Mount Olive, N.C. - North Greenville Crusaders upset the 2nd seeded team, King, in their first ever semifinals of the Conference Carolinas Tournament 69-66.
The Crusader offense would start out on fire against the Tornados beginning the game on a 5-0 run. It was with 17:49 left in the first half that King would post their first points at 5-2. North Greenville would begin to try to pull away early with a 10-1 run over the second ranked team King. With 8:58 left in the first half the Crusaders would lead the Tornados 20-7. North Greenville's defense would come up big in the first half holding King to a very small shooting percentage of 18.9% and a very minimal 9.5% from the three point line. While the Crusader offense shot 56.5% from the field and 33.3% from the three point line.
The Tornados would come out and score first on a layup. The Crusaders would answer back with a basket of their own. King would try to pull back close of the Crusaders cutting the lead down to six with 14:14 left in the second half. Micah Parker would stop the threatening Tornados with a three point basket taking the lead back to 37-28 with 13:41 left. King would pull closer to the Crusaders making it a five point contest with 11:57 left in the game.
The Tornados would take their first lead of the second half with 9:06 left in the ball game at 43-42. The Crusaders would respond quickly and take a three point lead at 7:54 left in the game at 46-43. The teams would then trade baskets the next few minutes at 3:16 left the Crusaders would remain in the lead 50-49. Both team would trade the lead five times and have 1 tie in the last three minutes of the ballgame. North Greenville being the last team to take the lead with Spencer Reaves hitting the clutch free throws with nine seconds left in the ball game to give the final score of 59-56.
The Crusaders would have three players with double digit points. Phillip Brown leading all scorers with 19 points, and collecting 6 rebounds. Spencer Reaves posted 14 points, while Lashawn Alexander scored 12. North Greenville would yet again finish the game shooting over 50% from the field at 51.2%, and shot 31.3% from the three point line.
North Greenville Crusaders will compete in their first ever Conference Carolinas Conference Tournament Championship against the 1st seeded and host of the tournament Mount Olive on Sunday, March 7 at 2 P.M.