Prep Insider Blog

1A/Private School Boys Basketball Update

Carmel Christian’s Donovan Gregory (left) and Charlotte Christian’s JC Tharrington are best friends who have both committed to Appalachian State.
Carmel Christian’s Donovan Gregory (left) and Charlotte Christian’s JC Tharrington are best friends who have both committed to Appalachian State. Special to the Observer

Starting Five

Kobe Christian, Gastonia Highland Tech, 6-3, Jr., G: Christian averaged 22 points and 14 rebounds as a sophomore.

Jackson Gabriel, Lincoln Charter, 6-2, Sr., G: One of the area’s top shooters, Gabriel averaged 17 points per game last season. The Lees-McRae recruit will lead a team that has gone 86-12 in the past three seasons.

Donovan Gregory, Carmel Christian, 6-4, Sr., W: Gregory, who signed with Appalachian State Wednesday, averaged 20 points and eight rebounds last season. He is one of the best athletes in North Carolina.

Jayden Seymour, Northside Christian, 6-8, Jr., G/F: Seymour averaged 13 points and six rebounds last season and is one of the area’s most versatile players with his ability to play inside or out.

JC Tharrington, Charlotte Christian, 6-1, Sr., G: Expect his junior averages of 14 points, seven assists to rise. The Appalachian State signee could become his school’s all-time leading scorer this season.

Keep Your Eye On These Teams

Carmel Christian (3A private): The Cougars, who aren’t playing in a conference this season, have nine players getting Division I attention. Five signed scholarships Wednesday. Charlotte Country Day all-state transfer DeAngelo Epps adds to a group that returns four starters from last year’s state champion.

Charlotte Christian (4A private): The Knights return four senior starters from a 23-9 state quarter-finalist and added Arden Christ School transfer Peter Lash, a 6-5 junior who scored 15 points in his first game Tuesday. This will be a dangerous group that will be CISAA conference favorites and a legitimate threat to win the school’s first state title in 18 years.

Lincoln Charter (1A public): State power graduated three starters, but will again be strong. Four key reserves return along with promising freshman PG Anthony Breland. Expect another 20-plus win season and another state title run.

Northside Christian (2A private): Don’t let the 17-12 record from last season fool you. The Knights have averaged 24 wins per year over the past decade. College talent is everywhere including 6-8 forward Jayden Seymour and 6-4 freshman point guard Jalen Hood-Schifino, who already has offers from Florida, South Florida and Virginia Tech.


Providence Day will try to win a seventh straight CISAA conference title returning just one starter, junior 6-6 forward John Miralia. The Chargers are 53-3 against league competition the past six years.

Gaston Day graduated three college recruits -- Nate Hinton (Houston), Quan McCluney (College of Charleston) and MJ Armstrong (Lincoln Memorial) -- but the Spartans still expect to challenge for a league title. Watch out for seniors Demilade Adelekun (13 ppg, 11 rpg) and John Crump (7 ppg).

Highland Tech was 4-44 from 2015-17 but returns all five starters from a team that was 9-14 last season, including Kobe Christian, who averaged 22 points per game.

Concord First Assembly’s Cheick Traore is a 16-year-old sophomore from the Ivory Coast who is flashing college potential for the Eagles Langston Wertz Jr.

Concord First Assembly has won 20 or more games for six straight seasons. Junior Cheick Traore (8 ppg, 8 rpg) and Eli Cupples (9 ppg) lead a team that’s among favorites to win the MAC title.

Cannon School has three big-time freshmen in point guard Jaden Bradley, wing Harrison Alexander and power forward D.J. Nix. Despite returning two seniors, Cannon should contend for the CISAA.

Keep an eye on Hickory Grove this season. Not usually a power school, the Lions have two budding stars in 6-4 sophomore A.J. Smith and 6-8 Jacori Owens, who recently picked up a Charlotte offer.