Cavs overcome stall, reach state semis
Trinity used a stall tactic for most of the game, and while it may have kept the score down, it didn't impact the final result.
Cuthbertson's boys basketball team reached the 2A state semifinals for the second straight season with a 46-30 win over the Bulldogs in the Greensboro Coliseum's annex gym on Tuesday night.
The Cavaliers improved to 28-3 on the season, while ending Trinity's year at 22-5.
Cuthbertson took an 8-0 lead in the early going on Isaiah Cureton's 3-pointer from the top of the key, and held a 17-3 advantage when Trinity elected to spread the floor and pass the ball around 35 to 40 feet from the rim for several clock minutes at a time.
The strategy was effective for the rest of the half. The Bulldogs scored 10 straight points to get within four (17-13), and trailed 25-19 at halftime.
Trinity's first basket of the second half came with less than 1 seconds on the clock in the third quarter when point guard Jarrod Rogers drove in and drew a foul as he scored in the lane.
Rogers made the free throw, allowing his team to win the quarter, 3-2, and cut Cuthbertson's advantage to 27-22 heading into the fourth.
"The third quarter was frustrating because that's not how we want to play," said Cavs coach Mike Helms. "I respect that you do what you think you have to do to try to put yourself in a position to win. We (the coaches) had time to discuss some things during some of those long possessions and we were saying 'You know what, if we get to the fourth quarter with a big lead we might just make them chase us around a little bit and that's what we did."
The Cavaliers scored first in the fourth quarter on a Lucius McMillon banker from the left side to make it 29-22, and the Bulldogs finally came out of their spread with 4:30 left in the game.
Cuthbertson junior point guard Shelton Mitchell ignited a 5-0 run in the final four minutes that pushed the lead out to 12.
Mitchell made 3-of-4 free throws and also threw a lengthy pass to Jorden Hardrick for a layup behind the press that gave CHS a comfortable 34-22 lead with under three minutes to play.
Mitchell finished with 20 points on just four attempts from the field. He was 12-of-16 at the line and 3-of-4 from the field.
The Cavaliers shot 72.7 percent in the first half, then heated up in the second half by shooting 100 percent (3-for-3).
For the game, Cuthbertson made 78.6 percent of its shots from the field (11-of-14).
Senior forward Isaiah Cureton was 3-of-3 from the field and scored nine points. Cureton had four rebounds, which gave him a share of the team high with McMillon. The Cavs had just 17 rebounds, but that was seven more than Trinity.
Daniel Newcomer had 13 points for Trinity and David Newcomer had eight of his team's 10 rebounds.
The Cavaliers will play Shelby (27-3), an 84-46 winner over Smoky Mountain (26-4) in the other quarterfinal, in a rematch of the state semifinal game on Saturday at 11:30 a.m.