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BOILING SPRING LAKES—Everyone else on the basketball court looked to be powered by traditional electrolytes.
But Adam Jacobs seemed propelled by rocket fuel.
The 5-foot-10 senior guard blazed his way through defenses, leading North Brunswick to a 71-38 victory over South Brunswick Friday night.
The win keeps the Scorpions in first place in the Waccamaw Conference.
“That’s more than a good team—that’s the best team we’ve played all year,” South coach Scott Wainwright said. “And that’s the player of the year. He’s the best guard I’ve seen in our conference. He does a lot of things really well.”
Jacobs led the team in scoring (23 points), rebounding (11 boards) and assists (5). He made three interceptions for good measure.
“A.J. is a kid who is starting to get some looks (from college coaches), one in particular,” North coach Bryan Hayes said. “He leads the team in scoring (averaging about 20 points per game). I’m sending some tape off. I still see room for improvement.
“He’s super freaky fast, he’s a good floor leader and he can get to the rim.”
Despite multiple defenders, Jacobs scored 15 points in the second quarter alone. He swished North’s only 3-point shot of the game during that stretch and added another 3-point play on a driving layup and free throw. Two of his interceptions led to fast-break buckets, and he banked in a shot from the left side as the Scorpions pulled away 34-18 a minute before halftime.
“We gave them points off turnovers,” Wainwright said. “They’ve got some guys that can go. You get that first jab, and they just keep punching.”
The Cougar coach said that when your record is 3-12, you can’t give up fast-break lay-ups and free throws, and the Scorpions took advantage of both. They sank 22 of 29 foul shots, compared to South’s 16 of 27.
The knockout punch came in the second half, when North held South to four field goals, two of those by James Prince. South went scoreless for six minutes from 3:06 left in the third quarter when Khalin Clemmons hit a 15-footer, to 5:03 left in the game, when Anthony Jackson drained a long shot near the baseline. But by then North held an insurmountable 66-34 lead.
South got eight of its 16 total points in the second half on foul shots.
North’s Nik Sloan scored 10 of his 12 points in the first half and blocked a shot from behind.
“I know Nik Sloan’s going to bring his game,” Hayes said. “J.J. Batts played extremely well, and Mitch Layton came in and got some good minutes.”
Batts, a 6-3 junior, had four points, eight rebounds and a block. Brandon Weaver was the third Scorpion in double figures with 10 points. He also grabbed six rebounds.
In the second half, Jacobs made an assist to a teammate. On North’s next possession, Jacobs again stood near the top of the key and appeared to be orchestrating the same play. But this time instead of passing, he made a lickity-split move left to the basket and scored, leaving stunned defenders in his wake.
If Jacobs is a late bloomer, then Layton is an early one. The 6-4 freshman scored eight points, including two baskets on hook shots that hit nothing but net.
Ten North players scored.
“My kids played hard, and we shared the basketball,” Hayes said. “That was a good win for us.”
The Scorpions have an 11-6 record with a 5-1 mark in league play. Their only loss through the first round of conference play was to West Brunswick.
Friday night, North jumped out to a 10-3 advantage, but South overtook the lead at 12-10 on 3-pointers by Michael Moss and Monjharvis Walls, who scored 10 of his 13 points in the first half. Sloan’s drive evened the score at 12-12 to end the first quarter.
The second quarter belonged to Jacobs, who scored more in those eight minutes than the entire Cougar squad did in any quarter.
Was the 15 points a fluke, or a fulfillment of potential?
“He has the potential to do that,” Hayes said. “He’s a tough guy to stop.”
NB 12 24 19 16—71
SB 12 10 10 6—38
NB—Adam Jacobs 23, Nik Sloan 12, Brandon Weaver 10, Mitch Layton 8, Jaeden Phillips 6, J.J. Batts 4, Tre’ Graham 3, Terrence Brown 2, Jabril Robinson 2, Brandon Addison 1.
SB—Monjharvis Walls 13, James Prince 6, Anthony Jackson 5, Michael Moss 5, Dylan Mosely 4 (6 rebounds), Khalin Clemmons 2, Andrew Moore 2, Trey Gilbert 1.
Sarah Sue Ingram, a member of the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame board of directors, is a sports correspondent for the Beacon.