↑BSN Sports Queen City Clash: Friday’s 8 p.m. boys championship is must-see: Sweet 16 No. 6 Independence against nationally ranked High Point Wesleyan. Patriot 6-10 big man Justyn Hamilton, heading to Temple, will face Wesleyan’s Jaylen Hoard, a top 20 national recruit in the class of 2018. In the girls final, Independence -- which was 1-22 last year -- plays Covenant Day in the 6:30 final. Independence is 6-8 this season.
↓CISAA conference game in Columbia: Cannon School and Providence Day both went to the Chick-Fil-A Classic in Columbia to face national competition, but as the bracket shakes out, the two conference rivals will meet in the 2 p.m. 5th place game at Richland Northeast High School. Cannon is No. 10 in the Observer’s Sweet 16. Providence Day is fifth.
↑Sage Surratt, Lincolnton: Surratt had 32 points in a 76-58 win over Forestview Thursday. In his first three games, Surratt has scored 110. Kris Robinson had 19 points and Robbie Cowie 16 for Lincolnton (3-0) in Thursday’s win. Malik Hatten, Danan Anderson and Robert Cherry each had 11 for Forestview.
↑Christiana McClean, Carmel Christian girls: in her first week back from ACL surgery, McClean, a sophomore, made all-tournament at the Crescom Bank Holiday Invitational in Myrtle Beach.
↑UNC basketball recruits: Future players in Chapel Hill had a big night in Christmas tournaments Thursday. Coby White, a 6-5 junior point guard from Wilson Greenfield School, had 38 points against Fayetteville Academy. He had a school-record 52 Wednesday against Faith Assembly. Meanwhile, Jalek Felton, a 6-3 senior guard from Gray’s Collegiate (SC), had 42 points, five rebounds and three steals in a 74-70 win Thursday over AC Flora at the Chick-Fil-A.
Thursday’s #BIG5 Performers
Devon Dotson, Trey Wertz, Providence Day: Dotson, a 6-1 junior point guard, had 21 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals in a 75-67 win over Westlake, the reigning Georgia Class 6A state champions. Dotson picked up a scholarship offer from Maryland after the game. Westlake is ranked No. 22 in MaxPreps’ national ranking. Wertz, a 6-5 junior shooting guard, had 20 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals. He’s made a tournament-best nine 3-point shots in two games.
Justin Freeman, Vance: 23 points, 11 rebounds, four steals, three assists in a 65-61 win over previously unbeaten Aquinas (GA).
Jairus Hamilton, Cannon School: 33 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and one block in front of UNC coach Roy Williams at the Chick-Fil-A Classic in Columbia. Cannon beat Porter-Gaud (SC) 83-61. In two games at the tournament, Hamilton has 68 points and 18 rebounds in two games.
Jaden Springer, Rocky River: Springer, the state’s top recruit in the class of 2020, had a career-high 39 points in a 75-55 win over Northside Christian (5-4). Elijah Smith added 10 for the Ravens (9-5).
Thursday’s Boys Roundup
No. 1 North Mecklenburg 79, Charleston Collegiate 44: The Vikings advanced to the championship game of the Moody Holiday Classic with an easy win Thursday. Tristan Maxwell had 16 points, Jalen Lowery 15 and JaeLyn Withers, Malek Luckey each had 11. Vaud Worthy had 11 assists for the Vikings, who will play Rock Hill Northwestern in Friday’s championship game.
No. 2 Charlotte Christian 76, Liberty County (GA) 65: Ahead by three at halftime, the Knights pulled away in the second half at the Chick-Fil-A Classic, getting 17 points, seven rebounds from Blake Preston, 16 points, four rebounds from Rob Peterson and 15 points, 11 rebounds and three assists from BJ Mack.
No. 3 Vance 65, Aquinas (GA) 61: At the Queen City Classic at Harding, Vance handed Aguinas (6-1) its first loss of the season behind 22 points, five rebounds and four assists from Cam Hamilton. Vance has now won nine in a row.
No. 5 Providence Day 75, Westlake (GA) 67: The Chargers (9-4) advanced to the fifth-place game the Chick-Fil-A by playing zone against a much bigger Westlake team, which had three players 6-8 or more (Providence Day’s tallest player is 6-5). Westlake’s 6-9 senior Chuma Okeke (24 points, 12 rebounds) has signed with Auburn, and 6-5 senior guard Daniel Lewis (27 points) has signed with Central Florida. Providence Day coach Brian Field said he installed a zone in the team’s hotel parking lot Thursday morning.
