High School Sports

Northside Christian’s boys, Providence Day girls, boys shooting for history at state tournament

Northside Christian Academy's Martin Maide hopes to help his team land a sixth straight berth in the N.C. Independent Schools 2A state finals. Northside has won three of the past five state titles
Northside Christian Academy's Martin Maide hopes to help his team land a sixth straight berth in the N.C. Independent Schools 2A state finals. Northside has won three of the past five state titles rlahser@charlotteobserver.com

Three Mecklenburg County private school teams are hoping to make historic runs through this week’s N.C. Independent Schools state basketball tournament in Raleigh.

▪ In 2A, Northside Christian and coach Byron Dinkins are vying for a sixth straight championship game appearance. Northside has won three of the past four state titles and is the No. 1 seed in the 2A boys’ field. Northside will play MAC conference rival Gaston Day in an 11:30 a.m. quarterfinal Thursday at North Raleigh Christian.

Northside (19-6) has won five straight games. The Knights have lost to two N.C. teams all season and to one team in the 2A field: No. 6 Concord First Assembly, the reigning 2A state champion. First Assembly upset Northside 51-49 Jan. 29. Northside avenged that loss in the MAC championship game, winning 68-45.

▪ In 3A, Providence Day’s girls, ranked No. 2 in the Sweet 16, are the top seed. The Chargers (24-2) have won six straight NCISAA championships and 10 of the past 11. Hickory Grove upset Providence Day in the 2009 state championship game.

This season, the Chargers have one loss to a N.C. team, falling to Kernersville’s Forest Trail Academy 48-39 in a holiday tournament game in January. Since then, Providence Day has won eight straight and faces a field where it’s already beaten the No. 2 seed, Raleigh Ravenscroft (46-29 on the road) and No. 3 seed High Point Wesleyan (60-29 on the road).

▪ Providence Day’s boys will likely face the toughest road of all. National recruiting site MaxPreps called the boys’ 3A bracket one of the nation’s toughest. Four teams in the field have been nationally ranked this season, and the Chargers (as high as No. 9) and Greensboro Day (as high as No. 24) still are.

Providence Day, which will face Charlotte Latin Thursday at 11:30 a.m. at Raleigh Ravenscroft, is seeded No. 1. Greensboro Day, the reigning state champion, beat the Chargers in the 2015 semifinals. It is seeded No. 2.

Providence Day hasn’t won the state title since 1999.

The winner of this week’s tournament will likely earn a berth to the DICK’S National championship next month in New York, and Providence Day will try to become the first Mecklenburg County team to win in 3A since Charlotte Latin in 2004.

In the 2004-05 school year, Mecklenburg County private schools changed their rules shortly after that to no longer allow student-athletes to repeat a grade and maintain athletic eligiblity after ninth grade. This was done in order to open the door to play Mecklenburg County public schools in regular-season games. That didn’t happen, but it left Charlotte’s largest private schools often at a competitive disadvantage with their 3A state peers.

N.C. Private School All-Star Game rosters

Providence Day will host the N.C. Private School All-star game March 5. The game will be broadcast on Time Warner Cable Sports Channel. Below are rosters

Number Player School College Commitment:

1 Thank God Avar Freedom Christian

2 Jeremiah Green Crossroads Christian

3 Quentin Jackson Cape Fear Christian Charlotte

4 Marhsall Lange Westchester Country Day Newberry

5 Quate McKinzie Harrells Christian Buffalo

10 Tyrique McLain Wayne Christian

11 Osleby Mercer Grace Christian

12 Robbie O'Han St. David's

14 Bruno Solomon Forsyth Country Day

15 Patrick Terrell Burlington Christian

20 Rob Whitfield Wake Christian

22 Carrington Young Burlington School

Head Coach: Kevin Billerman (Ravenscroft School)

Assistant Coaches: Tim McKenna (Durham Academy)

West Boy’s Roster

Number Player School College Commitment:

1 Amidou Bamba High Point Christian Coastal Carolina

2 Colton Cashaw Northside Christian

3 John Fulkerson Christ School Tennessee

4 Joshua Howard Providence Day

5 Isaac Johnson Providence Day

10 James Lewis Northside Christian

11 Myles McGregor Davidson Day Presbyterian

12 Nenad Milenkovic Concord First Assembly

14 Nico Payne Concord First Assembly

15 Ben Robertson High Point Christian Bucknell

20 Michael Seals High Point Christian

22 Grant Williams Providence Day Tennessee

Head Coach: Shonn Brown (Charlotte Christian)

Assistant Coaches: Bobby Jones (Charlotte Christian) Walter Wright (Charlotte Christian)

East Girls Roster

Number Player High School College Commitment

22 Nandi Traywick Ravenscroft

23 Liz Roberts Durham Academy

4 Valeriya Pokrovskaya Northwood Temple

30 Taylor Smith Hobgood Academy

3 Alexis Ross Trinity Christian

31 Kristina Demski Trinity Academy

13 Andy Smithey Saint Mary's Washinton & Lee

32 Maria Bardeeva Northwood Temple

51 Kelly Williams Halifax Academy

20 Kelly Post Village Christian

34 Kira Williams Oakwood School

33 Carol-Anne Obusek Grace Christian High Point University

Head Coach: Kevin Dennison (Fayetteville Academy)

Assistant Coaches: Abdul Ghaffar (Fayetteville Academy)

West Girls Roster

Number Player High School College Commitment

12 Erin Whalen Providence Day Vanderbilt

15 Izzy Gallant Providence Day

33 Celine Ives Providence Day

3 Tori Powell Providence Day

21 Tess Harris Carolina Day W. Carolina

22 Jenesai Mohammad Concord First Assembly

30 Dammie Balogun Rabun Gap

13 Kerstie Phills Charlotte Christian

2 Ja'Yon Leak Northside Christian

4 Kierra Dowell Latin

14 Alexas Bradford Davidson Day

11 Lynisa Gardiner Rabun Gap

5 Deja Cousin Burlington UT- San Antonio

Head Coach: Josh Springer (Providence Day)

Assistant Coaches: David Russell (Providence Day), Nicole Okubanjo (Providence

Day), David Johnson (Providence Day), Ashli Summerville (Providence Day)