Saturday’s Rewind: 3 Mecklenburg County boys, 3 girls teams reach Elite 8

Langston Wertz Jr., Steve Lyttle
·17 min read

There is a very good chance a boys high school basketball team from Mecklenburg County will play for the N.C. 4A state championship in a few weeks.

Ditto for the girls.

Saturday, three area boys teams advance to the Elite 8. There are four teams remaining on the eastern and western side of the brackets. The Charlotte teams, all in the west, will take up three of the four spots.

On Tuesday, No. 1 overall seed North Mecklenburg will host Independence. No. 2 seed Olympic will host Northwest Guilford.

Saturday, nationally ranked North Meck beat Greensboro Grimsley 83-66. Independence won its 11th straight game, beating Hough 52-41. Olympic held off Vance 71-65.

On the girls side, three teams advanced to the Elite 8, taking up three of the final four spots in the West.

On Tuesday, No. 1 seed Mallard Creek will host No. 4 Northwest Guilford. No. 3 Providence, in the Elite 8 round for the first time, will host No. 7 Vance.

On Saturday, Vance held off Winston-Salem Glenn 46-40 and Providence beat East Forsyth 52-42. Mallard Creek got through by holding off Jamestown Ragsdale 53-44.

Click here for statewide scores, Tuesday’s schedule

Olympic, star Josh Banks, stop Vance to advance to Elite 8

Olympic’s Josh Banks and the Trojans begin play in the SoMECK conference tournaments
Olympic’s Josh Banks and the Trojans begin play in the SoMECK conference tournaments

Olympic is headed to the Western 4A Regional semifinals, thanks to a second-half shooting clinic that carried the Trojans to a 71-65 victory Saturday afternoon over visiting Vance.

The second-seeded Trojans (21-6) missed only six of their 23 shots after halftime, erasing an early deficit against a Vance team that was on-target much of the time too.

“They’re young -- they don’t even know what this is,” Olympic coach Baronton Terry said of his team, which had won 10 in a row before losing to Ardrey Kell last weekend in the SoMeck 7 4A tournament finals. “They’re excited.”

While the Trojans changed momentum in the third quarter, it was a 80-second span in the second period that might have saved their season.

Seventh-seeded Vance (22-7) dominated much of the first half and led 25-14 with 3:52 left in the second quarter.

Things looked bad for Olympic, as leading scorer Joshua Banks and standout rebounder Nishawn Hodge each had two fouls

Up stepped junior Jalen Smalls. He hit a three-pointer with 2:40 left in the half, cutting the deficit to 25-17, then added another with 1:37 remaining. Then after a missed Vance shot, Smalls got the ball on the wing and connected with another three-pointer. The Cougars’ lead was down to 25-23, and Olympic was back in the game.

“Jalen Smalls had three or four three’s that were really big,” Terry said. “They were keying on our main scorers, and he came up big for us.”

The opening five minutes of the third quarter featured spectacular shooting by each team. Olympic hit 7-of-8 from the floor, including five three-pointers; and Vance made 6-of-7, including three from three-point range.

Vance pulled ahead 48-45 with 1:27 remaining in the quarter, but Olympic outscored the Cougars 21-8 over the next six minutes and led 66-56 with about three minutes to play.

Vance got as close as five points in the late going, but Olympic hit 5-of-6 free throws and iced the victory.

Banks recovered from his first-half foul problems for a spectacular 27-point game. He and Vance’s Trey Green, who took game scoring honors with 30 points, were nearly unstoppable in the second half.

THREE WHO MATTERED

Joshua Banks, Olympic: A VCU commit, Banks hit 10-of-13 from the floor and scored 27 points. Banks, who scored 23 of those points in the second half, also had five rebounds.

Trey Green, Vance: A freshman who is a big part of Vance’s future, Green scored 30 points. He made 12-of-17 from the floor, including 5-of-9 from three-point range.

Jalen Small, Olympic: His three three-pointers in the second quarter kept Olympic in the game and set up the team’s second-half surge.

WORTH MENTIONING

Olympic was denied a chance for a rematch with Ardrey Kell in the fourth round of the playoffs, when the Knights lost 57-46 Saturday at Northwest Guilford.

Vance attempted a full-court press against Olympic in the fourth quarter, but the Trojans broke it twice in a row with long passes downcourt that ended in layups.

Vance had a 21-4 run in the first half, erasing a 10-4 deficit and building a 25-14 lead -- before Jalen Small got hot from the outside.

Olympic finished the game shooting 53 percent from the floor. The Trojans hit 17-of-23 in the second half after a cold (9-of-26) first half.

