After a second quarter surge put them in control of the game, the North Meck Vikings could never quite put the Hough Huskies away until the end of their MECKA 4A boys’ basketball championship game.
But a strong finish helped regular season champ North Meck (23-2) add the conference tourney championship to their resume with a 76-65 victory on Friday night at Hough.
Mallard Creek defeated North Meck 78-52 to win the girls’ championship game.
In the boys game, senior guard Davion Mintz scored 25 points and senior forward Jaylen McManus added 19 as the Vikings appeared poised to blow out the No. 2-seeded Huskies, taking a 32-16 lead in the middle of the second quarter.
But the Huskies (19-8), led by 15 points from senior guard Ryan Friday, closed the first half on an 11-1 run to go to halftime down 33-27. And they spent the rest of the game in close pursuit but never quite catching the Vikings.
They closed to within four on a couple of occasions, the last time on a three-pointer by Justice Rushing with 2:21 to play to cut the lead to 64-60. But North Meck hit 14-of-16 free throw attempts in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
The Vikings got it with a little less scoring than they’ve had lately from Mintz, who missed much of the first quarter after picking up two early fouls. He had gone for 43 and 41 points in his previous two games.
Senior guard Kendall Coles scored 14 points for North Meck and Derrick Maxwell added 10. Junior forward Ben Topp scored 11 points for Hough.
In the girls’ title game, the top-seeded Mavericks (25-1) dominated No. 3-seed North Meck from start to finish, taking a 19-9 lead after one quarter and rolling up a margin that reached 30 points (66-36) early in the fourth quarter.
Junior forward Janae Davis scored 11 of her game-high 15 points in the first half for Mallard Creek, ranked No. 1 in the Observer’s Sweet 16. Emya Price added 13 points (3 three-pointers), Kala Brown 12 and Janae Sanders 10 for Mallard Creek.
Dynasty Heyward scored 12 points to lead North Meck (18-8) and Kori Whitehead added 11.
The first round of the playoffs begin Tuesday and all four championship game participants will learn their postseason fate when pairings are announced Saturday.