Cox Mill High qualified for its first state championship Saturday, riding sophomore sensation Wendell Moore to a 64-52 win over Freedom in the N.C 3A Western Regional final.
Moore had 23 points, 15 rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal. Cox Mill (25-6) led 22-10 after the first quarter and never let it go.
Senior Francis Sio had 13 points, five rebounds and two assists in the win as Cox Mill qualified for its first state championship. It’ll be the second year in a row a Cabarrus County team has made the final. Concord Robinson won the 3A title last year.
Freedom got 17 points, six rebounds from Tobias Kanipe but shot just 33 percent for the game. Cox Mill outrebounded the Patriots 39-29.
Hickory Ridge girls 55, Freedom 42: Hickory Ridge (31-0) held the reigning 3A state champions to just 23 percent shooting for the game in a comfortable semifinal win. Hickory Ridge outrebounded Freedom 43-29 and got 17 points from Jiera Shears, 15 points, nine rebounds from Gabby Smith and 12 rebounds from Sherise Jones. Freedom got 19 points from Ariyanna Williams and 17 from Amaryah Corpening.
North Surry 83, Forest Hills 73: North Surry got 29 points from Mason Hawks and 27 from Carter Phillips, as the players led North Surry to the state finals. As a team, Forest Hills’ Nas Tyson, who had 40 points and 11 rebounds in a quarterfinal win over previously unbeaten East Rutherford, finished with 27 points and four rebounds.
Lincoln Charter 54, Mount Airy 51: Lincoln Charter advanced to its first N.C. High School Athletic Association state championship. Koby Shubert hit two free throws with 5.2 seconds left for the final margin.