North Cross Holds Off Catholic 49-43 In VIS Quarterfinials

North Cross center James Nworah (in white) goes to the basket against Catholic defender James Carpenter Wednesday night as the Raiders held off the Celtics 49-43.

Basketball games are often decided by runs.

North Cross got the key run Wednesday night thanks to senior Chase Overton.

Riding the hot hand of Overton to begin the second half, North Cross jumped out to an 11 point lead and held off scrappy Roanoke Catholic down the stretch to pull out the 49-43 win in the VIS Division III quarterfinal at Jim Muscaro Gym.

The victory sends North Cross to the state semifinals 1:45 Friday afternoon at Virginia State University in Petersburg where they will face Williamsburg Christian Academy.

Catholic was looking to reverse their fortunes after three earlier losses to the Raiders, and the Celtics had a number of opportunities to pull off the win.

The first half was nip and tuck with Catholic holding an 11-9 lead after one quarter. Neither team led by more than two points in the second frame before they Raiders went to the break holding a 21-19 advantage.

That’s when Overton flexed his muscle from behind-the-arc.

He opened the third quarter scoring with a long-range bomb, and after Raider junior Tucker Vest hit 2-of-3 free throws after being harmed on a 3-point attempt, Overton hit again from behind-the-arc that had North Cross up 29-19 just 1:45 into the third.

Catholic got untracked with a trey of their own courtesy of Bryant Guilfoyle, but Overton hit another bomb and was fouled, completing the 4-point play to put the Raiders up 33-22.

The Celtics refused to roll over. The fought their way back and when Guilfoyle hit from long range to close the third quarter, Catholic was within 35-31 heading to the final 8 minutes.

Catholic kept scrapping and tied things at 41 with just over two minutes left, but Zaewuan Baines canned a pair of free throws and Raider center James Nworah’s nifty spin move in the paint pushed North Cross to a 45-41 lead with a minute to go.

Deionte Waller closed the Celtic deficit to 45-43 on a baseline runner, but North Cross hit four free throws in the last 37 seconds to close out the win.

North Cross (26-5) was led in scoring by Overton’s 19. Nworah followed with 13 points, while Baines netted 10.

Guilfoyle paced Catholic with 14 points, while Lucas Myers added 12 for the Celtics.

Bill Turner