Davidson Day’s girls’ basketball team seemed in position to defeat Carolina Day, nursing small leads in the first half and keeping the Wildcats off balance.
But the third quarter ultimately doomed the Patriots’ chances of winning their first state championship. Carolina Day won 43-34, capturing its sixth straight state title.
It was the second time in three seasons Carolina Day (26-3) beat Davidson Day (27-3) in the 2A championship round of the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association tournament.
And that third quarter made all the difference.
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The teams were tied at 19 at halftime and were tied at 21 when Anika Riley made a layup against Carolina Day’s zone with 7 minutes, 22 seconds left in the third quarter.
But after that score, Davidson Day went 1-for-4 from the field and turned the ball over six times. In one spurt, Davidson Day committed six straight turnovers, often giving the ball away without defensive pressure.
Carolina Day took advantage, taking a 32-23 lead by the end of the quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Davidson Day made its move after solving its turnover issues. After Parker Tompkins scored inside, the Patriots trailed 33-30 with 5:05 to play.
But Davidson Day then committed three turnovers in its next four possessions. Carolina Day extended the lead to 39-32 with 2:37 to play. From there, the Patriots missed 6-of-7 shots and never challenge again.
Junior Maya Caldwell led Davidson Day with 10 points. Juniors Anika Riley and Parker Tompkins each scored eight.