Home News Archives VGCC Vanguards upset JV Tar Heels with 106-100 victory

VGCC Vanguards upset JV Tar Heels with 106-100 victory

The Vance-Granville Community College Vanguards men’s basketball team achieved one of the most stunning upsets in program history on Jan. 18, defeating the University of North Carolina junior varsity team by a score of 106-100 at the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill.

This was VGCC’s second trip to Chapel Hill and the team’s first win over the JV Tar Heels, who were undefeated this season before the contest.

Henderson-based radio station WIZS 1450 AM provided live coverage of the game, just as in the first meeting of the two programs in 2016. “In what was going to be an incredible experience in and of itself for the VGCC Vanguards, they came out more ready to play than the Tar Heels,” reflected Kevin Bullock, who called the game for WIZS. “The Vance-Granville locker room was electric before the game, while the UNC JV locker room was all but silent.”

The Vanguards got off to a strong start, trading leads with the Tar Heels and settling on a 51-51 tie at the half. The back-and-forth continued through the second half toward a nail-biter of a conclusion. After taking a five-point lead and then falling behind by as many as five in the second half, the Vanguards fought back to tie the Heels with two minutes to go.

With 20 seconds left on the clock, the Vanguards pulled away from a 100-100 tie and never looked back, making four straight free throws to seal the victory.

Key to VGCC’s win was a balanced offense that featured six players scoring in double figures: NiQuan Cousins (30 points), TyQuon Reid (22), Chris Pernell (16), Jaylen Jones (11), Calvin Malik Manley (11) and Kenneth Finley, Jr. (10). Cousins was also the Vanguards’ leading rebounder (14). He leads the nation in rebounds per game (14.5) for NJCAA Division II. Cousins recorded three assists and three blocks, as well. Manley contributed seven rebounds to the winning effort. Jones led in steals (4).

The Tar Heels were led in scoring by Lucas Bouknight of Greensboro, with 21 points. An article in the student newspaper, the Daily Tar Heel, concluded that the JV “basketball team wasn’t just outplayed — UNC was outworked.” The article quoted Hubert Davis, the former Tar Heel guard and 12-year NBA veteran who coaches the JV squad, as saying, “Congratulations to Vance-Granville Community College. They earned it….I just felt like the entire game they were the tougher team. They were the team that worked the hardest, that wanted it more.”

Bullock, the WIZS sportscaster, concluded that “Carolina was hampered by poor free throw shooting and live ball turnovers. Vance-Granville was able to capitalize on those opportunities and shot the ball better than they had all season. It was the UNC JV team’s fourth game in nine days, which allowed the Vanguards to get out and run on Carolina and wear them down in the second half. NiQuan Cousins, Jaylen Jones, TyQuon Reid and the rest of the Vanguards will never forget the day they went to Chapel Hill and beat the Tar Heels.”

VGCC’s next home game is set for Saturday, Jan. 21, at 3 p.m., when the Vanguards face a conference opponent, Guilford Tech Community College, at Aycock Recreation Center in Henderson. Admission is free.


Above: The VGCC Vanguards are seen here posing at center court in the “Dean Dome,” with UNC varsity team jerseys in the rafters behind them, just after they defeated the JV squad on Jan. 18. From left, the group included Coach DeMarcus Oliver, student-athletes Chris Pernell, Kenneth Finley, Jr., Calvin Malik Manley, L. Michael Henderson, TyQuon Reid, Mitch Beck, Jaylen Jones, NiQuan Cousins, Isaiah McCaffity, Antonio Adams, Darius Buford and team manager Mycal Elam. (VGCC photo)