Harnett Central’s varsity basketball teams will play for championships in the Tri-County Six 3-A Conference tournaments Wednesday night (February 19) at Union Pines.
The Central girls will play the host Lady Vikings at 6 p.m. and the Trojan boys meet Southern Lee at 7:30 p.m.
The finals were originally scheduled for Thursday night but were moved up because of the threat of wintry weather.
The Central girls reached the final with a 49-33 win over Triton on Tuesday night at Union Pines.
The Trojan boys took an early lead and notched a 54-37 semifinal win over Lee County at Southern Lee.
The Yellow Jackets had won two regular-season matchups with Central.
“The difference was a diamond and one,” said Trojans coach Will Gage. “We held their top scorer (Jarrian Hancock) to five points.”
Tre Williams and Austin Swan drew the individual assignment on Hancock, a 6 feet, 5 inch senior who is averaging 14.7 points and 10.1 rebounds.
Central was led offensively by Anthony Tomlinson with 27 points on 9-for-13 field goal shooting.
“It was not a high-scoring game,” Gage said. “Every basket counted.”
The Trojans led 29-11 at the half but had to guard against a letdown.
“We had this situation before when we had a good first half and were flat in the second half,” Gage said. “They made a run in the third quarter, but we had a big fourth.”
Lee (9-16) outscored Central, 11-3, in the third. The Trojans responded with a 22-15 advantage in the fourth.
Central made 19 of 37 shots from the floor for 51 percent.
Justin Perkins had 10 points and 10 rebounds as the Trojans improved to 12-11. Richard Edwards had five points, seven rebounds, two assists and three steaals. Swan and Williams added four points each. Croix Shipman and Quez Jones tallied two apiece.
Shipman had six rebounds and Williams grabbed five.
Southern Lee edged Union Pines, 59-57, in the semifinals and went 10-0 in the league during the regular season.
“The key is going to be getting back on defense in transition,” Gage said. “We’ve got to cover their shooters and stop dribble penetration.”