Ardrey Kell is the only Southwestern 4A team that beat the Independence boys basketball team this season, and the Knights did it twice.
Before Independence played Ardrey Kell for the tournament championship Friday at Butler, Patriots coach Preston Davis asked his team one question: How bad do you want it?
They wanted it bad, Davis said after the game.
Independence beat Ardrey Kell 71-56 to win the tournament championship, the first in school history.
This was special for Independence basketball, Davis said.
Independence (22-5) also won the regular-season championship after winning two games all last season.
Myers Park beat Ardrey Kell 49-29 to win a second straight SW4A girls basketball tournament.
The boys game was tied 4-4 in the first quarter when Independence went on a 14-2 run to finish the period leading 18-6.
The Patriots extended their lead to 33-16 at halftime.
Independence, which has won 18 of its past 19 games, led by as many as 24 points in the second half.
The Carolina Panthers Cam Newton and Thomas Davis took in part of the third quarter from the baseline.
Junior Marcus Graves led Independence with 21 points. Junior Tayon Gleaves added 16.
Sophomore Steven Santa Ana led Ardrey Kell (22-5) with 17 points.
Patriots coach Davis, who graduated from Independence in 1999, was quiet for several seconds when asked after the game what the championship meant for the program.
Im at a loss for words, he said. It means a lot. These kids, theyve been working since last year and theyve been fighting through adversity and fighting to prove themselves. ...
Im proud of them.
Mustangs win, stay undefeated
The Myers Park girls basketball team will enter the 4A state playoffs undefeated for the second year in a row after beating Ardrey Kell (24-3) in the SW4A tournament championship.
The Mustangs (27-0) were also regular season champions.
Last time these two teams played, Myers Park trailed in the second half before beating the Knights in overtime.
Friday, the Mustangs never trailed and led 30-11 at halftime.
Coach Barbara Nelson said the difference was the way Myers Park rotated on defense and contested shots. The Mustangs also limited turnovers, committing just five in the first half.
I think its huge that we did not turn the basketball over, Nelson said. I thought we played tremendous defense.
Sophomore Aliyah Mazyck led Myers Park with 14 points and junior Saadia Timpton had 13 points and six steals in the game.
Myers Park sophomore Rydeiah Rogers had 10 points and 18 rebounds. Sophomore Jordan Muhammad scored 10 points for Ardrey Kell.
The N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A basketball tournament starts Monday.