There was something about Cedar Ridge’s final six weeks of the season that indicated they wouldn’t let their season end without a fight in the state playoffs.
Indeed, that turned out to be the case against Rocky Mount.
Peyton Pappas scored 35 points while Jacob Thomas 24 as the Red Wolves defeated 81-77 on Tuesday night in Rocky Mount.
It was clear someone from the Rocky Mount coaching staff watches the Los Angeles Clippers regularly, because the Gryphons fouled after every made basket down the stretch. Unfortunately for Rocky Mount, there were no DeAndre Jordan’s on the Red Wolves roster.
Thomas and Pappas sank pressure free throws in the final minute to preserve the Cedar Ridge lead. When Rocky Mount had a chance to tie with a 3-pointer late, Pappas knocked the ball away from Rocky Mount’s Emmanuel Spruill at midcourt to put CRHS into the second round.
Cedar Ridge, seeded 17th, will face the number one seed in the 3A East bracket, Eastern Alamance in Mebane. The Eagles, who defeated C.B. Aycock on Tuesday night in the first round, are 26-1. It’s only loss came against Burlington Cummings on January 30th 69-61.
It was Cedar Ridge’s first state playoff victory since February 26th, 2010, when the Red Wolves competed as a 2A team and made it to Eastern Regional semifinals under the program’s first head coach, Jim Pappas.
Cedar Ridge is now 19-9, the most wins for the program since going 25-3 in 2009-10.
The Gryphons, who earned the top seed from the Big East Conference, ends the season 7-17.