Carter Whitt loses the ball as he goes up for a layup in a game against South Granville. Leesville looks to pull off a big upset against an undefeated South Granville. (Photo Courtesy of Trevor Darnell)
On Saturday January 11, the Leesville Pride took on the South Granville Vikings in a Phenom Hoops Report Showcase game that took place at North Raleigh Christian Academy. This game had a matchup of star point guards, Carter Whitt (Leesville) and Bobby Pettiford Jr. (South Granville) who has had an amazing season, and has lead his team to a 15-0 start, while Leesville has been doing decent with a 9-6 record and coming off a big 90-65 win against Enloe the night before. Leesville looked to end South Granville’s undefeated season on a big stage.
South Granville set the tone to start the game with three of their first six baskets being three pointers. Leesville would be able to keep it close the whole time though behind hot starts from Chase Hakerem and Deon Daniels. The first quarter was back and forth with teams trading basket for basket, but the Vikings would end leading 20-17.
The second quarter would be a lot like the first quarter with back and forth baskets. Leesville would pull away a little during the quarter though, taking a 32-27 lead with Whitt scoring 12 of those points and six of those points coming off of three-pointers. South Granville would come roaring back before the half ended with a three-point play and a three-pointer giving the Vikings a 33-32 lead going into the half.
The beginning of the third quarter would be like the first two quarters with Leesville scoring points and keeping the game close, and even having a small lead 36-35 during the quarter. After Leesville tied it up at 40 later in the quarter, South Granville showed why they were undefeated, scoring nine unanswered points and shifting momentum in their direction. Hakerem would be able to knock down a three-pointer before the quarter ended but the Vikings had a good lead going into the fourth quarter up 49-43 over Leesville.
Leesville wouldn’t give up throughout the fourth quarter even though they were trailing 58-49 at one point. The Pride would make a little bit of a comeback during the fourth quarter behind some baskets from Aaron Zemonek, the Pride would cut the Viking’s lead down to 58-55.
It was too little too late for the Pride though with time running down.
Both teams would score a couple more baskets, and South Granville would keep their undefeated season alive and get the would get the 64-56 win over Leesville.
Although not the best showing, the Pride players looked on the bright side and thought about the things they did well, “I think we played pretty good defense for the most part and moved the ball around pretty good,” said Zemonek. They were also realistic on what they could’ve done better during the game, “We could’ve played harder and executed in our offense more,” said Daniels. Leesville looks to come back from this loss in their game against Cardinal Gibbons at home on Friday January 17.