The Fairmont Golden Tornado Boys lived up to their name by blowing away West Columbus 68-22. The loss was WC’s first in the TRC. For Fairmont, it avenged a 84-75 triple overtime defeat earlier this season. Fairmont led 39-11 at halftime and continued to pull away, initiating a “running clock” midway the fourth quarter. West Columbus’ Jake Brownlee led his team’s scoring with six points, 18 points under his season average. The Golden Tornado win creates a three-way tie atop the boys standings, as West Columbus, Red Springs and Fairmont are each 7-1. Red Springs defeated West Bladen 88-68 Friday evening.
Fairmont sits in the “driver’s seat” earning a split with West Columbus and having wins over Red Springs in both Three Rivers and non-conference play. The Golden Tornadoes travel to Red Springs February 2. West Columbus and Red Springs have not yet met. They are scheduled to play February 6 at West Columbus and February 7 at Red Springs to make up the January 3 contest.
It was not a wasted evening for West Columbus fans. the West Columbus girls took a 50-47 win over Fairmont, outscoring the Golden Tornadoes 18-13 in the final period. The Vikings Annela Tiffany scored 17 points and garnered 18 rebounds to offset Fairmont star Kiara page’s 25 points and 20 boards. Tah’nijah McKoy contributed 13 points to the WC win.
Typically, you will not find West Columbus pulling for Whiteville, but the race for a top seed can make strange bedfellows. The Whiteville girls 45-41 win over East Columbus helped boost the Vikings chances of securing the top 1A playoff seed from the TRC.Nsaia Rogers scored 25 points for the Wolfpack. Rogers connected on three, three-pointers and was 14 of 22 from the free throw line. Brianna McCellon added 10 points, eight in the final period. Whiteville led 13-0 after the first quarter, but trailed 30-27 after three periods. Tia Campbell scored 13 points and freshman Alanna Deal added 11 for the Gators.
Every school in Columbus County had something to smile about. No smiles were larger than the East Columbus boys of coach Marcus Skipper. The Gators used a 22-13 third quarter run to wipe out Whiteville’s 27-19 halftime lead. The visiting Gators held on down the stretch for a 59-56 win over the Wolfpack. Free throw shooting was a key component as the teams combined to shoot 63. The Gators made 22 of its 36 attempts, including 12 of 16 in the second half. Whiteville was 15 of 27 for the game. More of Hannah Bullock’s photos from this game are below.
T.J Barr’s two treys sparked the East third-quarter surge. D. J. Williams contributed six points in the quarter. Tyree Burney scored eight of his 10 points in the fourth period to help the Gators hold off the Wolfpack. Whiteville had overcome an East Columbus nine-point lead in the final minute of play in a contest earlier this season at Lake Waccamaw. Bradley Pridgen led Whiteville with 14 points before fouling out. Cameron Richardson added 11. Barr’s 11 points led East with Burney and Graylan Daniels adding 10 apiece.
East Bladen’s girls are now alone at the top of the girls standings. East Bladen defeated South Columbus 67-36. Coach Brian McCleney’s West Bladen girls earned their second consecutive TRC victory by upsetting Red Springs 60-38, knocking the Red Devils out of a first-place tie.
South Columbus boys found a way to defeat East Bladen 57-49 despite making just 10 of 33 free throw attempts. The difference maker? The Stallions were 9 of 16 from behind the three-point arc. When asked about the disparity, South Columbus coach Bryant Edwards responded with one word, “crazy.” Aveon Bellamy and Tyquawn Johnson scored 14 points each for South and Shiquan Conyers added 11.
In other Three Rivers action, St. Pauls swept South Robeson. The Bulldog girls won by a score of 48-41 and the boys final was 57-46.
Girls (through January 12)
East Bladen 8-1 13-1
Red Springs 6-2 8-5
Fairmont 5-3 7-7
West Columbus 5-3 8-7
Whiteville 6-4 7-8
St. Pauls 5-4 7-8
East Columbus 5-5 7-6
West Bladen 2-6 4-9
South Columbus 1-8 1-11
South Robeson 1-8 1-11
Boys (through January 12)
Fairmont 7-1 13-1
West Columbus 7-1 12-2
Red Springs 7-1 10-3
St. Pauls 7-2 9-6
Whiteville 6-4 7-8
South Columbus 4-5 7-6
South Robeson 3-6 4-8
East Columbus 2-8 3-12
East Bladen 1-8 3-11
West Bladen 0-8 3-12
January 12 (Friday)
Girls, East Bladen 67 @ South Columbus 36
Girls, Fairmont 47 @ West Columbus 50
Girls, East Columbus 41 @ Whiteville 45
Girls, Red Springs 38 @ West Bladen 60
Girls, South Robeson 41 @ St. Pauls 48
Boys, East Bladen 49 @ South Columbus 57
Boys, Fairmont 68 @ West Columbus 22
Boys, East Columbus 59 @ Whiteville 56
Boys, Red Springs 88 @ West Bladen 68
Boys, South Robeson 46 @ St. Pauls 57
January 15 (Monday)
South Columbus vs Wilmington Christian (Boys Only) @ Trask
Fairmont @ East Columbus from January 3
East Bladen @ West Bladen from January 5
Red Springs @ St. Pauls from January 5
January 19 (Friday)
West Columbus @ South Columbus
Red Springs @ East Bladen
West Bladen @ East Columbus
St. Pauls @ Fairmont
Whiteville @ South Robeson