reverse course and challenge for a Three Rivers Conference championship. On Monday in the opening round of the 2A state playoffs, he delivered his best effort to date.
“This feels way better than the last two years,” Jamison Baker said after Red Springs’ 74-59 win over Franklinton, the Red Devils’ first postseason win since 2011. “We’ve got a point guard now that can handle the ball and that’s taken a lot of pressure off me. I got more confidence in my shot.”
Playing off the ball has provided Baker with more opportunities at finding his shot, an element executed to near perfection in the early going against the Rams. Baker drained two of his team’s seven first-half 3-pointers as the Red Devils (18-6) jumped out to a 23-point lead at intermission.
He finished with 21 points on a 7-of-12 outing from the floor to go along with a 21-point effort out of James Chavis and 18 from Foster.
“Jamison’s a better player when he doesn’t have to be the primary guy bringing the ball up the floor,” Red Springs coach Glenn Patterson said. “Early on this season, he sacrificed shooting the basketball to find teammates some shots. We told him to keep it in his hands and look to score. He’s playing really well right now.”
Patterson says he’ll need another quality game from Baker on Wednesday night when Red Springs travels to two-time defending state champion Kinston. Baker’s light has never been more green now that fellow guard Jaqwan McLaurin is sidelined for the rest of the season with a wrist injury.
Kinston’s led by state player of the year candidate Brandon Ingram who’s averaging 20 points and seven rebounds per contest.
“We just need to look at film and figure out a way to attack,” Baker said.
Franklinton (14-8) trailed by as many as 26 before trimming the deficit to 11 in the final two minutes. Daquan Neal gave the Rams a shot in the final quarter with six points of his team-high 19 points down the stretch.
Lady Red Devils upset by Carrboro
Steven Sinclair, a Robeson County coach the year candidate who helped Red Springs’ girls basketball team improve as the regular season drew to a close, didn’t have much to say after Monday’s 48-38 loss to Carrboro in the first round of the state playoffs.
Disappointed is an understatement.
“We gave zero effort and I can’t tell you why,” Sinclair said after his team struggled to score down the stretch. “I hate it for our seniors, but in the same breath, five of our eight-player rotation is seniors and it was on them tonight.”
Carrboro (8-17) went on an 8-0 to open the third quarter to pull ahead 28-20 and never relinquished the lead. The Jaguars’ advantage swelled to as many as 14 at one point before Robyn McPhaul’s layup with 1:01 left in the third brought the Lady Red Devils within a point.
It was too much Camille Gallagher from there as Red Springs found no answer for Carrboro’s star forward. All 10 of Gallagher’s second-half points came at the free-throw line.
She finished with a game-high 18.
“We knew she was good at getting to the stripe and knocking down free throws,” Sinclair said. “We didn’t give a good enough effort to win.”
Reach Brad Crawford at 910-272-6111 or on Twitter @MrPalmettoSDS.
Red Springs 74, Franklinton 59
Red Springs 23 21 11 19 — 74
FRANKLINTON — DaQuan Neal 19, Tre Gaither 17, Harlan 7, Hinton 6, Debnam 6, Gupton 4.
RED SPRINGS — Jamison Baker 21, James Chavis 21, Jared Foster 18, West 4, Tucker 3, Graham 3, Blue 2, Atkinson 2.
3-Point Goals — FRK: Gaither 2, Hinton, Gupton. RS: Chavis 4, Baker 3, Foster 2.
Fouled Out — FRK: Hinton, Debnam. RS: Baker.
Records — Red Springs 18-6; Franklinton 14-8.
Carrboro 48, Red Springs 38
Carrboro 6 14 14 14 — 48
Red Springs 14 6 5 13 — 38
CARRBORO — Camille Gallagher 19, C. Davis 9, Chaplin 6, Wood 4, Jarrett 3, Broome 3, Riggsbee 2, N. Davis 2.
RED SPRINGS — Robyn McPhaul 12,
3-Point Goals — RS: McPhaul.
Records — Red Springs 12-12; Carrboro 8-17.