Eagles turn up the heat on neighbor Warriors
by Carlton D. White
November 25, 2012 12:51 AM | 3242 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
11-24-12 NC at NCCS 03.Elijah Weems of North Cobb Christian drives around the North Cobb defense during Saturday's game. Staff/Todd Hull
11-24-12 NC at NCCS 03.Elijah Weems of North Cobb Christian drives around the North Cobb defense during Saturday's game. Staff/Todd Hull
KENNESAW — With campuses separated by just ½ mile, North Cobb and North Cobb Christian met on the hardwood for the first time in their history Saturday and the Eagles proved for at least one night which team ruled Old U.S. Highway 41.

North Cobb’s 2-0 margin turned out to be its only lead of the game as North Cobb Christian led 17-6 at the end of the first quarter en route to a 74-55 victory in front of a standing room only crowd in the final game of the On-the-Radar Hoops Invitational at North Cobb Christian.

Stephen Jelks and Hulian Terrell both had double-doubles for the Eagles (3-1) in the win. Jelks finished with 18 points, including four 3-pointers, 11 rebounds and three steals, while Terrell had 17 points, 16 boards and two assists. Kendall Crute contributed 15 points, four rebounds and four assists, and Elijah Weems nearly missed out on a double-double with nine points and nine boards.

Jelks’ first 3-pointer ignited a run

17-4 for North Cobb Christian that led to the 11-point first quarter lead.

North Cobb (1-1) had a difficult time getting its shots to fall early in the contest and the Eagles took advantage. The Eagles led 14-4 with 2:50 left in the first quarter, and opened the second frame on a 10-2 run for a 27-8 lead with 3:52 remaining until halftime.

Weems’ 3-pointer with 20 seconds left gave North Cobb Christian it’s biggest margin of the half — 35-14 — before the Eagles went into halftime holding a 19-point lead.

“I don’t know why it took so long for this game to happen,” North Cobb Christian coach Greg Matta said. “This was a first time deal and On-the-Radar Hoops brought this together. I’m just blessed we had the opportunity to bring (North Cobb) and the other schools in here for this.

“They’re a good basketball team. We caught them off guard in the beginning, and got some quick put backs and stuff like that. North Cobb is a top five team in the state at AAAAAA. They really are. We just happened to play a great basketball game today. We caught them right there at the beginning and our momentum just kept going.”

North Cobb’s shot began to fall early in the second half as the Warriors pulled to within 13 on two occasion in the second half — the last of which came with 3:17 left in the third quarter following a jumper from Steele.

However, Crute’s jumper ignited a 12-2 run that saw the Eagles stake a 62-39 advantage entering the fourth period.

Crute’s two free throws with 3:23 left in the game gave North Cobb Christian’s its biggest lead at 26 points.

“It was an unbelievable atmosphere, and I hope everyone that wanted to get in got in to see it,” Matta said. “Words can’t explain this. We played hard. North Cobb is a much better team than they played tonight. I know they’re going to make a run at the title at that AAAAAA spot.”

Hunter Ware added seven points, six assists and three steals for North Cobb Christian. Keyshawn Butts had eight points. The Eagles made eight 3-pointers overall, and were 15-of-19 from the free throw line.

“It’s great to get this win and get bragging rights for our school,” Ware said. “We play these guys in the summer and throughout the year. It’s like a friendly rivalry match. There were definitely some nerves, and we definitely felt like we had something to prove. We’ve been working and preparing ourselves physically and mentally to get this win.

“It was great a great atmosphere and a great game. You couldn’t even hear the ball bounce sometimes. It was awesome.”

Steele scored 17 points to lead North Cobb. Lee Moore had nine points and five assists, while Jon Beausejour had seven rebounds. Neff finished with seven points.

Following the game, Matta felt comfortable that the rivalry should end now.

“No. I want to finish now,” he quipped. “We retire 1-0 against them.”
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