Cedar Ridge Stuns Southern Durham 70-65 Behind Pappas 34

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Updated: January 29, 2016

Nothing sets off panic in the south more than snow. A little snowflake can cause a lot of headaches. Just ask local basketball coaches.

When school is cancelled, games don’t get played. That means coaches have to reschedule, which creates a frustrating cycle of phone calls, double checking with athletic directors to see when gyms are available and getting the word out to the media and fans.

Then comes the minor part of preparing for the games themselves.

On Wednesday night, Cedar Ridge had to practice for its Thursday game against Southern Durham at a nearby gym because it’s own floor was taken up by the wrestling team.

The team had barely seen each other since last Thursday, when they defeated Webb in Oxford. Four school days were cancelled. Not exactly the best circumstances going against a Spartan team that was undefeated in the Big 8.

If you wanted to bet against Southern Durham going into Thursday, obviously the odds would have been against you. If you bet on Cedar Ridge never trailing against the Spartans, you might have cleaned up for life.

But that’s what happened.

The Red Wolves jumped out to a 10-0 lead, never trailed and stunned the Spartans 70-65 on Thursday night at Red Wolves Gymnasium. Peyton Pappas led CRHS with 34 points, while Jacob Thomas added 17. Jonathan Hall added 14 as the Red Wolves won for the third time in four games to improve to 10-8, 3-5 in the Big 8.

“We did a much better job defensively,” said Cedar Ridge coach Clay Jones. “We didn’t a good job handling their press. These last three games we’ve played very well.”

Southern’s J’Tori Christmas, the Spartans’ leading scorer, finsihed with 13 points, but had only one field goal going into the fourth quarter. Rashad Dixon, matched up against Hall for much of the night, was held to 3, a season low.

Sophomore Antonio Daye led the Spartans with 22. The Spartans are 8-1, one-half game ahead of Orange for first place in the Big 8. Southern hosts Orange on Friday night, a game that will be broadcast here on Hillsboroughsports.com starting at 7.

Jones attributes his team’s turnaround to a change in philosophy. After going 3-for-47 from 3-point range during a 0-4 start in Big 8 play, he knew it was time to shift away from a three-guard starting lineup.

He inserted Shawn Hill and Shane Evans into the starting lineup and opted for a half-court oriented style.

“It’s helped take pressure off Peyton,” said Jones. “We’re getting the ball to Jacob and Jonathan more and playing much better.”

Now comes the headache of rescheduling. Coming off its biggest win of the season, Cedar Ridge has to turn right back around and travel to Chapel Hill tonight. The Tigers defeated

 

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