TROUTMAN North Mecklenburg, ranked sixth in the Observer Sweet 16 poll, knocked off No. 1 and previously undefeated Lake Norman 65-55 in the championship game of the Record and Landmark Holiday Classic at South Iredell High.
C.J. Bryce scored 13 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter for North Mecklenburg (11-1), which put the game away with a dominating run at the start of the fourth quarter against the Wildcats (9-1).
“Our confidence level was pretty high,” said Bryce, who was named the tournament’s MVP. “We just had to take it slow, execute and play good defense.”
Kishawn Pritchett scored a game-high 27 points and Hunter Seacat added 14 for Lake Norman.
Nolan Beasley added 12 points and 12 rebounds, and Davion Mintz had 12 points for the Vikings.
“People had been talking about us before that loss (to West Charlotte, which snapped an eight-game winning streak),” North Mecklenburg coach Duane Lewis said. “But we’ve got the confidence that we can play with anyone when we’re playing our game.
“We’ve got a couple of quality wins, but this was a great quality win.”
The Vikings were never more on their game than during the fourth quarter. They held Lake Norman without a field goal for more than 51/2 minutes, and outscored them 17-3 over the span.
Bryce scored 11 points during the run, including two free throws with 2:56 remaining to give North Mecklenburg a 57-38 lead.
That was a complete turnaround from the third quarter, when Lake Norman fought back from a 26-20 halftime deficit to lead briefly before tying the score at 35 with less than 90 seconds remaining. But Taj Middleton scored off a steal with 55 seconds left, and Beasley nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to put the Vikings ahead to stay.
Kiser: 704-895-3662; Twitter: @BKiser_CLTObs.
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