One big shot threw one big wrench in the Southern Piedmont Conference championship race Friday night.
Gaston Day’s Derek McKnight hit a running 3-point jumper with four seconds left to beat Victory Christian in double-overtime. The shot set off a wild court-storming celebration at Gaston Day and, more important, the 63-60 win vaulted the Spartans back into the Southern Piedmont championship race.
Gaston Day now trails conference co-leaders Victory Christian and United Faith by one game. Gaston Day hosts United Faith on Tuesday and plays at Hickory Christian on Friday. Victory Christian visits United Faith on Friday.
Gaston Day can sweep its final two games and get a share of the conference championship if United Faith were to beat Victory Christian.
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• Providence Day is 19-3 and No. 2 in the Observer’s Sweet 16, but coach Brian Field likes that his team is winning off the court, too. The Chargers’ 11 players take 13 AP courses and their combined semester report cards showed 25 As, 29 Bs, 14 Cs and no Ds or Fs.
• Myers Park coach Wes Hepler said he has dismissed star guard Austin Dasent for the season. He declined to say why, saying Dasent, a Division I prospect, had a bright future and he wished Dasent well. Myers Park upset Butler on Friday in its first game without Dasent.
• Cherryville honored its 2004 basketball team Friday. The ’04 team went 23-0 in the regular-season and 11 of the 12 players were at the game Friday with Highland Tech. That ’04 team lost in the regional championship game, a place the current team hopes to go. Cherryville (17-2) beat Highland Tech 83-60. Cherryville got 17 points from freshman center Yung Sherrill and the team made 10 3-point shots.
• Central Cabarrus freshman girls point guard Mahaley Holit looks like a future star. She has been consistent all season, playing on the big varsity stage, and I suspect she has a Division I future. Friday, she led Central Cabarrus to a 66-57 win over rival West Rowan. Holit finished with 27 points and 10 assists. West Rowan sophomore Khalia Hall had a career-best 28.
• Speaking of freshman, Concord has a special one in 6-foot-3 guard Ty-Shon Alexander. Alexander had a team-high 26 points in a 74-67 win over Cox Mill on Friday.
• Myers Park girls star Aliyah Mazyck missed Friday’s game with Butler while recovering from a concussion. Freshman McKenna Haire got the start for the nationally-ranked Mustangs. Haire is heavy into cross-fit and classes at basketball factory Accelerate Basketball. Haire shot 250 3-point shots the day before Friday’s games, where Haire and Myers Park beat Butler 69-39 Friday.
• Watauga upset Sweet 16 No. 8 Freedom on Friday, ending the Patriots’ chance at an unbeaten season. Jay Harrill had 34 points and Cam Baker had 14 in a 75-64 win. Freedom fell to 17-1.