↑North Gaston: Former Myers Park coach Wes Hepler guided his team to a 64-62 upset win over Sweet 16 No. 15 Kings Mountain Tuesday to improve to 13-5. It’s North Gaston’s best start in 20 years -- and Hepler’s team got a heroic shot to get there (more below).
↑Qon Murphy, Concord Cannon: 6-6 senior guard passed 1,000 points in a Cannon uniform and was honored before Tuesday’s 69-58 win over Charlotte Latin. Jairus Hamilton, a Boston College recruit, led Cannon with 32 points. Murphy -- who scored 616 points as a freshman and sophomore at Hough High School -- had 16 points Tuesday. Murphy transferred to Cannon before his junior season.
↑Brandon Ellington, Community School of Davidson: junior shooting guard had 19 points, 11 assists, seven rebounds, two blocks and two steals in a 75-63 win over Carolina International. CSD is 15-2.
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Tuesday’s #BIG5 Performers
Jalen Celestine, SouthLake Christian: 15 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, two blocks in a 70-62 win over Northside Christian. Teammates Madison Monroe (16 points, six rebounds) and Deon Haughton (14 points, five assists, four rebounds, three steals) had strong games.
Nate Hinton, Quan McCluney, Gaston Day: Houston signee Hinton had 26 points, 12 assists, eight rebounds and three steals in a 84-58 win over Hickory Grove. McCluney, a College of Charleston signee, had 25 points, eight rebounds, three blocks, two steals and two assists.
Dezure Moulden, Belmont Stuart Cramer: 40 points, five rebounds, five steals in a 87-64 win over Boiling Springs Crest.
Jaden Springer, Rocky River: Scored his 1,000th point in an 84-73 win at Myers Park. Springer, a 6-foot-3 sophomore All-American, finished with 25 points, 12 rebounds, three blocks. Teammates Jordan Campbell (19 points) and Khalil Brantley (seven points, eight rebounds, seven assists) had strong games.
Justin Taylor, Demetrios Dixon, Mallard Creek: Combined for 44 points in a 73-64 win over Lake Norman in overtime. Lake Norman -- which got 23 points, 10 rebounds from Demarcus Johnson -- outscored Mallard Creek 17-11 in the fourth quarter to force overtime. But the Mavericks, who began the season 0-9, won for the seventh time in eight games. Taylor had 26 points and Dixon had 18. Dixon scored the game-tying free throw with 0.2 seconds left in regulation and had eight points in OT.
Sweet 16 Spotlight
No. 1 North Mecklenburg 73, West Charlotte 63: The Vikings (17-1, 8-0 I-MECK) took a commanding three-game conference lead over the second place Lions (13-6, 6-3). But the Lions made North Meck work for it. West Charlotte was down 34-31 at halftime, before North Meck sprinted to a 20-12 third quarter “win,” to provide a working margin. North Meck’s Jae’Lyn Withers had 21 points, 11 rebounds. Chris Ford had 19 points, seven rebounds and Tristan Maxwell had 19 points, four assists. Christian Koonce led West Charlotte with 24 points.
No. 2 Independence 87, East Mecklenburg 53: Independence led 24-8 after the first quarter in an easy win. Jamarius Burton, who picked up a UMASS offer this week, had 17 points, 10 rebounds, three steals. Matthew Smith had 12 points, five rebounds, five steals, five blocks and two assists. Raja Milton had 12 points, seven assists, five steals and four rebounds. And Andra’ McKee had 13 points, five rebounds and two steals.
No. 3 Concord Cox Mill 64, Northwest Cabarrus 26: Cox Mill led 40-14 at halftime of an easy win. Juniors Wendell Moore (17 points) and Caleb Stone-Carrawell (13) led the Chargers.
No. 9 Hickory 82, No. 10 Morganton Freedom 56: Hickory dominated from the start in a showdown between Northwestern 3A/4A rivals. The Red Tornadoes led 19-12 after the first quarter and 40-23 at halftime. Torrey James had 20 to lead Hickory and James Freeman added 13. Freedom got 13 from Jakari Dula.
