LEWISVILLE Northside Christian’s nationally ranked team wore long sleeve white T-shirts to the N.C. Independent Schools 2A state championship that read “I Will” on the front.
It’s a marketing mantra for the shoe company that sponsors the Knights, but it really was the theme of the night for the three-time state champions.
They were, to a man, willing to do anything it took to three-peat.
Northside Christian (28-1) took everything Concord First Assembly had to give, reached down deep and produced championship stuff in the third and fourth quarters of a 87-68 win Saturday at Forsyth Country Day.
In four seasons, coach Byron Dinkins is now 117-7 with four championship appearances.
“I’m just satisfied when they go to (college),” Dinkins said. “That’s my main goal.”
Dinkins saw his team challenged like it’s rarely been this season. The Knights, used to winning by an average of 40 points, were up just 51-47 with 2 minutes, 28 seconds left in the third quarter. But senior guard Addison Holmes took over. He scored 13 of his team’s next 19 points. In the same stretch, First Assembly’s shotmaking and ballhandling became erratic.
Northside pushed out to a 70-56 lead and it was only a matter of time from there.
“Addison was big,” Dinkins said. “He’s a senior and he’s been here before and we talk about when it’s your time to seize the moment, you do it. Addison did that tonight.”
Holmes finished with 13 points. Desean Murray had 21 points and five rebounds. Keyshawn Woods had a team-high 22 points. Junior Charles Minlend led First Assembly with 25 points.
Northside has six seniors and six underclassmen, including standout junior Rayjon Tucker. Dinkins, however, didn’t want to touch the prospects of a four-peat in 2015.
“I’m not even thinking about that right now,” he said as a celebration was going on around him. “I’m going to just enjoy this one.”
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