↑Charlotte Christian: Knights beat Long Island Lutheran (NY) last month to win the championship of the Hoodie’s Classic last month. This week, Lutheran moved into the USA Today Top 25 at No. 22, just ahead of No. 23 Concord Cox Mill and No. 24 Carmel Christian.
↑Evan Smith, Ardrey Kell: freshman got his first career start in a 63-58 win over Harding. Smith had 12 points, six rebounds, two blocks and two assists in the win. Luke Stankavage had nine points in the third quarter to help the Knights (11-3, 3-1 SoMeck) get the lead.
↑Fletcher Abee, Morganton Freedom: made his 300th career 3-point shot during Tuesday’s 100-40 win over West Caldwell. Abee finished with a team-high 17 points.
↑Independence defense: Patriots, No. 6 in the Sweet 16, didn’t allow Butler more than nine points in a quarter during Tuesday’s 52-30 win. Independence (9-3, 4-0 Southwestern) got 16 points from Matt Smith. Raquan Brown had nine for Butler (9-4, 2-2).
↑Alex Tabor, Charlotte Country Day: committed as preferred walk-on at SMU, Tabor had 34 points, two steals in a 84-82 win over Cannon. Country Day outscored Cannon 29-19 in the fourth quarter to force overtime. Freshman Jaden Bradley had 30 for Cannon.
West Charlotte, Quinten Thomas, upset Vance in huge home game
In a tightly contested I-MECK 4A battle Tuesday night at West Charlotte, the Lions prevailed 67-61 over the Vance Cougars.
The victory was even more impressive because West Charlotte (No. 10 in the Observer’s Sweet 16) got it done without their senior superstar and Florida State commit Patrick Williams for a large part of the fourth quarter. Williams fouled out with five minutes, 34 seconds left in the game.
“It was like we told ourselves on the bench that we all had to step up and do what you got to do.” said senior Quinton Thomas. “If you do what you got to do then the ultimate goal will be reached, and that’s what happened tonight.”
Thomas did his part with a team-high 19 points. Cartier Jernigan also had 19 points for West Charlotte, while Devontez Walker and Williams also finished in double figures for the Lions with 10 each.
The Lions never trailed in the game, and the biggest lead for West Charlotte (8-4, 3-1 I-MECK 4A) was 10 points late in the third quarter. But Vance (No. 4 in the Sweet 16) battled back numerous times and once cut the lead to three at 53-50 with 5:23 left.
But the Cougars couldn’t get any closer, largely in part due to some clutch free-throw shooting down the stretch by Jernigan who went 6-of-7 in the final quarter.
Brandon Beidleman led Vance (11-2, 2-2 I-MECK 4A) and the game in scoring with 21 points. Ralph Black added 20 for the Cougars while Daniel Hodges finished with 12 points.
THREE WHO MATTERED:
Quinton Thomas – (West Charlotte) Senior guard had some key rebounds in the fourth quarter while tying Cartier Jernigan with a team-high 19 points. Thirteen of Thomas’ 19 points were scored in the first half, tops for the Lions.
Brandon Beidleman – (Vance) Senior guard’s 14 second-half points kept the Cougars in the game as well as his 9-for-9 shooting from the free throw line in the fourth quarter.
Josiah Dow – (West Charlotte) Sophomore center scored all five of his points in the second half, while hauling in some crucial rebounds down the stretch along with one late block.
THEY SAID IT: “We still have guys that can make plays. I told the guys that at some point in the season you are going to come across this kind of situation, and you have to step up. And that’s what these guys did.” West Charlotte coach Jacoby Davis on what he told his team when Williams fouled out.
WHAT’S NEXT: Vance will return home to host Lake Norman Friday night at 7:30 p.m. while the West Charlotte travels to West Mecklenburg Thursday for a battle with the Hawks.
Tuesday’s #BIG5 Top Performers
Demilade Adelekun, Gaston Day: 30 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks in a 87-41 win over Rock Hill Westminster Catawba.
Donovan Atwell, Lake Norman Charter: freshman made 10 3-point shots in a 67-56 win over Newton-Conover. He finished with a career-high 34 points. That’s the fourth-most 3s ever made by a N.C. player and the most points ever scored by a Lake Norman Charter player.
Garrett Hien, Concord First Assembly: 18 points, 15 rebounds, three assists for his team in an 81-74 win over Metrolina Christian.
Levontae Knox, Lincoln Charter: 18 points, 21 rebounds, five steals, three assists in a 72-38 win over Bessemer City.
Tyrese McNeal, North Gaston: 28 points in a 65-48 win over Stuart Cramer. McNeal had 13 points in the fourth quarter, when his team outscored Cramer 23-10. McNeal, averaging 21 points per game, has scored 26 or more points six times this season.
N.C. Western Regionals going back to Hickory
The N.C. High School Basketball Athletic Association Western Regionals are going back to Hickory.
The NCHSAA is moving its regionals from the Greensboro/Winston-Salem area to Lenoir-Rhyne and Catawba Valley Community College.
“We are so pleased to be returning to Hickory for the Western Regional Finals and are excited about our partnership with Hickory Metro Sports Commission for this event,” said NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker. “With our long history of hosting the Regional Tournaments in Hickory, it truly feels like coming home. We know that Tarlton Complex and Shuford Memorial Gymnasium will serve as exceptional hosts. From the atmosphere in the arena, to the support of the Hickory community, we are sure that this is a wonderful opportunity to create life-long memories for the athletes, coaches and school communities participating in our Regional Finals.”
Lenoir-Rhyne’s Shuford Gym, which opened in 1956, seats 2,400. Catawba Valley can seat 2,100.
The Western Regional Finals will be held on Saturday, March 9, 2019 with four games at each of the two sites in Hickory. The Eastern Regional Finals will be held on the same day, remaining at East Carolina University’s Minges Coliseum in Greenville and at Capel Arena on the campus of Fayetteville State University.
Play is scheduled to begin at 12 noon at each site; however, the schedule for each site, including classifications and matchups, along with ticket information will be announced at a later date.