↑Rajuan Connor, Butler: 6-6 forward has committed to Mars Hill.
↑Community School of Davidson: Spartans won their 12th straight game Tuesday, beating Queens Grant 52-34 behind 15 points from senior shooting guard Brandon Ellington.
↑No. 2 Charlotte Christian defense: The Knights beat No. 16 Charlotte Country Day with defense Tuesday. Christian led 12-0 after the first quarter and held the Bucs nearly 30 points below their 63 points-per-game average. More below.
↑Concord Cannon’s Big 3: Cannon’s trio of freshmen sparked a 75-53 win over Providence Day Tuesday: Jaden Bradley had 22 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists; D.J. Nix had 18 points, eight rebounds; and Jarvis Moss had 18 points and four steals.
↑High School sportsmanship: after a fight broke out after Friday’s Greene Central-South Lenoir basketball game, the teams couldn’t shake hands. Administrators arranged for it to happen Monday at a neutral site. Good show, guys.
Tuesday’s #BIG5 Top Performers
Demilade Adelekun, Gaston Day: 22 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two blocks in a 59-46 loss to Concord First Assembly.
Zeb Graham, Fort Mill Nation Ford: preseason all-state pick had a game-high 28 points in a 79-74 win over Rock Hill Northwestern.
Marley Gordon, Gaston Christian: 39 points in a 72-67 loss to Metrolina Christian. He made 8-of-12 3-point shots.
Tate Johnson, Metrolina Christian: 28 points, seven rebounds, five assists in a 72-67 win over Gaston Christian. Teammate Stephen Clark went for 16 points, 12 rebounds, eight blocks and two assists.
Cheick Traore, Concord First Assembly: 18 points, eight rebounds, two blocks in Gaston Day win.
No. 2 Charlotte Christian overwhelms No. 16 Charlotte Country Day
A suffocating Charlotte Christian defense helped propel the Knights to a 54-34 win over rival Country Day in an NCISAA conference clash Tuesday night at Christian.
Christian held Country Day scoreless in a 12-0 first quarter. The Knights held the Buccaneers to only 13 first-half points.
Country Day, which entered the Observer’s Sweet 16 for the first time this week at No. 16, came into the game at 15-5 overall and matched Christians’ conference record at 2-0. But the Buccaneers on this night proved they weren’t quite ready to challenge the Knights, who came in to Tuesday’s contest ranked No. 2 in the Sweet 16.
The 20-point margin of victory for Christian (19-1, 3-0) didn’t mean the Knights didn’t have to overcome several obstacles to fend off the Buccaneers. Top players Efosa U-edosomwan and JC Tharrington got into foul trouble in the second half. And after the Knights’ impressive 12-0 lead after the first quarter, they allowed Country Day to get back in the game by being outscored 13-8 in the second.
But Christians’ depth was enough to weather the storm. Senior forward Paul Hudson scored 12 of his game-high 17 points in the second and third quarters, while junior forward Luke Drees played some meaningful minutes off the bench for the Knights and added seven points.
“I think we all played together as a team,” said Hudson. “My teammates were looking for me; they knew I was having a good night, they kept giving me the ball, and I knew I had to finish their passes.”
U-edosomwan, after a scoreless first half, was the game’s second-leading scorer with 12 points and the only other Knights’ player to finish in double figures. Tharrington added seven points for the Knights and Seth Bennett chipped in with six.
Country Day (15-6, 2-1) got 11 points from Alex Tabor, the only Bucs’ player who landed in double figures. Jackson Krisko added eight for Country Day and Richard Gillespie finished with six.
THREE WHO MATTERED:
(Paul Hudson – Charlotte Christian) Picked up the scoring slack when two of his top teammates got into foul trouble, finishing with a game-high 17 points. Hudson also pulled down some key rebounds in all four quarters.
(Alex Tabor – Country Day) Senior guard was able to keep the Bucs within striking distance for the first three quarters as Country Day’s leading scorer with 11 points.
(Luke Drees – Charlotte Christian) Came off the bench to score seven points, while providing a spark and helping out on the boards.
Charlotte Country Day didn’t score in the first quarter and went 8 minutes, 23 seconds before scoring its points.
The Buccaneers will get another crack at the Knights in the rematch which will be at Country Day on Friday, February 1.
THEY SAID IT: “In that first quarter I firmly believe we made a true statement of how good we could be defensively. We instill in our guys that every night will not be our night in terms of knocking down shots. But if we can guard and rebound we can still come out successful, and that was the story for us tonight.” Christian Coach Shonn Brown
WHAT’S NEXT: Country Day will host Charlotte Latin Friday at home in another conference matchup, while Christian stays at home Friday for a conference game Providence Day.
Arborbrook Christian at Charlotte Catholic (Girls’ only)
Ashbrook at East Gaston
Central Pageland at Rock Hill
Charlotte Learning Academy at Charlotte Secondary
Freedom at Alexander Central
Hibriten at Mitchell County
Lincoln Charter at Henderson Collegiate