It was the first time in nine years Providence Day has played zone and it worked. Playing in front of assistant coaches from Clemson, Maryland and Villanova plus Memphis head coach Tubby Smith and UNC head coach Roy Williams, the Chargers outrebounded Westlake 37-34. Westlake was 4-for-26 on 3-point attempts. Junior Isaac Suffren had his best game of the season for Providence Day (19 points, eight rebounds, three steals).
No. 6 Independence 40, Charlotte Country Day 34: The Patriots trailed after the first quarter and at halftime. Independence couldn’t figure out the Bucs’ matchup zone defense, but advanced to Friday’s championship game with nationally ranked High Point Wesleyan. Patriots center Justyn Hamilton helped stave off the upset with 18 points, 21 rebounds and four blocks.
Independence coach Preston Davis said he and Bucs coach Dwayne Cherry are good friends and many players on both teams are familiar with each other, some playing on the same AAU teams in the summer. Davis felt that familiarity helped make up the talent difference between the young Bucs and his senior-heavy team. That and the Patriots just picked a bad night to have a bad night.
“We struggled offensively,” said Independence coach Preston Davis. “Country Day did a good job with high energy. We just struggled. We were fortunate. Justyn (Hamilton) played big for us. But it was one of those nights offensively.”
No. 10 Cannon School 83, Porter-Gaud (SC) 61: Cannon shot 50 percent in the second half and limited Porter Gaud to 40 percent shooting to blow the game open. Cannon led by four at halftime. Guard Alon Parker made 4-of-5 3-point attempts and had 18 points, three rebounds and two assists for Cannon (8-6). Philip McKenzie added nine points and 10 rebounds. Aaron Nesmith had 22 points and three rebounds for Porter Gaud (9-2). For the game, Cannon outrebounded Porter Gaud 40-29.
Dawson (GA) Christian 69, West Charlotte 66: Dawson (9-1) held off the Lions Thursday night behind 17 points from Tony Pulice. West Charlotte (6-4) got 27 points from sophomore Patrick Wiliams and 13 from senior Isayah Johnson.
Olympic 78, Fort Mill Comenius 46: Olympic (5-2) got 13 points from Clifford Taylor and 11 each from Jordan Chambers and Aaron Barker in a win at the Queen City Holiday Classic at Harding. Comenius (12-4) got 15 from Brandon Burford and 11 from Kamil Chapman.
Queens Grant 66, Hickory Christian 48: Queens Grant advanced to the fifth place game of the BSN Tournament at Country Day, running away from Hickory Christian in the second and third quarters. Queens Grant (3-3) outscored Hickory Christian (4-3) 36-17 in the middle two periods. Jah’Quez Sanders had 15 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and four steals for Queens Grant. Terron Dixon had 20 points, 11 rebounds, four steals and three assists. Daymaun Harvey added 22 points. Tommy McGrath and Andy Cox had 12 each for Hickory Christian.
Rock Hill Northwestern 67, Hopewell 56: Myliek Durham scored 28 points and Northwestern advanced to the championship game of the Moody Classic Friday against No. 1 North Mecklenburg. Mark Sherrill had 21 for Hopewell.
St. David’s 71, Metrolina Christian 57: Kris Monroe, a 6-7 junior wing, had 20 points to lead Raleigh St. David’s (7-3) to a win at the BSN Queen City Clash at Charlotte Country Day. St. David’s will play Queens Grant at 1 p.m. in the fifth-place game. Metrolina (8-6) -- which got 23 points from Nick Dietrich and 20 from Tyler Andersen -- will play Hickory Christian in the 10 a.m. seventh place game.
United Faith 80, Harding 38: United Faith (11-1) grabbed an easy win at the Queen City Classic at Harding Thursday. The Falcons jumped on Harding (2-10) early and led 23-8 after the first quarter. United Faith’s KC Hankton had 14 points and 10 rebounds, facing his old team. Jalen Knight had 18 points, six assists and five steals for the Falcons. Jason Thompson added 14 points and 10 rebounds. Jaquan Rankins had 10 points for the Rams.
Thursday’s Girls’ Roundup
No. 12 Rock Hill 51, AC Flora 38: RiKoya Anderson scored 27 points and Tee Ballard 12 as the Bearcats (9-2) advanced to the championship game of YC Winborn Holiday Classic. Rock Hill will play Butler at home at 6:30 Friday. Jordan Strange led AC Flora with 20 points.
Butler 58, Wilson 56: Rinnah Green had 24 points and Meghan Flowers 19 as the Bulldogs advanced to Friday’s championship game. Bryanna Goodson had 24 for Wilson in Thursday’s loss.
