Monday night, Northside Christans boys basketball team will try for history.
The Knights will carry a 22-game win streak into the championship game of the Wild Wings Cafe Hoops Classic at Ardrey Kell High. Since the tournament began 13 years ago, no local team has won the championship in the national tournament bracket.
Northside Christian (11-0) has won two straight N.C. 2A Independent Schools championships and is favored to win a third. Monday night at 9, Northside Christian, ranked No. 14 in the MaxPreps national poll, will play Floridas Montverde Academy, which is No. 1 in the poll.
The Eagles have a plethora of talent, led by 6-foot-4 senior guard DAngelo Russell, who has committed to Ohio State.
Junior forward Ben Simmons, a 6-9 Louisiana State commitment, is considered a top-five player in his class. Senior guards Jalyn Patterson (LSU), Ashmad Rorie (California) and senior forward Justin Bibbs (Virginia Tech) also are on the team.
Montverde has been impressive at this tournament, beating South Atlanta 98-39 and St. James (Md.) 78-46 in games full of highlight dunks and dazzling defense.
Northside Christian, too, has been impressive, beating national powers Arlington Country Day (Fla.) 100-90 and Lincoln (N.Y.) 74-67. Lincoln was ranked No. 11 nationally by Student Sports and lost 74-70 to Montverde on Dec. 20 at the City of Palms (Fla.) holiday tournament.
Northside Christian, however, will be a big underdog Monday night.
Were a little 2A division school and anything we do, were always the underdog because people dont think were good enough to play with these big teams, said Knights junior forward Rayjon Tucker. Were just going to go out there and do what we do and whatever happens, happens.
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email email@example.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less