Charlotte Christian pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the year so far in North Carolina, taking down Greensboro Day 62-54 at home.
Greensboro Day (20-2) had a five-game winning streak snapped. The Bengals were ranked as high as No. 3 in the national polls.
The Knights’ sophomore big man BJ Mack, a Virginia Tech recruit, led all scorers with 17 points, including 11 in the second half. Mack also had 10 rebounds and seven assists.
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Blake Preston had 14 for Christian (15-2), and none bigger that four straight free throws in the final minute to ice the win. Christian point guard J.C. Tharrington also finished in double figures with 12, including three 3-pointers. But Tharrington’s biggest contribution was handling the relentless pressure from Greensboro Day’s speedy, smart and athletic backcourt.
“J.C. is very savvy, he has a high IQ, he can change speeds and get around a guy ball, fake and pass,” said Christian coach Shonn Brown. “He did a masterful job of leading the charge for our ball club tonight whether it was running the offense, playing a great spot on the wing of our zone, or knocking down open shots.”
Brown also talked about what it meant to him and the Christian program to knock off a nationally ranked opponent.
“The win tonight speaks to our guys staying focused. We talk about being concentrating, competing, having great character and just staying competitive for four quarters. I think if you watched the game tonight, they stuck to our game plan and we executed on all cylinders.”
▪ Jordan Perkins led Greensboro Day with 17 points followed by Solomon Smith’s 13. John Newman (12) and J.P. Moorman (10) also were in double figures for the Bengals, the N.C. Independent Schools 3A state championship favorites.
WORTH MENTIONING: The Knights outscored Greensboro Day 35-28 in the second half and 19-12 in the all-important fourth quarter.
THREE WHO MATTERED:
BJ Mack – Charlotte Christian: Had seven, fourth-quarter points to lead the Knights down the stretch including one 3-pointer.
Jordan Perkins – Greensboro Day: Tied Christian’s Mack with a game-high 17 points which included four 3-pointers.
Blake Preston– Charlotte Christian: Had six fourth-quarter points and a team-high 11 rebounds.
THEY SAID IT: “It just says that how like people just think that we’re like the underdog in any situation, and that we can just come out and beat anybody when we play.” Christian’s BJ Mack on outscoring Greensboro Day 19-12 in the decisive fourth quarter.
RECORDS: Greensboro Day (20-2), Charlotte Christian (15-2, 1-0)
WHAT’S NEXT: Greensboro Day will host Piedmont Classical Thursday while Christian plays Friday at Ravenscroft at 8:00 p.m.
GREENSBORO DAY: Jordan Perkins 17, Solomon Smith 13, John Newman 12, J.P. Moorman 10, Dillard 1.
CHARLOTTE CHRISTIAN: BJ Mack 17, Blake Preston 14, J.C. Tharrington 12, Bennett 7, Peterson 6, Mason 6.