JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Deep playoff runs are nothing new for the Northside-Jacksonville boys basketball team. Four years ago their season came to an end at the hand of, current Los Angeles Laker, Brandon Ingram’s Kinston Vikings. Current Monarch guard, Zach Hobbs was a freshman in 2014. In 2017, Hobbs’ senior season, Northside is 29-0 and getting ready to play in the 2A State Title game on Saturday. But for Hobbs, his quest for a state title in his senior year started long before the first game.
“He’s a kid, he just really really believed we were going to play for a State Championship this year,” said Tony Mashburn, Northside boys basketball head coach. “He’s worked his butt off in the off season, you know, Zach and all the others they’ve put in the time, but you know Zach is an incredible kid.”
Hobbs turned in a memorable performance in the State Semifinals against Greene Central, as he scored a game-high 22 points. Hobbs credits his hunger to move past the semifinals as the fuel for his success.
“I’ve been here before and I know how much I wanted to get to the next game, after this game,” said Hobbs. “So, I was very comfortable, I know I had to lead my team out there, so I started off the game strong and I just told them to ride me and that’s what they did and they helped me out a lot.”
The only thing standing in the way of the Monarchs quest for an unbeaten season is Saturday’s State Championship game in Chapel Hill against North Surry. But Hobbs has faith in his teammates and coaches that they will reach the pinnacle and forever be known as State Champions.
“We are going to prepare great,” said Hobbs. “I know my coaching staff, they are going to find all the information about the team we will play next Saturday and we are going to work on it in practice and we are going to go hard and hopefully, pass the top of the mountain.”