Covenant Day 38, Metrolina Christian 17: Sarah Billiard had 15 points and 11 rebounds to push her team to Friday’s BSN championship game against Independence. Covenant Day allowed just 10 points to Metrolina in the first three quarters.
Marvin Ridge 34, No. 15 Monroe 31: Marvin Ridge pulled off the upset with an outstanding defensive performance. Sara Hardwick led Marvin Ridge (8-5) with 10 points. Tanaja Stevenson had 13 for Monroe (4-2).
West Charlotte 50, Charlotte Country Day 43: West Charlotte advanced to the fifth place game of the BSN Queen City Clash Friday by beating host Country Day. The Lions got 18 points from Kamiah Moore and 12 from Tykema Nesbit. Molly McLawhorn had 12 for the Bucs.
Thursday’s Scores/Friday’s Schedule
BSN Queen City Clash
At Charlotte Country Day
St. David’s 71, Metrolina Christian 57
Queens Grant 66, Hickory Christian 48
Wesleyan Christian 55, Pinewood Prep 32
Independence 40, Charlotte Country Day 34
Metrolina Christian vs. Hickory Christian, 7th place, 10 a.m.
St. David’s vs. Queens Grant, 5th place, 1 p.m.
Charlotte Country Day vs. Pinewood Prep, 3rd place, 5 p.m.
Independence vs. High Point Wesleyan Christian, championship, 8 p.m.
BSN Queen City Clash
At Charlotte Country Day
Lincoln Charter 39, Porter Gaud (SC) 35
Covenant Day 38, Metrolina Christian 17
West Charlotte 50, Charlotte Country Day 43
Independence d. Pinewood Prep, score NA
Porter Gaud (SC) vs. Charlotte Country Day, 7th place, 8:30 am.
West Charlotte vs. Lincoln Charter, 5th place, 11:30 a.m.
Metrolina Christian vs. Pinewood Prep, 3rd place, 3:30
Covenant Day vs. Independence, championship, 6:30 p.m.
CHICK-FILA A CLASSIC
Observer-area teams in Columbia
Cannon School 83, Porter Gaud (SC) 61
Charlotte Christian 76, Liberty County (GA) 65
Providence Day 75, Westlake (GA) 67
Providence Day vs. Cannon, 2 p.m.
Holidays on the Hardwood
At Cherokee High
Charlotte Latin 63, Asheville 20
First Baptist 62, West Hall 36
Clay County 68, Broome 34
Moody Holiday Classic
Idea (DC) d. Battery Creek, score NA
Fairfield Central d. Waccamaw, score NA
North Mecklenburg 79, Charleston Collegiate 44
Northwestern 67, Hopewell 56
Battery Creek vs. Waccamaw, 7th place, 2
Idea (DC) vs. Fairfield Central, 5th place, 3:30
Charleston Collegiate vs. Hopewell, 3rd place, 5
North Mecklenburg vs. Northwestern, championship, 6:30
Queen City Holiday Classic
Rocky River 75, Northside Christian 55
York Prep 88, Gaston Christian 45
United Faith 80, Harding 38
Northside vs. Gaston Christian, 5
Harding vs. Rocky River, 6:30
York Prep vs. United Faith, 8
Queen City Jingle Bell Shootout
Thursday At Olympic
Vance 65, Aquinas 61
Dawson Christian 69, West Charlotte 66
Olympic 78, Fort Mill Comenius 46
Olympic girls vs. Vance, 5:30
West Charlotte vs. Aquinas (GA), 7
Olympic vs. Dawson Christian, 8:30
Y.C. Winborn Holiday Classic
At Rock Hill
Rock Hill 50, Chapin 38
Lancaster d. Orangeburg-Wilkinson, score NA.
Butler d. Marvin Ridge, score NA
Hunter Huss 67, York 61 OT
Orangeburg-Wilkinson vs. Chapin, 7th place, 8 a.m.
Rock Hill vs. Lancaster, 5th place, 12:30
Marvin Ridge vs. York, 3rd place, 5
Butler vs. Huss, championship, 8
Y.C. Winborn Holida Classic
At Rock Hill
Sun Valley girls d. Hunter Huss, score NA
Marvin Ridge 34, Monroe 31
Butler 58, Wilson 56
Rock Hill 51, AC Flora 38
Hunter Huss vs. Monroe, 7th place, 9:30 a.m.
Sun Valley vs. Marvin Ridge, 5th place, 2
Wilson vs. AC Flora, 3rd place, 3:30
Butler vs. Rock Hill, Championship, 6:30