Volunteers drop tough road losses to North Central High

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By Dylan Knight

BOONETOWN – Andrew Jackson’s first road trip of the 2007-08 basketball season resulted in a pair of tough losses at North Central on Friday night.

The Lady Volunteers went cold in the final period and dropped a 38-36 loss to the NCHS girls. In the nightcap, the Vols dug an early hole and couldn’t quite recover in dropping the 67-63 setback.

North Central, in the boys' game, held an 8-5 first-period lead and opened a 32-18 edge at the break.

The Vols, 0-2, made a hard charge in the third period and sliced the Knights' lead to 45-44.

The game stayed tight to the end, with the Knights holding on for the four-point win.

"At the half, we challenged our players," AJ boys coach Dale Reeves said. "We were lackadaisical and timid in the first half, but picked up the pace in the second half.

"We had a poor practice Thursday and played like that in the first half," he said. "In the second half, I thought we did a better job of moving the ball and we shot the ball better. We battled, but it was tough to overcome that early hole."

Jonathan Belk, who netted 16 second-half points, hit nine points in the third period. Ryan Miller also chipped in 16, nine in the second half. Justin Sellers had nine points. Rashawn Miller and Cedric Wright added eight points each.

Daniel Wright and Elijah White added three points each.

The Knights were led by Lauaun Murphy’s 18 points. Greg Caldwell chipped in 17 and Harrison Toney added 15 points for NCHS.

In the girls' game, the Lady Vols went cold in the final eight minutes in the two-point defeat.

"It was a close game and we had a chance to win," AJ coach Dennis Farmer said. "We had too many turnovers and missed some key shots."

A 3:30 span when the Lady Knights reeled off a 6-0 run proved crucial in the game.

Rachael Dipple led AJ with 12 points and Erica Ealy netted 10 points. Jazzy Gripper hit six points.

Karmen Twitty followed with four points. Ashley Phillips? and Erica Jones had two points apiece for AJ.

Kayle Depart led NCHS with 11 points.

The Vols host Lewisville on Tuesday and travel to county rival Lancaster for a rematch with the Bruins on Friday night.