Vance shot 48 percent from the floor, hitting 26-of-54.

THEY SAID IT

“We put pressure on their guards, they couldn’t get it inside, and we stopped fouling.” -- Olympic coach Barry Terry, explaining how his team rallied in the second half.

WHAT’S NEXT

Olympic is home in the regional semifinals, facing third seed Northwest Guilford (24-4) on Tuesday night. With a starting lineup of two freshmen, a sophomore, and two seniors, Vance should be a power again next year.

Steve Lyttle on Twitter: @slyttle

Elevator

Independence: the 2018 N.C. 4A championships are two wins away from going back to the finals. Independence beat Hough 52-41 to win its 11th straight game and advance to Tuesday’s Elite 8 round. Anthony Allen (16 points) and Nygel Verdier (15) led the Patriots. Beau Maye had 22 for Hough.

Lincoln Charter: beat Community School of Davidson 81-50 to advance to the 1A Elite 8. Lincoln Charter outscored CSD 25-4 in a decisive secoid quarter. Sam Cogan (18 points) and Anthony Davis (14) led Lincoln Charter (27-2).

Providence girls: beat East Forsyth 52-42 to advance to the Elite 8 for the first time

Ardrey Kell injury: Knights lost to Northwest Guilford 57-46 Saturday, playing without star Davidson Hubbard, who has an MCL knee sprain. e was averaging 15 points, seven rebounds. The Knights (22-7) have won at least 22 games for three years straight.

AL Brown: Coach Shelwyn Klutz has resigned after 23 years. He has 302 wins. Brown was 18-9 this season.

Best Things I Heard About Saturday

His team lost but Vance High’s Trey Green had 30 points in a 71-65 loss to Olympic in the third round. Green had 31 in the second round. Anyone putting together a list of the top 10 freshman in North Carolina had better have Green’s name in it.

Forest Hills (28-0) advanced to its fifth straight Elite 8 with a 61-50 win over Lake Norman Charter in a 2A Sweet 16 game. Alec Topper (12 poinsts), Ty Burch (11), Brandon Barrier (10) and Dillon Wright (10) led a balanced attack. Donoan Atwell had 18 for Lake Norman Charter. Forest Hills will host Mountain Heritage (26-1) Tuesday at 7.

Saturday’s #BIG5 Girls Top Performers

Adair Garrison, Freedom: game-high 18 points in a 74-36 win over Charlotte Catholic in the third round. Josie Hise (15), Jayda Glass (13) and Danisha Hemphill (13) were in double-digits for Freedom (28-0), which will host Enka in an Elite 8 game Tuesday.

Reagan Iovino, Cuthbertson: 25 points in a third round 69-60 win over Hickory. She made 6-of-8 3-point attempts and 7-of-7 from the free throw line. Teammate Maddie Dillinger had 19 points and was 5-of-5 at the line. Aysha Short had 30 for Hickory.

Nyla McGill, Providence: 22 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, four steals in a 52-42 win over East Forsyth.

Jessica Timmons, North Mecklenburg: scored her 2000th point in a 71-47 loss to Northwest Guilford. She finished with 23 points for North (23-8).

Lauren Walker, Mallard Creek: 16 points, three steals in a 53-44 win over Ragsdale. Nevaeh Brown (14 points, three assists, three blocks) and Kennedy Simpson (13 points) had strong games. Mallard Creek will host Northwest Guilford in an Elite 8 game Tuesday at 7.

Saturday’s #BIG5 Boys Top Performers

Josh Banks, Olympic: 27 points, on 10-of-13 shooting in a 71-65 win over Vance.

James Freeman, Que Garner, Freedom: game-high 21 points each in a 73-54 win over conference rival Hickory in a 3A third round game. Cody Young had 21 points for Hickory. Freedom (27-1) will host Weddington in an Elite 8 game Tuesday at 7:30.

Trey Green, Vance: freshman scored 30 points against Olympic. He made 12-of-17 from the floor, including 5-of-9 from three-point range.

Jaden Seymour, Northside Christian: scored team-high 16 points in the NC private schools all-star game to lead the West to a win.

Trayden Williams, North Mecklenburg: senior point guard had 25 points, six assists and five steals in a 83-66 win over Greensboro Grimsley. Support came from Shamann Artis (20 points), Tristan Maxwell (15), Jeremy Gregory (10 points, 13 rebounds) and Chris Ford (10 points, 10 rebounds).

NCISAA All-Star Games: West sweeps East

The annual N.C. private school all-star basketball games were played Saturday at Providence Day, featuring the top seniors from the NCISAA.

