↑Crest: Chargers (11-15) upset Statesville (15-9) 69-67 Tuesday in the first round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3A playoffs. Coming into the game, Crest had lost five of its past six games.
↓NCHSAA playoff pairings: Too many local teams are facing each other too early. Thursday, for example, arch rivals Lincolnton and East Lincoln meet in the second round. It’s the eighth time the teams have played in two years. Shouldn’t the playoffs, at least early, be about playing somebody different?
↑Lake Norman Charter: beat North Rowan 77-61 to advance to the second round of the NCHSAA playoffs. Grayson Hickert and Troy Cracknell had 19 points each as Lake Norman Charter (20-7) polished off back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time in school history. Lake Norman Charter is trying to reach the Sweet 16 for the fifth straight season and the Elite 8 for the second straight year.
↑Richmond Senior: Leon Zeigler had 42 points in the Raiders’ 123-118 win over Vance, No. 11 in the Observer’s Sweet 16 poll. Zeigler and Richmond topped 100 points for an NCHSAA record 17th time this season and outscored Vance 40-26 in a decisive third quarter. Next up for Richmond (21-6)? Thursday’s game at Sweet 16 No. 1 Butler (27-0). Richmond averages 101 points per game. Butler allows about 52.
Tuesday’s #BIG5 Performers
Robbie Cowie, Lincolnton: made five 3-point shots in a 95-75 win over Lexington Monday and finished with 28 points. Cowie has made nine 3-point shots in his last five quarters of play, dating to last Friday. In his last six quarters, Cowie has scored 49 points. On Tuesday, teammate Sage Surratt had a game-high 34 points.
Cameron Dollar, Coleson Leach, East Lincoln: Dollar had 31 points, six rebounds in an 81-71 win over West Stokes Friday. Leach had 29 points.
Jackson Gabriel, Lincoln Charter: 24 points, five rebounds, four assists and three charges taken in an 88-64 win over Walkertown. Gabriel made 6-of-11 3-point attempts. Teammates Kody Shubert (14 points, 13 assists) and Jehlon Johnson (15 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks) had strong games.
Cam Hamilton, Vance: His final high school game produced a career-high 63 points against Richmond Senior. Hamilton made 25-of-40 field goal attempts, including 6-of-10 3-pointers. He had nine rebounds, five steals and three assists. The 63 points is a Mecklenburg County record, breaking the 16-year-old mark of 53 set by Providence Day’s Taylor Mokris. The 63 points is believed to be the highest scored by any N.C. player this season and ranks No. 3 in state history all-time. The 25 made field goals tied a state record and Hamilton was just four points away from another -- the 67-year-old record of 67 points set by Clayton’s Bob Poole.
Ryan Schwieger, Weddington: The Princeton recruit had 33 points in a 74-66 win over Asheville Reynolds in the first round of the playoffs. Along the way, Schwieger became his school’s all-time leading scorer. He now has 1,337 career points.
No. 1 Butler 74, Winston-Salem Reynolds 50: Butler led 33-21 at halftime and ran away to an easy win. DJ Little had 20 points, Zane Rankin 13 and Tarique Stowe 10 for the Bulldogs (27-0). Arion Broadnax had 21 for Reynolds.
No. 2 North Mecklenburg 66, East Forsyth 64: The Vikings avoided a big upset Tuesday, getting 18 points, 12 rebounds from 6-6, 300-pound center Terrell Sherman. Sophomore Jae’Lyn Withers had 15 points and eight rebounds. Freshman Tristan Maxwell had 15 points and junior point guard Vaud Worthy, the MVP of the MECKA tournament, had seven points and nine assists.
No. 5 Independence 59, Pinecrest 34: Victor Tshiona and Matthew Statile had 11 points each for the Patriots, who held Pinecrest to 11 points in the second and third quarters of an easy win.
No. 6 Concord Robinson 68, East Gaston 56: VCU recruit Lavar Batts Jr. had 19 points, six rebounds and six assists to lead his team to a first round win. Vi’Chon Means (16 points, three rebounds) and Javonte Misenheimer (10 points) also had strong games. East Gaston got a game-high 33 points from Ryan Grice and 15 from Samuel Brown.
Greensboro Page 66, Ardrey Kell 49: Junior guard David Kasanganay tied his career-high with 27 points but the Knights lost their first round playoff game on the road. Ardrey Kell (15-12) trimmed the Pirates lead to seven in the fourth quarter before falling.
Rocky River 85, Olympic 72: Rocky River led from start to finish, winning on the road at the SoMeck 8 regular-season and tournament champions from Olympic. Rocky River freshman Jaden Springer had 19 points, seven assists and five rebounds. Raquan Brown had 19 points, six rebounds and three assists. Mikey Maddox had 12 points and six assists for Rocky River and Darling Stone-Dubar added 19 points and six rebounds.
By The Numbers
241: Richmond Senior and Vance combined for 241 points in the Raiders’ 123-118 win over Vance in the first round of the NCHSAA playoffs. That’s the second most points ever scored in an NCHSAA game, just behind the 245 for East Meck and Harding in November of 2000. Of course, East-Harding went three overtimes and Vance-Richmond was 32 minutes of racehorse regulation.
1991: Piedmont got 21 points from Hunter Tyson and 18 from Camden Baucom and beat Canton Pisgah 66-55 Tuesday. It was the Panthers’ first playoff win in four years and their first home playoff win in 26 years.
17: South Meck 6-8 center Bryant Thomas had 21 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks in a 48-44 loss to Greensboro Dudley. It was his 17th double-double of the season.
Mecklenburg County Single Game Scoring Leaders
- Cam Hamilton, Vance, 63 (2017)
- Taylor Mokris, Providence Day, 53 (2001)
- Jamie Skeen, North Mecklenburg, 52 (2005); Bray Pemberton, North Meck, 52 (2001)