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Trojans advance to sectional final

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By Michael Paul, Sports Editor

  SHALLOTTE — West Brunswick beat Cleveland 70-51 in a second-round game of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Class 3A state basketball playoffs.

The Trojans will play at 7 p.m. Friday at home against Southern Durham (17-10) for a sectional title and advancement to the East Regional. West last won a sectional and played in a regional in 2003.

Cleveland, a school in Clayton, has been in existence for four years. With two seniors on its roster, Cleveland was in the state playoffs for the first time. It finished the season 14-12.

For West (19-7),  Gray Cheers scored 12 points, O.J. Hill 11 and Zarie Hankins 9.

Other West scorers: Nasir Muray 4, Alex Clarida 6, Demaria Evans 8, Saadiq Johnson 7, Tyquan Hill 4, Shermonde Fulwood 3, Jon Jordan 5, Xavier Gause 1.

In the first quarter, 3-pointers by O.J. Hill and Demaria Evans helped give the Trojans a 9-8 lead.

West outscored Cleveland 20-12 in the second quarter in taking a 29-20 lead.

The Trojans clinched the victory in the third quarter, outscoring Cleveland 23-9 for a 52-29 lead.

In the quarter, a three-point play by Evans gave West a 20-16 lead. Zarie Hankins hit a 3-pointer. A follow-up by Shermonde Fulwood extended the lead to 27-18.

West took control in the third quarter. A follow-up by Hankins and a pull-up jumper by Tyquan Hill put West ahead 36-21 with 5:34 left. A steal by Johnson extended the lead to 38-21. The Trojans outscored Cleveland 13-1 in taking a 42-21 lead with 3:06 left. The Trojans maintained a big lead the rest of the game