Providence Day boys’ basketball coach Brian Field had always dreamed of winning a state championship at his alma mater.
For 29 years, first as a student, then as a player and now as a coach and teacher at Providence Day, Field admits “there were times when I wondered if a (state) championship moment would ever come.”
His time came this season, when Field led the Chargers to a 30-4 record and their first NCISAA 3A title since 1999. They beat High Point Christian 67-51 in the final.
The Chargers, who were ranked as high as No. 9 nationally and were 9-2 against nationally-ranked teams, were the only N.C. team invited to the Dick’s National championships in New York (March 31-April 2).
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“As a little boy, I always thought about winning a state title at Providence Day,” Field said. “I knew if the moment came it would be great. But when it finally happened, the feeling was much better than I ever imagined.”
Field shares All-Observer boys’ coach of the year with Charlotte Catholic’s Mike King, who also led his team to a state championship. The Cougars were 32-1, capping the season with 49-46 win against Cary in the 4A final.
Catholic trailed by 19 points with four minutes left in the third quarter before rallying to capture the school’s first state title.
“I’ll be honest, just talking about that game gives me the chills, again, right now,” said King, in his eighth season as Catholic’s coach. “To go 32-1 this season and only slip up once (loss to Ardrey Kell) was amazing. But to finish off with that comeback was even more special. From the time we were down 19 until the end of the game was a blur.
“It’s still hard to believe what we did in that game. But this team was never going to give up.”
▪ Providence Day senior forward Grant Williams is the fourth boys’ player to win All-Observer boys’ player of the year twice.
Williams joins a list that includes former Charlotte Latin standout Anthony Morrow (2003-04, 2004-05), United Faith star Ian Miller (2008-09, 2009-10) and West Charlotte’s Jason Parker (1997-98 and 1998-99).
Williams averaged 15.7 points, 10.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.7 blocks this season, and shot 61 percent from the field in helping the Chargers to an NCISAA 3A state title.
Williams, who will play in college next season at Tennessee, was all-state and the CISAA conference’s player of the year twice.
▪ Mr. Basketball in North Carolina is High Point Christian 6-10 center Edrice “Bam” Adebayo. Adebayo, a McDonald’s All-American who signed with Kentucky, averaged 19 points and 13 rebounds. High Point Christian lost in the NCISAA 3A championship to Providence Day.
▪ Mr. Basketball in South Carolina is Hammond School guard Seventh Woods, who signed with North Carolina. Woods averaged 20 points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals in leading the Skyhawks (21-5) to the S.C. 3A private school state quarterfinals. Like Adebayo, he was his state’s Gatorade Player of the Year.
All-Observer boys’ basketball
Lavar Batts, Jay M. Robinson, 6-3, Jr., G: The 3A state championship game’s most outstanding player led Bulldogs to N.C. title. He also was South Piedmont conference player of the year. He averaged 20.7 points and is considered a major Division I recruit.
Josh Brodowicz, Charlotte Catholic, 5-9, Sr., G: SoMeck8 conference’s player of the year. He was MVP of 4A state championship game. He averaged averaged 11 points, four assists, three steals and only had 30 turnovers for 32-1 team. Received academic/athletic scholarship to Queens.
Davion Mintz, North Mecklenburg, 6-4, Sr., G: MECKA 4A and District 9 Player of the Year. Averaged 20.7 points, 6.9 assists, 5.4 rebounds. Four-year starter signed with Creighton.
Sage Surratt, East Lincoln, 6-3, Jr., G: Southern District 7 Player of the Year was one of nation’s top scorers with 31.2 average. Scored school-record 50 points against Maiden. Led Mustangs (28-1) to 2A state runner-up finish. College prospect in basketball and football. MaxPreps junior All-American.
Grant Williams, Providence Day, 6-7, Sr., F: Two-time All-Observer Player of the year. Averaged 15.7 points and 10.1 rebounds last season. Was CISAA conference’s player of the year and twice was named to all-state team. Signed with Tennessee.
Rechon “Leaky” Black, Concord, 6-7, So., G; Jaylen McManus, North Mecklenburg, 6-7, Sr., F; Ryan Schwieger, Weddington, 6-6, Jr., G; Marcus Thomas, Independence, 6-4, Sr., G; Devon Dotson, Providence Day, 6-1, So., G
Cam Hamilton, Vance, 5-10, Jr., G; Jairus Hamilton, Cannon School, 6-8, So., F; Josh Howard, Providence Day, 6-8, Sr., F; Wendell Moore, Cox Mill, 6-6, Fr., F; Daniel Spencer, Jay M. Robinson, 6-3, Sr., F
Orlando Robinson, Butler, 6-0, Sr., G; Jordan Mackenzie, Jay M. Robinson, 6-1, Sr., G; Trey Wertz, Providence Day, 6-4, So., G; Emeka Nwankwo, Metrolina Christian, 6-5, Sr., F; BJ Mack, Charlotte Catholic, 6-7, Fr., C
Hayden Duggins, East Lincoln, 6-4, Sr., F; Malik Gingles, Ashbrook, 6-3, Sr., F; Justyn Hamilton, Independence, 6-10, Jr., C; Nate Hinton, Northside Christian, 6-5, So., F; Parker Julian, Charlotte Latin, 6-7, Sr., F; Jamarius Burton, Berry, 6-4, So., F; Davrion Grier, Myers Park, 6-5, Sr., F; Isaac Johnson, Providence Day, 6-8, Sr., F; Ray Kowalski, Concord, 6-3, Sr., G; Myles McGregor, Davidson Day, 6-2, Sr., G; Shawn Morrison, Grace Academy, 5-8, Jr., G; Rayshawn Neal, Garinger, 5-10, Jr., G; Myles Pierre, Carmel Christian, 6-1, Fr., G; Patrick Tape, Queens Grant, 6-9, Sr., F
▪ Note: teams were selected by Observer correspondent Jay Edwards. Players were nominated by their coaches.