Charlotte Catholic needed one more run to win the SoMeck 4A boys basketball tournament.
The Cougars outscored Berry Academy 20-15 in the fourth quarter to earn a 66-61 victory on their home court Friday to improve to 26-1. Catholic, which earned the league’s top seed for the N.C. 4A playoffs, showed their resilience in a contest that swung back and forth in the second half, which included five ties and three lead changes.
“We just have a group of guys who believe in themselves first and foremost and they believe in each other,” Catholic coach Mike King said. “They’ve made sacrifice after sacrifice for each other all year.”
Ardrey Kell won the girls’ title with a 56-47 win against Berry Academy.
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Chase Muhammad led the Knights with a game-best 28 points while Deniyah Lutz scored all 10 of her points in the fourth quarter. Ra’shika White, an Elon recruit, paced Berry Academy with 21 points, backed by Jordan McLaughlin’s 16.
In the boys game, Charlotte Catholic pulled ahead for good on an 8-0 push capped by a pair of Josh Brodowicz three-pointers for a 58-50 lead with 3:04 left. From there, Catholic made eight straight free throws to clinch the win. Brodowicz, the league’s player of the year, scored 12 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter. Jack Larkin added 14 for the Cougars and Brian Mack 11.
“Josh has been doing that all year long, making big shot after big shot,” King said. “He made two really big threes there, but you can’t say enough about all the guys. They battled all the way.”
Berry Academy gave Catholic a stern test, paced by Chandler Murray’s 21 points and Jamarius Burton’s 15, but struggled down the stretch.
“We knew we had to get out on shooters,” Cardinals coach Maurice Jones said. “Brodowicz is a really good player and a couple of missed communications on defense and not being there, we paid for it.”
Records: (Boys) Berry Academy 20-7 10-5 SoMeck 4A; Charlotte Catholic 26-1, 14-1 SoMeck 4A.
Worth mentioning: Berry Academy had the biggest lead of the game at 20-10 in second quarter.
What’s next: Both teams advance to the N.C. 4A playoffs.
Records: (Girls) Berry Academy (20-4, 12-3) ; Ardrey Kell (21-6, 13-2).
Worth mentioning: Berry Academy’s Ra’shika white scored 18 of her 21 points in the second half.