Charlotte Christian put its best assets to use by getting to the hoop Thursday night.
Christian took advantage of its size by attacking the rim in the second half of a 67-47 non-conference win against Weddington. The Knights either got the basket off the dribble or by passing into the paint. The Knights, No. 4 in the Sweet 16, responded by wearing No. 13 Weddington down with the easier shots.
“The … message at halftime was we didn’t want to live and die by threes,” Knights coach Shonn Brown said. “Even though we can shoot those and it feels good, that’s not what we’re about holistically. As a team, we have really good size, guys who can cut to the basket very well, guys that can pass the ball. We wanted to exploit the inside, especially with our size.”
The Knights (8-1) second-half surge turned a close game into a romp. Charlotte Christian combined stingy defense with an efficient attack to outscore Weddington 40-25 after intermission.
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“We told our guys we can’t be satisfied being on the road, even though we’re up, which is a blessing at halftime,” Brown said. “We wanted our defense to create offense.”
The Knights used the perimeter shooting of J.C. Tharrington to grab a 27-22 lead at halftime. Tharrington, who finished with 17 points, scored 10 before the break, including eight in the second quarter as Christian led by as much as 20-12. The Knights grabbed the lead for good late in the first quarter on Tharrington’s basket to post an 8-7 advantage.
Christian opened the game working the ball to forward Blake Preston, who drew more attention after hitting a pair of baskets in the lane. Although center B.J. Mack, a 6-8 sophomore Virginia Tech recruit, was hampered by foul trouble, the Knights’ balance was more than enough compensation. Rob Peterson pumped in 15 points plus nine rebounds for Charlotte Christian while Kayle Mason added 14 points and 10 rebounds. Timmy Havens paced Weddington (4-4) with 14 points while Corey Davis added 11.
Charlotte Christian 11 16 17 23-67
Weddington 7 15 13 12-47
Charlotte Christian–J.C. Tharrington 17, Rob Peterson 15, Kayle Mason 14, Shrader 6, Bennett 4, Preston 4, Mack 4, Brown 3.
Weddington–Timmy Havens 14, Corey Davis 11, Schwieger 7, Livingston 5, Litton 4, Dixon 2, Sergeant 2.