Despite 36 points from junior guard Zavian McLean, visiting Knightdale topped Overhills 73-66 on Thursday night in the second round of the NCHSAA 4-A boys basketball playoffs.
The Jaguars finished 20-6.
Knightdale also knocked Overhills out of the football playoffs with a 20-18 first-round win on the Jaguars’ field on Nov. 10, 2017.
After Jeremyah McWilliams scored his lone basket of the game on a feed from Xavier Edwards for a 45-44 Overhills lead with four minutes left in the third quarter, the Knights started a decisive 11-0 run with a 16 footer from Isaiah Griffin.
The Jaguars went on a 10-5 run to open the fourth quarter, pulling within 62-60 on a steal and layup by McLean.
McLean’s three free throws with 1:22 to go brought Overhills within three points at 66-63.
A drive by McLean cut the lead to 68-65 and the Jaguars called time with 44.1 seconds to go. Knightdale closed out the win as Overhills was fouling to stop the clock.
“I’m never one to make excuses, but today is the first day that both of my post men (McWilliams and Hunter Campbell) have been in school,” said Overhills coach Tony Lewis. “They’ve been home sick for the last week and they’ve done a good job for me all year.
“It was physical and I know playoff basketball gets more physical. They stepped out and punched us in the face to begin with. After we woke up a little bit, I thought we held our own with them. We had opportunities up to the end.”
The Knights went hard to the offensive glass.
“That’s what they do,” Lewis said. “I’ve seen film on them. My assistant (Derrick Austin) saw them play in person. That’s what they live off of is getting to the rim and getting offensive rebounds. We were undersized, but we battled. We had a chance up until the last minute of the game so I can’t be disappointed with the effort.”
The Jaguars lose Latrell Lloyd, who had 12 points, and Pedro Gama, who contributed three points and some inspired floor play, from the playing rotation.
“We’re fairly young,” Lewis said. “I lose four seniors and two of them have been starters basically since they were sophomores. They’ve contributed a lot and laid a good foundation for this program.”
Overhills shared the Patriot Athletic 4-A/3-A Conference regular-season championship with Terry Sanford.
Junior Jaylen Moore had six points for the Jaguars. Freshman Cinque Lemon scored four points. Senior Anthony Hardy had three points.
Knightdale (19-7) was led by Shayne Saigo with 24 points. Jalen McDonald had 11 points for the Knights. Tavion Taylor tallied 10 points. Griffin and Cole Johnson added eight points each.