↑Brandon Faison, Mallard Creek/Pitt County Junior College: Faison is a sophomore at Pitt County in Winterville. Faison, who played AAU for the Charlotte Nets, is the nation’s leading scorer in the National Junior College Athletic Association in Division II. Faison is averaging nearly 26 points per game.
↑Butler: The Bulldogs, No. 4 in the Sweet 16, beat East Meck 78-37 Friday to win their 10th straight game. Butler (16-2, 6-2 Southwestern 4A) has had double-digit win streaks in each of the past four seasons. Friday, Bashir Muhammad led Butler with 15 points.
↑Hopewell: Titans beat West Charlotte 56-51 Friday to win their fourth straight game. The Titans – who got 21 points from senior guard Zack Dixon and 14 from junior Brice Williams – are 13-4. Police cleared the gym in the fourth quarter, saying the crowd was getting too rowdy. The final two minutes were played in an empty gym.
↑Fletcher Abee, Morganton Freedom: After scoring a career-high 40 points last week on a school-record nine 3-point shots, Abee poured in 27 points in Friday’s win at Watauga.
↑Hickory defense: The Red Tornadoes (13-1), No. 6 in the Sweet 16, beat Alexander Central 54-22 Friday. Alexander Central got one point in the first quarter. Richard Ables had 10 points for Hickory.
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Friday’s #BIG5 Performers
Christian Bailey, Statesville Christian: 29 points, 10 rebounds in an 80-45 win over Woodlawn School. Bailey made 13-of-15 free throws. Scott Harvey added seven points, 15 rebounds, six assists and four blocks. Junior guard Marcus Henderson finished with 12 points, eight assists, five rebounds and three steals.
Jamarius Burton, Independence: 16 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks in a Southwestern 4A first-place showdown with Myers Park. Independence won 62-48.
Adrian Delph, Kings Mountain: 34 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists for the Appalachian State signee in a 86-62 win over Boiling Springs Crest. Zeke Littlejohn added 16 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals. Eli Paysour had 15 points, seven rebounds and three steals.
Blake Preston, Charlotte Christian: 6-foot-10 Liberty recruit was dominant in a 67-65 upset at Providence Day. He finished with 19 points and 14 rebounds. Christian beat Providence Day for the first time in 12 tries.
Jaden Springer, Rocky River: Sophomore had 31 points, 15 rebounds, four blocks in a 94-57 win at Garinger. Rocky River played without two starters. Jordan Campbell (16 points, five assists), Kahlil Brantley (seven points, seven assists) and Nicholas Burns (12 points) had strong games for the Ravens. Shyheed Williams led Garinger with 25.
By The Numbers
5-7: Concord First Assembly’s Bailey Benham had 18 points, 10 rebounds and made 5-of-7 3-point attempts in a 77-43 win over SouthLake Christian. Sophomore Cheick Traore, a top 20 N.C. recruit in the class of 2020, had 11 points, 13 rebounds and a block. Davidson coaches were in to watch Traore.
7: Cherryville’s Lane Harrill had a season-high 27 points and 10 rebounds, making seven 3-point shots in a Friday’s game at Bessemer City.
10: East Lincoln beat Newton-Conover for the 10th straight time Friday, winning 83-50. Kabian McClendon had 20 points and six rebounds for the Mustangs. Sidney Dollar had 16 points and 11 rebounds. Coleson Leach added 11 points, six steals and five assists.
7-10: Lincoln Charter’s Jackson Gabriel made 7-of-10 3-point shots in 94-50 win over Gastonia Highland Tech. Gabriel finished with 30 points, eight rebounds, five steals and five assists. Jehlon Johnson (14 points, 12 rebounds) and Kody Shubert (13 points, 11 assists) had big games for Lincoln Charter (14-3, 3-0).
Sweet 16 Spotlight
No. 1 North Mecklenburg 95, Lake Norman 67: North Meck (16-1, 7-0 I-MECK) ran past Lake Norman with a gradual push at home. The Vikings led 44-35 at halftime. Tristan Maxwell had 27 points and eight rebounds for the Vikings. Chris Ford had 21 points, 11 rebounds and three assists. Jae’Lyn Withers had 13 points, 11 rebounds and Shamman Artis added 11 points. Lake Norman (11-6, 3-4) got 14 from Zane Haglan, 12 from Joe Hudson and 10 from Austin Edds.
No. 2 Independence 62, Myers Park 48: The Patriots (16-1, 7-0 Southwestern 4A) won their seventh straight game and took a commanding two-game lead in the Southwestern 4A. A 21-10 surge in the third quarter broke open a close game. Raja Milton (15 points, eight rebounds, three steals) and Andra McKee (13 points, eight assists, seven rebounds) helped lead Independence. Caleb McReed had 25 for Myers Park, but no other Mustang had more than six.
No. 3 Concord Cox Mill 62, Kannapolis Brown 60: The Chargers narrowly avoided an upset against a Cabarrus County rival. Wendell Moore had 27 points for Cox Mill and Caleb Stone Carrawell added 10.
