High School Sports

Northside leaps past Charlotte United Christian 82-64

Nothing was going to keep Northside Christian from closing strong.

The Knights blitzed Charlotte United Christian 26-9 in the third quarter to turn a close game into an 82-64 win on Thursday on their home court. Northside, which improved to 5-2, engaged a stronger defensive effort after the break to set the tone for easy baskets in transition and half-court sets.

“I think we picked it up on defense,” said forward Lysander Bracey, who led all scorers with 25 points. “We were all making our shots. They started falling and picked up that intensity.”

The Knights were quite intense when it mattered, outscoring United Christian (9-3) 13-2 in the first four minutes of the third quarter to boost their advantage to 44-31. Bracey had six points during that stretch as Northside showed its offensive versatility. When the Knights weren’t hitting from the perimeter, they were going to the hole with gusto, especially Bracey and Rayjon Tucker, who threw down a pair of resounding dunks, including a two-handed alley-oop at the buzzer for a 56-38 lead. Tucker finished with 22 points, including 17 after intermission, while Jason Hankins and Malcolm Cumberbatch each scored 11 for Northside.

“We got Rayjon going in the second half and got everybody driving to the basket and got high-percentage shots,” Bracey said.

United Christian, paced by Kyran McClure and Mike Baez with 16 points each, struggled to respond to second-half Northside’s onslaught. The Knights’ defensive pressure stymied United Christian early in the third and the Warriors couldn’t keep pace with Northside’s penetration off the dribble, especially with Cumberbatch and Bracey driving into the lane.

“When we started the game I thought we had good energy, then we turned the ball over a few times and all of a sudden our energy went down a little bit,” United Christian coach Mitchell Baldwin said. “We’ve got to be able to maintain the same intensity if we’re hitting shots, if we’re turning the ball over. There are certain things we have to do, and that goes to our seniors and our captains.”

Nothing was going to keep Northside Christian from closing strong.

The Knights blitzed Charlotte United Christian 26-9 in the third quarter to turn a close game into an 82-64 win on Thursday on their home court. Northside, which improved to 5-2, engaged a stronger defensive effort after the break to set the tone for easy baskets in transition and half-court sets.

“I think we picked it up on defense,” said forward Lysander Bracey, who led all scorers with 25 points. “We were all making our shots. They started falling and picked up that intensity.”

The Knights were quite intense when it mattered, outscoring United Christian (9-3) 13-2 in the first four minutes of the third quarter to boost their advantage to 44-31. Bracey had six points during that stretch as Northside showed its offensive versatility. When the Knights weren’t hitting from the perimeter, they were going to the hole with gusto, especially Bracey and Rayjon Tucker, who threw down a pair of resounding dunks, including a two-handed alley-oop at the buzzer for a 56-38 lead. Tucker finished with 22 points, including 17 after intermission, while Jason Hankins and Malcolm Cumberbatch each scored 11 for Northside.

“We got Rayjon going in the second half and got everybody driving to the basket and got high-percentage shots,” Bracey said.

United Christian, paced by Kyran McClure and Mike Baez with 16 points each, struggled to respond to second-half Northside’s onslaught. The Knights’ defensive pressure stymied United Christian early in the third and the Warriors couldn’t keep pace with Northside’s penetration off the dribble, especially with Cumberbatch and Bracey driving into the lane.

“When we started the game I thought we had good energy, then we turned the ball over a few times and all of a sudden our energy went down a little bit,” United Christian coach Mitchell Baldwin said. “We’ve got to be able to maintain the same intensity if we’re hitting shots, if we’re turning the ball over. There are certain things we have to do, and that goes to our seniors and our captains.”

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