The All-Star games were typical high-scoring affairs with a run-and-gun style, little emphasis on defense, lots of 3-pointers and highlight-reel plays and dunks. In the girls’ game the West defeated the East 78-64, while the boys’ game also saw the West prevail 112-107.

In the boys’ game, the West took a 20-point halftime lead before the East rallied with a big second-half surge to fall by only five points. The West had seven players in double figures with Northside Christian’s Jaden Seymour leading with way with 16 points. Davidson Day’s Jackson Threadgill (Charlotte 49ers commit) was next with 14 while Concord First Assembly’s Garrett Hien (Furman commit) and Ambaka Le Gregam (Presbyterian commit) each poured in 13.

Cam Hayes (Greensboro Day and NC State commit) led the East and all scorers with 22 points. Grace Christian and Wake Forest commit Jaylon Gibson finished with 17 while Landon Sutton (High Point Christian) ended with 14.

What was it like playing on the same floor with so much talent on both sides.

“It’s an honor, a blessing and a humbling experience,” said Charlotte Latin guard and Holy Cross commit Randy Johnson. “It was fun to get up and down with these guys, learn a lot, just compete and have some fun.”

In the girls’ game, the West All-Stars led the entire way to win by 14 points. After trailing by seven point at the half, the East rallied to once cut the lead to three points but could get no closer.

Aniyah Vanhook from the Burlington School lead the West and tied for the game’s leading scorer with 18 points. Providence Day’s Andi Levitz added 14 with Asheville Christian’s Caroline Sikkink also finishing in double figures with 11 points.

The O’Neal School’s Hadiya Balser led the East and tied for the game’s leading scorer with 18. Cape Fear’s Chloe Kernan and Rabun Gap’s Aileen Marquez each finished with 11 points respectively, while North Raleigh Christian’s Levossie Taylor added 10 points for the East.

BOYS THREE WHO MATTERED

Cam Hayes, East – Led the East All-Stars and all scorers with 22 points including six 3-pointers.

Jaden Seymour, West – Gave the fans several highlight-reel dunks while leading the West in scoring with 16 points.

CJ Huntley, Davidson Day and Appalachian St. commit – Finished with nine points including a windmill slam dunk and a two-handed slam dunk.

GIRLS THREE WHO MATTERED

Aniyah Vankook, West – Led the West in scoring with 18 points with only one 3-pointer.

Chloe Kernan and Aileen Marquez East – Each had three, 3-pointers and 11 points.

Andi Levitz, West – Led both teams with four, 3-pointers.

BOYS GAME WORTH MENTIONING:

  • Charlotte Latin’s Chris Berger was the Head Coach of the Boys West All-Stars with Durham Academy’s Tim McKenna serving as the Boys’ East Head Coach.

GIRLS GAME WORTH MENTIONING:

  • Lulu Brase from the O’Neal School was the Coach of the Girls East All-Stars while Tavores Vanhook of Burlington School was the Coach of the Girls West All-Stars.

THEY SAID IT: “It was actually a thrill. The last 24 hours was a lot of fun. The West team and the East team feature wonderful young men who are going to very successful moving forward in college and past college. I really enjoyed the practices, the game and doing some service with them yesterday.” Chris Berger on his opportunity to coach the Boys’ West team.

Saturday’s Boys Boxscores

NCISAA ALL-STAR GAME

WEST BOYS 112, EAST BOYS 107

EAST BOYS 38 69 --107

WEST BOYS 58 54 -- 112

East: Cam Hayes (Greensboro Day – NC State Commit) 22, Jaylon Gibson (Grace Christian - Wake Forest commit) 17, Landon Sutton (High Point Christian) 13, Dji Bailey (Greenfield School and Wake Forest commit) 11, Kaleb Brooks (Wesleyan Christian) 9, Aymoric Toussaint (Freedom Christian) 8, Cason Pierce (Greensboro Day) 8, Christian Bailey (Greensboro Day) 7, Creighton Lebo (Greenfield School) 6, Myljael Poteat (the Burlington School – Rice) 6.

West: Jaden Seymour (Northside Christian) 16, Jackson Threadgill (Davidson Day and Charlotte 49ers commit) 14, Garrett Hien (Concord First Assembly and Furman commit) 13, Ambaka Le Gregam (Concord First Assembly and Presbyterian commit) 13, Tyler McKinney (Asheville Christian and Lincoln Memorial commit) 11, Will Coble (Davidson Day) 10, Myles Hunter (Carmel Christian – Youngstown St. commit) 10, CJ Huntley (Davidson Day and Appalachian St. commit) 9, Randy Johnson (Charlotte Latin and Holy Cross commit) 7, Seth Smith (Victory Christian) 4, Peter Lash (Charlotte Christian) 3, Cheick Traore (Concord First Assembly and Youngstown St. commit) 2.

