Published: Jul 10, 2012 07:00 PM
Modified: Jul 11, 2012 12:30 PM
CHAPEL HILL - Nothing is ever easy in the Durham-centric PAC-6, one of the toughest and best balanced athletic conferences in North Carolina.
Five PAC-6 schools were represented in the Jammin’ on the Hill basketball invitational last weekend in Chapel Hill — Hillside, Northern, Riverside, Roxboro Person and host East Chapel Hill — and the results made it clear that next winter’s basketball season will be another internecine war.
"These are scrimmages, and some teams don’t have all of their personnel. Their kids are on travel teams, or they’re on vacation," noted first-year Riverside head coach Brian Strickland. "But play in the summer still gets pretty intense, especially at this tournament where we have a lot of the teams from the PAC-6."
Each of the PAC-6 schools came out of Jammin’s pool play with a winning record, and they split their head-to-head matchups.
Hillside sent two teams to the annual tournament, and the Hornet ’A’ team reached the championship final Sunday afternoon losing to 2A upstart Carrboro, 53-46. Hillside had beaten Carrboro in the tournament’s first round of pool play, 65-57.
"For us to get a second chance at Hillside and to right the ship and come out with the win is just fantastic," Alcox said.
Person, the team Hillside defeated in last winter’s PAC-6 tournament final, went 4-1 in pool play but never got the opportunity for a rematch with the Hornets. Carrboro bumped the Rockets out of the tournament playoffs Sunday morning.
Much the same was true for the hosts from East, who went 5-0 in poll play but later lost to Carrboro, 59-48, in the tournament semifinals.
Northern went 3-2 in pool play and was eliminated in the playoffs by Hillside, 63-51.
Riverside went 3-2 in pool play, including a 53-47 win against Hillside on Saturday. The Hornets avenged that with a 58-48 win over the Pirates in the playoffs’ semifinals.
"I think I speak for most coaches when I say ’we hate to lose,’" Strickland aid. "But at the same time, we understand that this summer is a trial period. This is more about developing team chemistry. We’re working to have those valuable minutes of playing together."