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Big first quarter carries Bulldogs past Panthers

Pirates, Spartans start season

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KENLY — With three wins already under its belt, the Princeton High varsity boys basketball team came out firing in the first quarter of Friday’s rivalry showdown at North Johnston.

The 1-A Carolina Conference Bulldogs outscored the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference Panthers, playing their season opener, 30-14 in the first quarter on the way an 86-68 triumph. North Johnston played Princeton nearly even the rest of the way but the damage had already been done.

Senior Colby Sullivan and sophomore Jaheim Taylor each scored 25 points for Princeton and combined for eight of the Bulldogs’ nine 3-pointers. Taylor made 5 of 9 from long range and Sullivan, who garnered a team-high 13 rebounds, hit 3 of 6 from 3-point range. Sullivan added six steals and four blocks.

Senior guard Daylan Hinnant had 15 points to lead the Panthers while senior Savon Foye had 12 points and 13 rebounds. Junior Carsse Lucas added 11 points for North Johnston, which shot just 35 percent (24 of 69) from the floor compared to Princeton’s 46 percent (27 of 59).

North Johnston will have its chance at revenge Friday when the Panthers visit the Bulldogs.

The victory was the third of the week for Princeton, which won 78-66 at Spring Creek on Tuesday and blasted host Midway 95-70 on Thursday.

Tyrese Joyner’s 22 points led a quartet of Bulldogs in double figures against Spring Creek. Nayshin Waller had 18 points while Sullivan had 16 points and Taylor added 12 points.

Taylor had the hot hand against Midway, pouring in 32 points while Joyner netted 23 points and Zach Garris added 10 points.

PRINCETON (86)

Sullivan 25, Taylor 25, Wilkins 6, Joyner 6, Waller 6, Farrior 4, Garris 4, McPhatter 4, Klein 3, Spellman 3, Gurganious, Woodall, Phillips, Pearce.

NORTH JOHNSTON (68)

Hinnant 15, Foye 12, Lucas 11, Vann 8, Pitts 7, Watson 6, Rodriguez 4, Hicks 3, Howell 2, York, Wallace.

Score by quarters:

Princeton 30 22 17 17 — 86

North Johnston 14 22 13 19 — 68

Corinth Holders handed Smithfield-Selma a 76-71 varsity boys basketball defeat to tip off the Spartans’ season Nov. 27.

Anthony Council and Shaker Howard led the way for the Spartans, who lost their home opener 59-54 to Clinton on Friday, with 21 points a piece. The Pirates (2-1) did not provide stats.

In the loss to Clinton, Council led the way with 25 points, while Howard provided 11 points.

Corinth Holders lost 71-56 at Clayton on Nov. 29.

Tyler Wooten led the way for the Pirates with 13 points.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Lady Panthers stifle Princeton in opener

KENLY — North Johnston broke open a tightly contested, low-scoring affair with an opportunistic defense in the third quarter and pulled away for a 35-18 varsity girls basketball season-opening victory against visiting Princeton on Friday.

The 2-A Eastern Plains Conference Lady Panthers outscored the Lady Bulldogs 10-0 in the decisive third quarter, converting some steals into points, “which were hard to come by all night long,” said Lady Panthers head coach Jay Poole.

“Princeton is well coached and made it difficult to get good looks against their defense,” said Poole, whose team led 12-9 at halftime.

Senior Jordyn Scott led North Johnston with 18 points while classmate Lindsey Massengill tossed in 10 points.

Sophomore LeOnna Nelson had five points to lead the 1-A Carolina Conference Lady Bulldogs, who dropped to 1-3.

Princeton will host the rematch Friday. The Lady Panthers visit Rosewood on Tuesday while the Lady Bulldogs welcome Midway the same evening.

PRINCETON (18)

Nelson 5, Cummings 4, Moore 3, Wooten 2, Radford 2, Klein 2.

NORTH JOHNSTON (35)

Scott 18, Massengill 10, Pearce 5, Barnes 2.

Score by quarters:

Princeton 6 3 0 9 — 18

North Johnston 9 3 10 13 — 35

Lady Pirates knock off Lady Spartans

Corinth Holders delivered a 61-47 season-opening defeat to visiting Smithfield-Selma on Nov. 27.

Khaliyah Peacock finished with 12 points for the Lady Spartans (0-2). The Lady Pirates (2-1) did not provide stats.

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