FOREST HILLS 61, LAKE NORMAN CHARTER 50

Forest Hills 14 8 18 21 -- 61

Lake Norman Charter 9 11 9 21 -- 50

FOREST HILLS 61 – Alec Topper 12, Ty Burch 11, Brandon Barrier 10, Dillon Wright 10, Huntley 8, Barbour 4, Hester 3, Morris 1

LAKE NORMAN CHARTER 50 – Donovan Atwell 18, Jackson Potter 17, Reed 6, Scott 2, Edens 5Records: Forest Hills 28-0, Lake Norman Charter 22-7

Notes: Forest Hills advances to the Elite 8 for the 5th consecutive year. Forest Hills will host Mountain Heritage (26-1) Tuesday at 7pm.

FREEDOM 73, HICKORY 54

Freedom -- 17 18 15 23 -- 73

Hickory -- 11 16 12 15 -- 54

Freedom -- James Freeman 21, Que Garner 21, Johnson 4, Bradley Davis 15, Tolbert 3, Moore 3, Pitman 2, Birchfield 2, Rice 2

Hickory -- Cody Young 21, Hargrove 3, Davis Amos 10, Joyner-McCorkle 8, Maddox 5, Cameron 2, Everhardt 2

Notes: Freedom 27-1 hosts Weddington in round 4 on Tuesday @ 7:30pm, following the girls game Freedom v. Enka at 6pm

INDEPENDENCE 52, HOUGH 41

Independence -- 15 11 5 21 -- 52

Hough -- 11 10 12 8 -- 41

Independence -- Bodrick 6, Anthony Allen 16, Nygel Verdier 15, Miller 8, Hinton 7

Hough -- Shyock 5, Richl 3, Beau Maye 22, Worland 9, Stiff 2

Records: Independence 22-7; Hough 19-10.

Notes: Independence has won eleven straight games.

LINCOLN CHARTER 81, COMMUNITY SCHOOL OF DAVIDSON 50

Lincoln Charter -- 21 25 17 18 -- 81

Community School of Davidson -- 15 4 10 20 -- 50

Lincoln Charter -- Sam Cogan 18, Anthony Davis 14, Holm 8, Burnett 7, Bush 7, McGill 6, Patel 6, Fulton 5, Setiz 3, Baich 2, Crichton 2, Cooke 2, Kerr, N. Al-Hussaini, D. Al-Hussaini

Community School of Davidson -- Seth Johnson 16, AJ Webb 11, Square 8, Knox 4, Bragg 4, Peterson 2, Ferguson 2, McAfee 3

Records: Lincoln Charter 27-2

NORTHWEST GUILFORD 57, ARDREY KELL 46

NW Guilford -- 12 12 14 19 -- 57

Ardrey Kell -- 21 10 6 9 -- 46

NW Guilford -- Humphrey 19, Hampton, 13,

Ardrey Kell -- Luke Stankavage 14, Evan Smith 11, Peyton Gerald 10, Blue 6, Testa 3, Snyder 2

Notes: Evan Ardrey Kell falls to NW Guilford in the sweet 16. The Knights finish with a 22-7 record. It’s Ardrey Kell 3rd straight 20 win season.

SOUTHEAST GUILFORD 68, CENTRAL CABARRUS 26

Central Cabarrus -- 10 12 2 2 -- 26

Southeast Guilford -- 21 18 25 5 -- 68

Central Cabarrus -- Aniyah Tate 12, Cherry 3, Miller 2, Knight 5, Case 4

Southeast Guilford -- Hopkins 4, Kennedi Simmons 24, Roberts 9, Poole 2, Harris 6, Raven Preston 25, Bell 6.

WINSTON-SALEM PREP 71, NORTH ROWAN 51

North Rowan 6 20 9 16 — 51

W-S Prep 21 14 17 19 — 71

N. ROWAN 51— White 15, Carpenter 13, Davis 7, Robinson 4, Goodes 4, Gladden 4, Jefferson 4.

WINSTON-SALEM PREP 71 -- Minor 31, Sellars 14, Ledwell 8, Mills 7, Davis 5, Patterson 3, Sanderson 2, Watson 1.

