Harrison sinks pressure free throws as Cedar Ridge holds off East Chapel Hill 39-32

Updated: December 4, 2021

*Photo credit to Heather Bradsher*

In a game where every possession mattered and often ran in excess of 45 seconds, it was Cedar Ridge who came up with the big points in the most crucial moments.

Junior Kamil Harrison, in his third varsity game, drained six pressure free throws in the final :15.8 seconds as the Red Wolves held on to defeat East Chapel Hill 39-32 at Red Wolves Gymnasium on Friday night. After Harrison drained two charity tosses with :15 left, Red Wolves junior Neco Clark intercepted a pass by East’s Dillon McCafferty, which led to Harrison putting the game out of reach with two more free throws.

This win marks Cedar Ridge’s best start since the 2015-2016 season, which was the last time they reached the state playoffs.

Harrison and Grady Ray each had eleven points to lead the Red Wolves (2-1), while Colton Taylor added eight.

The Red Wolves ended a six-game losing streak to East Chapel Hill, beating the Wildcats for the first time since January 9, 2018.

“We try to practice pressure situations,” said Cedar Ridge coach Jaison Brooks. “You can’t replicate that in a gym. We shoot enough free throws (in practice) that we hope that in pays off. In this situation, it paid off.”

Both teams employed various zone defenses that stymied the other side for long stretches. After East’s James Riley scored on a one-handed runner with 3:53 remaining in the first quarter, the Wildcats had just one more field goal for the rest of the half. The Red Wolves finished the first quarter on a 10-3 run and took the lead for good off a reverse lay-up from Ray.

Cedar Ridge outscored the Wildcats 12-3 in the second quarter to take a 22-9 lead at halftime. Harrison and Colton Taylor both drained 3-pointers. All East (1-2) could muster in the second quarter was one free throw from Rashawn Stewart and a 15-footer from Martez Cotton, which beat the first half buzzer.

In the third quarter, it was the Red Wolves’ turn to suffer offensive frustration. Ray was the only Red Wolf to score in the stanza, but they were both 3-pointers. Stewart, who came off the bench to lead East with ten points, drained a 3-pointer to reduce Cedar Ridge’s lead 28-24.

Stewart opened the fourth quarter with a lay-in off a feed from Isaiah Styron. Martez Cotton forced a steal on the Red Wolves next possession, but the Wildcats missed a lay-in with a chance to tie. Neco Clark then slammed home a dunk in a rare transition basket to put the Red Wolves ahead 30-26.

Women’s Basketball: East Chapel Hill 38, Cedar Ridge 32

It has now been 722 days since the Cedar Ridge women’s basketball team won a game. That long dry spell is on the verge of ending, it’s only a question of when.

It appeared the answer to that question would be on Friday night, but for the second time this week the Red Wolves couldn’t hold on to a lead late.

Trailing 32-26 with 4:31 remaining, East Chapel Hill (2-1) finished the game on a 12-0 run to defeat Cedar Ridge 38-32. The Red Wolves led for most of the second half, but East’s Riley Ellis scored seven consecutive points to give the Wildcats the lead with 2:11 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Junior Julie Altieri led the Red Wolves with 12 points, but the Red Wolves only had three points in the fourth quarter. The only field goal came from freshman Kathryn Romska, who knocked down a wing jumper to put the Red Wolves ahead by six points.

Grace Young, in her first basketball game since she was six years old, scored ten points, including a 3-pointer in the third quarter that put the Red Wolves ahead. Cedar Ridge came back from an early 12-point deficit to take the lead in the second half.

Ellis and Abigail Stone led the Wildcats with 12 points each.

Cedar Ridge will travel to Northern Durham on Monday, then travel to Western Alamance for its Central Carolina Conference opener on Tuesday.


EAST CHAPEL HILL–Dillon McCafferty 5, James Riley 8, Isaiah Styron 3, Martez Cotton 2, Thailand Evans 4, Rashawn Stewart 10.

CEDAR RIDGE–Colton Taylor 8, Garrett Ray 11, Cameron Harper 1, Neco Clark 6, Kamil Harrison 11, Hayden Kirk 2.


EAST CHAPEL HILL–Riley Ellis 12, Fiona Park 4, Gabby Sielken 2, Abigail Stone 12, Lauren Steiner 8.

CEDAR RIDGE–Julie Altieri 12, Cameron Copeland 3, Phoenix Smith 5, Grace Young 10, Kathryn Romska 2.

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