Cox Mill boys’ basketball coach Jody Barbee says part of being successful is being able to win while playing at the opponent’s pace.
And that’s exactly what his team did Saturday night, overcoming Providence Day’s more-deliberate style and scoring a 64-59 victory in the featured boys’ game of the Charlotte Hoops Challenge. The game was played in front of standing room only crowd at Berry High School.
Cox Mill (2-0) is nationally ranked in several polls and is No 1 in the Charlotte Observer’s Sweet 16 poll. Providence Day (5-1) -- which lost for the first time at this event in 10 tries -- is ranked No. 2 in the poll.
“We like to get out and run with the ball, and Providence Day didn’t let us,” Barbee said. “We had to win ugly.”
Never miss a local story.
Cox Mill employed a scrambling defense that doubled-teamed the Chargers at every turn, and it won in part by taking away one of Providence Day’s chief weapons.
“Our goal was to keep (Devon) Dotson out of the paint and away from the foul line,” Barbee said of Providence Day’s Kansas-bound standout. “I think we did pretty well at that.”
Dotson got to the foul line only twice and was held to 13 points. He also had seven assists and six rebounds.
Wendell Moore Jr., Cox Mill’s 6-6 junior forward, defended Dotson in the fourth quarter, after Cox Mill had outscored Providence Day 20-12 in the third period and had taken a 45-39 lead.
Meanwhile, Moore had a giant night, scoring a game-high 27 points and leading his team with 16 rebounds, including 11 on the offensive boards.
After Trey Wertz (16 points, team-high seven rebounds) hit two free throws and got Providence Day within 58-56 with 56 seconds left, Moore tipped in his own miss 20 seconds later, and he sealed the victory by hitting two free throws in the closing seconds.
Records: Providence Day is 5-1; Cox Mill is 2-0.
3 who mattered
Wendell Moore Jr. (Cox Mill): Moore made 10-of-14 from the foul line and scored 17 points after halftime.
Khalid Davis (Cox Mill): Davis hit 6-of-9 from the floor and scored 13 points.
Isaac Suffren (Providence Day): He provided his team with a first-half spark, scoring 13 of the Chargers’ 29 points before intermission and finishing with a team-high 17 points to go with four rebounds and four assists.
▪ Barbee promises a faster tempo Tuesday, when his team visits Rocky River. “Both of us like to get out and run,” he says. “That could be a shootout.”...UNC recruit Rechon Black finished with nine points and three rebounds.
▪ Providence Day -- which got six points and nine rebounds from 6-7 sophomore center John Miralia -- shot 52.4 percent from the floor in the first half (11-of-21) but cooled to 36 percent (9-of-25) in the second half.
▪ Providence Day’s team hosts nationally-ranked Greensboro Day Tuesday and leaves later this week for a week-long basketball trip to China.