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Tharpe, Allen lead North Iredell to tough victories over South Iredell
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Tharpe, Allen lead North Iredell to tough victories over South Iredell

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OLIN—For the second time in four days, North Iredell’s boys basketball team tapped into its resolve to fend off South Iredell.

Behind a stellar performance from post player Beckham Tharpe, the Raiders emerged with a 61-52 victory Friday night.

John Jackson Jr. led the way in Tuesday’s 61-57 win over the Vikings in Troutman. He had 12 points Friday.

“It’s a matchup-type deal,” Raiders coach Jeff LeVan said. “I think they put the effort into stopping (Jackson Hawkins). On Tuesday, John had a big night. Tonight, maybe they tried to stop John a little more. We just moved people around and got (Tharpe) in 1 on 1 situations. He capitalized.”

Tharpe led all players with 25 points and 14 rebounds.

Hawkins, the reigning county player of the year, chimed in with eight points. His only basket, coming with 3 minutes, 50 seconds left in the fourth quarter, sparked a 13-6 run to close out the game.

“We played great defense,” South Iredell coach Marcus Chambers said. “We just didn’t have our offense.”

Cole Saunders added eight points for North Iredell, which was 25 of 45 (56 percent) from the free-throw line. He also had five assists.

Will Vuk led nine South Iredell scorers with 10 points. Ayden Perry pitched in with eight points, and M.J. Chambers and Nolan Clark added seven each. Tatum Tucker nabbed 12 rebounds.

Brayden Watson-Jones, one of South Iredell’s main offensive threats, managed only three points.

“Everybody was struggling offensively,” Marcus Chambers said. “But they competed.”

The Raiders (2-0) led 29-27 at halftime.

Tharpe’s bucket on a lob pass from Landon Dancy allowed the Raiders to seize their biggest lead of the game to that point, 38-33, with 2:54 left in the third.

“I thought Xavier (Grimball) and Landon came in and gave us good minutes,” LeVan said.

The Vikings trailed only 40-39 entering the fourth thanks to Nicky Reese’s transition layup on an assist from Clark just before the end of the third.

Tharpe’s transition dunk on a feed from Saunders made it 45-42 in favor of the Raiders.

South Iredell (1-3) was unable to regain the lead.

“We haven’t had an easy nonconference schedule,” Marcus Chambers said. “We’ll keep pushing.”

North Iredell girls pull through down the stretchNorth Iredell survived a nail-biter in the girls’ game to prevail 50-49.

The Raiders and South Iredell both had opportunities to win with the game tied at 49 inside the final minute.

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The Vikings missed an uncontested layup on an inbound pass underneath the basket at 27.8 seconds. They retained possession but turned the ball over with 13.1 seconds left.

North Iredell (2-0) was whistled for a moving screen on the ensuing play. South Iredell’s Janiya Johnson was unable to connect from the free-throw line. Raiders reserve Aliyah Curlee corralled the rebound on the second miss. Vikings players raced in with the hopes of getting a jump ball call, but instead an official called a foul.

South Iredell fans booed. Curlee made one of two free throws to give the Raiders the lead with 10.8 seconds remaining.

Anayah Turner and Johnson each missed 3-pointers from the left corner at the end, allowing the Raiders to hang on. It was their second win over the Vikings this week. They eked out a 45-41 victory Tuesday in Troutman.

A 9-0 run in the first quarter Friday, capped by an Emily Hapes 3-pointer assisted by Johnson, propelled South Iredell (1-3) to a 13-6 advantage.

The Raiders didn’t lead again until midway through the fourth quarter.

Jewell Allen finished with a double-double for North Iredell. She led all players in points (15) and matched South Iredell’s Daria Fink in rebounds with 12. Charisma Caldwell supplied 10 points and nine rebounds for the Raiders before fouling out with 7:24 remaining in the fourth. Sydney Bradford added nine points, and Skylin Guill dished out five assists.

Kayden Johnson paced South Iredell with 13 points and eight rebounds. Hapes and Turner each contributed 10 points. Turner buried three 3-pointers.


North Iredell travels to Taylorsville on Wednesday to face Alexander Central.

South Iredell visits West Iredell on Wednesday.

BOX SCORES(boys)North Iredell 61, South Iredell 52

South Iredell;16;11;13;12—52

North Iredell;13;16;10;22—61

SOUTH IREDELL (52): Will Vuk 10, Perry 8, Chambers 7, N. Clark 7, Childress 6, Jones 5, Tucker 4, Watson-Jones 3, Reese 2.

NORTH IREDELL (61): Beckham Tharpe 25, John Jackson Jr. 12, Saunders 8, Hawkins 8, Coltrane 4, Dancy 3.


North Iredell 50, South Iredell 49

South Iredell;20;9;16;4—49

North Iredell;12;14;13;11—50

SOUTH IREDELL (49): Kayden Johnson 13, Anayah Turner 10, Emily Hapes 10, Hutchens 6, Fink 5, Horton 4, Brooks 1.

NORTH IREDELL (50): Jewel Allen 15, Charisma Caldwell 10, Bradford 9, Curlee 4, Anderson 3, Guill 2, Gibson 2, Parker 2, Ward 2, Daniels 1.


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