Coach Johnny Thomas makes a postgame video with his Eastern Randolph boys’ basketball team after winning the Class 1-A West Region semifinal at South Stokes. (PJ Ward-Brown/Randolph Record)
WALNUT COVE – Pierce Leonard scored 10 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter and Eastern Randolph rallied past South Stokes to continue its best postseason in program history.
The Wildcats put together a strong second half to pull out the Class 1-A West Region semifinal, winning 74-71 on Tuesday night.
“I told them, ‘I am proud of you. We’ve had a long season, but this is not it,’ ” first-year Eastern Randolph coach Johnny Thomas said.
Devonte Brooks scored 15 points despite foul trouble, Timothy Brower posted 10 of his 12 points in the second half and Nicah Taylor finished with 11 points in Eastern Randolph’s first road game of the postseason.
“The whole season we have built a foundation where we can play with or without Devonte,” Thomas said.
The Wildcats made enough plays down the stretch. The Sauras missed three potential tying 3-point shots in the final 12 seconds.
Third-seeded Eastern Randolph (28-2) meets fourth-seeded Bishop McGuinness (25-5), which eliminated top-seeded Mountain Heritage 58-54, on Saturday at a to-be-determined neutral site.
South Stokes (25-5) led 45-36 at halftime.
“It was just a simple adjustment of pride,” Thomas said.
Barry Hairston poured in 23 points for the Sauras.
Bertie (26-4) and Wilson Prep (25-7) will meet in the East Region final.
At Randleman, top-seeded Randleman dropped a 49-42 decision to visiting East Burke in the Class 2-A West Region semifinals.
Gracyn Hall scored 12 points for Randleman (27-2), which led 24-21 at halftime before trailing 33-29 entering the fourth quarter.
With the Tigers facing a 42-40 deficit, East Burke posted the next five points.
Randleman’s Elizabeth York and Audra Petty both notched nine points.
Fifth-seeded East Burke (27-2) takes on third-seeded Salisbury (25-3) in the regional final.