HUNTERSVILLE – Despite 45 points from Tristan Maxwell, North Meck’s season came to end at the hands of Winston-Salem’s R.J. Reynolds in the third round of the 4A state playoffs Saturday, March 2.
The 98-96 overtime loss was the second year in a row the Vikings, who finished with a 23-5 record, had fallen in that round as the 1 seed in the West.
Maxwell, a junior shooting guard, scored 34 of his points in the second half and 4-minute extra period. Playing the entire game, he connected on 20-of-32 shots, and hit a go-ahead 3-pointer following two missed free throws with 10 seconds left.
But after calling timeout down 96-95, 9-seeded RJR (21-6) got the ball to Tyriek Leach, who nailed a 3 from the left wing with 5 seconds on the clock, and the Vikings were unable to get a shot off as time expired.
RJR did much of its damage from the 3-point line, connecting on 16-of-21 shots from beyond the arc. Leach finished with 20 points as teammates Devin Ingram had 24 and Mysta Goodloe poured in 22.
In the closing seconds of regulation, the Vikings had two shot attempts, including one from Maxwell, that missed.
North Meck, already down three players from injuries earlier in the season, had two starting post players foul out – junior Dee Givens in the fourth quarter and sophomore Chris Ford in overtime.
Demons coach Billy Martin called timeouts early in each of the first and third quarters to halt strong starts from North, who started the game 6-0 and hit two quick baskets to start the third.
Ford finished with 17 points and 15 rebounds. Trayden Williams, taking over for Demar Anderson at point guard, finished with 16 points, mostly via a flurry of drives in the second quarter.
Maxwell is an accomplished 3-point shooter, but in the second half relied on drives to the basket to pick up the bulk of his points.
Until this game, North Meck’s only losses had come to out-of-state schools and I-Meck conference tournament champion West Charlotte. Last season the Vikings fell to Rocky River in Round 3.
The only seniors on coach Duane Lewis’ roster were former starting guard Sidney McKnight and reserve wing Hunter Stallings. Following a first-round bye, the Vikings defeated Mallard Creek 83-61 in the second round.
Spartans march on
Facing rival Pine Lake Prep for the fourth time this season, Community School of Davidson won 93-74 Saturday, March 2, to advance to the 1A West semifinals.
Senior guard Brandon Ellington scored a game-high 33 points to lead the 2-seed Spartans, who advanced to 27-3. A 34-point explosion in the third quarter put the game out of hand.
Seniors Ryan Renshaw scored 17 and Sage Alexander had 12 to round out CSD’s double-digit scorers.
DeMarcus Johnson led 10-seed Pine Lake (20-9) with 23 points in his final game in a Pride uniform. Fellow seniors Grant Wagner III had 20, and Justin Workman chipped in with 15.
CSD won the first game by 1 point in December, by 7 Jan. 25 and a 63-60 margin in the PAC 7 conference tournament championship Feb. 22.