To the truest since of the term, Christmas came early for Southern Durham.

It came Friday night, to be exact.

J’Tori Christmas scored 14 points, including eleven in the first half, as Southern Durham (7-2, 3-0 in the Big 8) defeated Cedar Ridge 71-59. Christmas hit a trio of 3-pointers in the 1st half as the Spartans pushed out to a 11-3 lead. They never trailed by led than 12 in the final 30 minutes of the game.

The riddle for the Red Wolves was finding scoring from someone other than Payton Pappas and Jacob Thomas, the team’s top scorers. Pappas and Thomas combined for all of Cedar Ridge’s points through the first 15 minutes of the game. Jonathan Hall’s three points in the waning minutes of the first half was the only scoring outside of the Red Wolves top duo.

Southern pushed its lead to 21 early in the third quarter. The smoothest Cedar Ridge looked offensively came in the middle of the third quarter, when Hall scored five consecutive points to narrow the gap to 53-41. Every time the Red Wolves got closer, the Spartans would force a turnover and get a basket in transition.

Rashad Dixon led the Spartans with 15, while Jajuan Whitted added 14. Antonio Daye had 13.

The Red Wolves have gone two consecutive games without holding a lead after losing to Northern Vance on Tuesday night.

Hall finished with nine for the Red Wolves. Cedar Ridge now moves on to the Clinton Christmas Tournament, which has a four-team field. They will face C.B. Aycock on December 28th, followed by another game on December 29th. They resume conference play on Tuesday, January 5th against Chapel Hill in Hillsborough.

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