No. 8 Charlotte Catholic 56, Unionville Piedmont 41: Catholic clamped down on Piedmont defensively, allowing just six points in the first quarter and six more in the third. Luke Harkins had 18 points and Sean Rogan 17 for the Cougars in an easy Southern Carolinas win. Clemson recruit Hunter Tyson had 23 for Piedmont. No other Panther had more than six.
No. 13 Charlotte Christian 67, Providence Day 65: Trailing by double digits several times, the Knights (14-5, 2-0 CISAA) took over first place by wearing down the smaller Chargers on the boards. Christian – which got 18 offensive rebounds to three for Providence Day – made a plethora of put-back shots in its rally and got several big 3-point shots and layups from 6-1 junior guard Efosa E-udosomwan, who had a team-high 21 points and eight rebounds. Led by McDonald’s All-American game nominees Devon Dotson (31 points, five assists, four rebounds) and Trey Wertz (20 points, six rebounds, five assists), the Chargers – who have lost four of their past six games – cut a 10-point deficit to one possession in the final minutes, but Christian made enough free throws to hang on.
No. 14 Olympic 75, Harding 44: Olympic (14-3, 6-0 SoMeck) won its eighth straight game in what was billed as a showdown for first place in the conference. Harding (12-6, 5-1) didn’t have its entire team. Three Rams were suspended for fighting during the championship game of the Craze Sports tournament with South Meck last month. Two players were suspended three games and another Ram got a two-game suspension. (South Meck also had two suspended.)
Since the Craze Sports final, Harding beat South Meck and lost to Myers Park by four points with eight players. Friday, Harding had nine players but was still missing its starting point guard and sixth man. And the Rams ran into a team as hot as any in the city. Olympic limited Harding to 15 points in the first half in what turned into an easy win. Junior Jalen Barr had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Trojans and Jalen Harris had 10. Harding got 14 from Kobe Funderburk.
▪ The Rams were also fined $500 by the N.C. High School Athletic Association because the Craze Sports tournament used officials that were not certified by the state.
Charlotte Country Day 61, Concord Cannon 59: After being blown out 73-38 at home by Charlotte Christian Tuesday, the Bucs (13-8, 1-1) went on the road for a big win at Cannon. With 12.9 seconds left, Country Day junior Myles Browner hit two free throws to give his team a 61-56 lead that stood up. Cannon – which got 19 points from Qon Murphy, 15 from Alex Cox and 13 from Boston College recruit Jairus Hamilton – lost for the third time in four games. Cannon fell to 11-10, 1-1.
Charlotte Latin 77, Covenant Day 41: Senior Jack Felkner had 18 points, 12 rebounds in the easy win, coming on the heels of a 31-point effort at Providence Day Tuesday. JP Smith added 15 points and David Felkner had 12 for the Hawks, who play at Forsyth Country Day Tuesday.
Forsyth Country Day 69, Carmel Christian 68: Forsyth outscored Carmel Christian 25-14 in the fourth quarter to pull off one of the night’s biggest upset. Carmel Christian (18-3) was the No. 1 ranked team in the state, regardless of classification, public or private, in Phenom Hoops latest poll. Forsyth (9-8) won its fifth straight game. Donovan Gregory had 26 points, nine rebounds, six assists and three steals for Carmel Christian.
Gaston Day 81, Metrolina Christian 69: Gaston Day won easily, leading by 28 points heading in the fourth quarter. MJ Armstrong had 26 points, three rebounds for the Spartans, who got 19 points, 10 assists and seven steals from Houston signee Nate Hinton. Stephen Clark had 16 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks for Metrolina (12-12). Tyler Nelson had 14 points, four rebounds, and Tate Johnson added 14 points, six rebounds.
Lincolnton 74, Maiden 69: Lincolnton’s Robbie Cowie made eight 3-point shots and finished with a game-high 24 points for Lincolnton (13-2, 6-1). Kris Robinson had 20 points, Cordell Littlejohn 12 and Tyshawn Harris for Lincolnton. Caleb McDaniel (22 points) and Josh Coulter (21) led Maiden.
Mallard Creek 76, Mooresville 55: Kyle Austin had a game-high 21 points, making 5-of-7 3-point attempts for Mallard Creek (6-10, 2-5 I-MECK). Demetrios Dixon had 13 points and Elliott Glenn 12 for the Mavericks, who have won six of their past seven games.
West Mecklenburg 65, Berry 54: Jordan Williams had 21 points and Eli Lockhart had 13 points, 11 rebounds in a comfortable win. West Meck led by 27 going into the fourth quarter. The Hawks are 8-9 overall, 2-4 in the SoMeck.
Gaston Day at Calvary Day School
Mount Zion Academy at Comenius
Myrtle Beach vs. Cheraw in Phenom Hoops’ Showcase in Charleston (Boys’ only)
North Gaston at East Lincoln
Providence Day vs. Curtis (N.Y.) in Big Apple Invitational in New York City (Boys’ only), 7:30
Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Showcase
At Johnson C. Smith
Rock Hill vs. West Charlotte (Girls), 1
Northside Christian vs. West Mecklenburg (Boys), 3
Concord First Assembly vs. West Charlotte (Boys), 5
Olympic vs. Fayetteville Northwood Temple, 7