Coats-Erwin posted a middle school basketball sweep over visiting Overhills Thursday to take a season sweep over the Panthers and remain on top of the Harnett County Conference standings in both boys and girls basketball.
Coats-Erwin’s stalwart defense led the way in a 34-21 win over Overhills in the girls game.
Abby Hood had 11 points to lead the Falcons (9-1).
Ashari Watlington had eight points. Ava Blackman had six points. Caylon Avery had four points. Carleigh Hemby had three points. Sueanna Bass had two points.
Crystal Jones had eight points and Kalah Fleming had seven points to lead the Panthers and Dakota Riffle, MaKayla Weber and Eva McRae had two points apiece.
Coats-Erwin built up a solid lead through the first three quarters, outscoring Overhills 10-4 in the first quarter, 8-2 in the second and 16-2 in the third. After the Falcons emptied the bench in the fourth quarter, the Panthers outscored them 13-0, but it was not enough to overcome the deficit.
Upset-minded Overhills looked to knock Coats-Erwin out of sole possession of first place (a loss would have had Coats-Erwin and Dunn tied for first), but a William Heard free throw with 30 seconds left and a pair of late defensive stops allowed the Falcons to escape with a 38-37 win.
Heard had 17 points and Nate McKoy had 13 points to lead the Falcons (9-1), Jalen Evans had 4 points and Deandre Smith and Jaleel White had two points apiece.
Andre Myrie paced the Panthers (6-4) with 16 points.
Jay Byron had eight points. Isaiah Page had six points. Demarion Jackson had four points. Jayden Shotwell had two points. Kevin Yon had one point.
Back-and-forth action saw Overhills lead 14-9 at the end of the first quarter, Coats-Erwin lead 20-19 at halftime and the game tied 29-29 at the end of the third.
With Overhills leading 37-35 late in the fourth, Smith scored to tie the game with just over one minute remaining. After a defensive stop by the Falcons, Heard was fouled in the act of shooting and made one of the two ensuing free throws for the lead with 14 seconds left.
James Shaw, who had been limited in the game by foul trouble, played tough defense to deny a clean look on a potential game-tying shot and grabbed the rebound for the Falcons. He was fouled with seven seconds left, but missed the front end of a one-and-one.
Coming out of a timeout, Overhills looked to push the ball up the floor for one last chance, but a Panthers pass was deflected by McKoy into the hands of Shaw, who held on until time expired to secure the win for the Falcons.
Coats-Erwin travels to Western Harnett on Monday before ending the season at home against Harnett Central on Wednesday. Overhills is at Dunn for the Greenwaves’ season finale Monday before ending the season at home against rival Western Harnett on Wednesday.