The Helicopter On A Mission
At some point, if someone is going to beat Greensboro Dudley in the state tournament, they'll have to make sure Eric "The Helicopter" Hicks remains grounded. On Thursday night, he achieved liftoff and propelled Dudley past Jacksonville White Oak, 65-57.
It was another typical game in which Hicks had his way inside to the tune of 36 points and 14 rebounds. White Oak's Brandon Streeter (22 points) wasn't enough to even slow him down. Hicks controlled the paint with 3 blocks and did his best Dale Earnhardt intimidator impression as he made it tough on White Oak.
At the high school level, Hicks has proven to be too much to handle inside for opponents. He routinely breaks through traffic and comes down with rebounds. On Thursday, he tried to expand his game to the perimeter but came up short hitting just 3-of-10 from downtown, but as ineffective as he was from deep he was that dominant inside.
His signature moment came in the game's waning seconds when, on a breakout, he raced down the court uncontested and through himself an alley-oop off the backboard for a big-time dunk that put the kibosh on White Oak.
Dudley advances to play Winston-Salem Parkland, a team they beat twice already, in the regional final on Saturday. However, Parkland has a big advantage at the guard position and has all kinds of momentum after a 9-point win over one of the state's best teams, Kinston, on Thursday in the other semifinal.