VANCE 65, OLYMPIC 71

Vance -- 13 14 21 17 -- 65

Olympic -- 12 12 27 20 -- 71

VANCE 65 -- Jaylen Curry 8, Trey Green 30, Dexter Hart 8, Daniel Ransom 9, Daniel Sanford

Saturday’s Girls Boxscores

NCISAA GIRLS ALL-STAR GAME

WEST GIRLS 78, EAST GIRLS 64

EAST GIRLS 34 30 -- 64

WEST GIRLS 41 37 -- 78

East: Hadiya Balzer (O’Neal School) 18, Chloe Kernan (Cape Fear and Washington University commit) 11, Aileen Marquez (Rabun Gap) 11, Levossie Taylor (North Raleigh Christian) 10, Derin Akdeniz (Rabun Gap) 5, Shelby Woods (Cary Christian and Meredith commit) 5, Marissa Lee (Lee Christian) 2, Emily Hayman (Ravenscroft) 2

West: Aniyah Vanhook (Burlington School) 18, Andi Levitz (Providence Day) 14, Caroline Sikkink (Asheville Christian) 11, Nina-Simone Clark (Providence Day) 9, Morgan Kelson (Providence Day and Chaflin commit) 8, Molina Williams (Burlington School and Charlotte 49ers) 7, Kennedy Grier (Charlotte Country Day) 5, Grace Godwin (Providence Day) 4, Triniti Lockhart (Concord First Assembly) 2.

CUTHBERSTON 46, WATAUGA 43

Cuthbertson -- 11 9 12 14 -- 46

Watauga -- 9 10 8 16 -- 43

Cuthberston -- Maddie Dillinger 16, Ruby Williams 8, Reagan Iovino 8, Lillian Anderson 5,Lauryn Hardiman 5, Kamaria Sheriff 4

Watauga -- Breylyn Sturgill 14, Chelsi Hodges 11, Brooke Scheffler 7, Reberah Farthing 6, Brooke Byrd 3, Caroline Farthing 2.

ENKA 60, CARSON 58

Enka 18 16 13 13 — 60

Carson 21 16 12 9 — 58

ENKA 60 — Carver 26, Dill 14, Daves 8, Cordiale 7, Green 5, Lee.

CARSON 58 — Ca. Perry 13, Co. Perry 12, Cooper 9, H. Isley 8, L. Isley 6, Wilhelm 4, Conrad 4, Post 2.

FREEDOM 74, CHARLOTTE CATHOLIC 36

Charlotte Catholic -- 9 12 8 7 -- 36

Freedom -- 15 21 25 13 -- 74

Charlotte Catholic -- Bertolina 6, Franks 2, Kacerosky 7, McMenamin 2, Darline 7, Green 7, Schroeder 1, Peters 4, Culicerto.

Freedom -- Adair Garrison 18, Josie Hise 15, Jayda Glass 13, Danisha Hemphill 13, Blaikley Crooks 12, Stevee McGee 2, Rhone 1, Walker, ONeil.

Notes: Freedom 28-0, will host Enka on Tuesday.

MALLARD CREEK 53, RAGSDALE 44

Mallard Creek -- L.WALKER 16 N.BROWN 14 K.SIMPSON 13 S.SUFFREN 8 H.DOCTOR 2

Ragsdale -- D.MONROE 15 N.STALLINGS 9 M.FRAZIER 7 V.BODDIE 6 A.PALMORE 5 A.BRADFORD 2

Notes: Senior guard, Lauren Walker leads the Mavs with 16 points, 3 steals and 1 assist. Nevaeh Brown is right behind her with 14 points, 3 assists and 3 blocks. Junior Guard, Kennedy Simpson keeps up with the leading scorers with 13. Mallard Creek stays on top to move forward to Round 4 to take on Northwest Guilford at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday at Mallard Creek.

PROVIDENCE 52, EAST FORSYTH 42

Providence -- 9 7 18 18 -- 52

East Forsyth -- 8 10 11 13 -- 42

Providence -- Nyla McGill 22, Amari Davis 9, Cameron Mulkey 5, Eva Butler 3, Marlow Chapman 4, Audrey Lytle 3, Alexis Christenbury 6

East Forsyth -- Hoover 7, Galloway 5, Diaye 7, Simes 5, Long 8, Hall 10

Notes: McGill 7 rebounds, 7 assists and 4 steals. Eva Butler with an unbelievable game on both ends of the floor. Alexis Christenbury with two huge three pointers and 4 rebounds.

Records: Providence 25-2, moves onto Round 4 of the NCHSAA playoffs for the first time in school history.