The fourth-seeded Catawba Valley Community College men’s basketball team advanced to the Region 10 semifinals on Tuesday with an 84-79 victory against host No. 3 seed Louisburg at the Roger Taylor Center.
Sophomore forward E.J. Thomas led Catawba Valley (13-6) in its tournament quarterfinal victory, scoring 22 points — one point shy of a career-high performance.
Sophomore guards Jaylen Prioleau and Donovan Evans also reached double figures in scoring with 14 points each.
Trailing 39-36 at halftime, the Red Hawks outscored the Hurricanes (11-7) 39-23 during the second half.
Tied 65-65 with 8:30 to go, CVCC scored eight-straight points, including six by sophomore forward Tony Hauser, to grab the advantage late.
Louisburg rallied to pull within 79-77 with 25 seconds to go, but Catawba Valley made 13 of its 21 free throws during the second half, holding on to advance in the Region 10 tournament.
The tournament victory for the Red Hawks against the Hurricanes is their first in four meetings and avenges a 95-90 loss in last year’s Region 10 semifinals.
Winners of seven of their last eight games, the Red Hawks now take on top-seeded Davidson-Davie (18-2) on the road Thursday for a chance to play in Saturday’s Region 10 championship game against the winner of the other semifinal between Sandhills and Pasco-Hernando (Fla.).