No. 13 Providence Day 76, Charlotte Country Day 42: Country Day (16-9, 3-2 CISAA) had its four-game win streak snapped, playing its fourth game in five days. Providence Day -- which shot 74 percent from 2-point range and 57-percent from 3-- jumped out to a 25-5 lead and didn’t look back. Kansas signee and McDonald’s All-American Devon Dotson had 29 points, five rebounds, four assists and made 11-of-12 shots and 4-of-5 3-point attempts. Santa Clara signee and McDonald’s All-American nominee Trey Wertz, battling the flu, had 16 points, nine rebounds, six assists. He made 71 percent of his 2-point attempts and 50 percent of his 3s. Senior Isaac Suffren addded 16 points, nine rebounds, two assists. DeAngelo Epps had 20 points for Country Day and Alex Tabor added 11.
No. 14 Salisbury 73, Lexington 54: Salisbury jumped out to a 17-4 first quarter lead. Elijah Moss had 15 points made all four of his 3-point attempts. Isacc Baker had 12 points, eight assists, seven steals and six rebounds. Junior Bill Fisher had seven points and 14 rebounds.
Ardrey Kell 62, West Mecklenburg 55: Ardrey Kell hit 18-of-19 free throws, including 11-of-12 in the fourth quarter. Luke Stankavage, a sophomore, led the Knights (14-4, 5-2 SoMeck) with 18 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter. David Kasanganay, a Navy recruit, had 15 points and passed the 800-point career mark. He has 813. Christian Pickens had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Knights, who played for the first time in two weeks.
East Lincoln 67, Lincolnton 42: East Lincoln emphatically ended rival Lincolnton’s nine-game win streak. East (15-4, 8-1) led 22-4 after the first quarter. Sidney Dollar had 18 points and John Bean 19 for East Lincoln, which has won eight in a row and 10 of their past 11. Lincolnton (14-3, 7-2) got 12 points from Tyshawn Harris.
Vance 68, Hopewell 57: Vance outscored Hopewell 23-14 in a decisive fourth quarter. Daniel Ransom (22 points, 10 rebounds) and Brandon Beidleman (20 points, five assists, four rebounds) led the Cougars. Brice Williams had 21 for Hopewell.
By The Numbers
27: Down in Spartanburg, Zion Williamson had 27 points in the first half of his first game since committing to play at Duke. He finished with 37 in a win over Oakbrook Prep.
4: Concord First Assembly limited Gaston Christian to four points in the third quarter of an 84-33 win. Stephen Edoka had 25 points, nine rebounds for CFA.
4: Olympic beat South Mecklenburg 73-62 Friday. The Trojans, No. 11 in the Sweet 16, trailed 43-42 at halftime, but outscored South Meck 14-4 in a decisive third quarter. Jalen Barr (18 points) and Josh Banks (17) led Olympic. Chris White had 17 for South.
5-10: Metrolina Christian junior Tate Johnson made 5-of-10 3-point attempts in a 59-41 win over Rock Hill Westminster Catawba. He finished with 23 points, three steals, two assists and two rebounds. Teammate Stephen Clark had 12 points, nine rebounds, nine blocks and four assists.
Move of the Night
North Gaston senior Austin Primm made the 3-point, game-winning shot in the Kings Mountain upset. Kings Mountain was 8-0 in the Big South. Appalachian State recruit Adrian Delph had a game-high 26 points for Kings Mountain and North Gaston got 19 from freshman L.T. Thomas and 17 from sophomore Tyrese McNeal. But it was Primm who was the hero.
Move of the Night II
Lake Norman Charter’s Connor Reed scored a game-high 18 points in a 56-36 win over North Lincoln. He became the fourth player in school history to pass 1,000 career points. Here’s the magical shot.
Bessemer City at Hibriten
Cabarrus Charter at Langtree Charter
Carson at South Iredell
Central Cabarrus at West Rowan
Christ the King at Sugar Creek Charter
Community School of Davidson at Bradford Prep
Forest Hills at East Montgomery
Fred T. Foard at St. Stephens
Garinger at Myers Park
Gaston Day at SouthLake Christian
Hopewell at Hough
Independence at Hickory Ridge
Lee Central at Central Pageland
Monroe at Anson County
North Davidson at South Rowan
North Rowan at South Stanly
North Stanly at West Stanly
Providence at Ardrey Kell
Statesville Christian vs. Greenville Christian in BJU Invitational (Greenville, SC) (Boys), 12:30
Thomas Jefferson Academy at T.C. Roberson
Watauga at Ashe County