CHARLOTTE — The Word of God Rams held off a determined Fayetteville Trinity Christian Crusaders team to win the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 1A boys’ basketball championship 75-68 Saturday at Providence Day.
A trio of Word of God seniors playing in their final high school game paved the way for the victory. Camden Scott led all scorers with 29 points, including 24 in the first half. Scott made eight 3-pointers, all in the first half as the Rams built an 11-point halftime lead.
Fellow seniors Joshua Newkirk and Tyrek Coger added 20 and 15 respectively.
“I wanted to come out strong, and I know if I got going it would open up for other guys to penetrate and then kick out,” said Scott. “We just wanted this so bad; we’ve been fighting all season for this.”
After leading by 11 points at the half, Word of God (25-2) saw Trinity Christian trim the lead to six points at the end of three quarters. The Crusaders got as close as four points with six minutes left, but the Rams got a big bucket inside from Coger to go back in front by six. The Crusaders got no closer.
Dennis Smith Jr., led Trinity Christian (22-8) with 21 points and Kwe Parker added 12.
Trailing late, Trinity Christian was forced to foul, and Word of God sank the needed free throws to hang on for the win.
Word of God coach Quentin Jackson talked about Scott’s big game.
“That’s an expectation that we have, and that’s an expectation that the players have in Cam,” said Jackson. “If we run our offense, pin down like we’re supposed to, he rolls and pops out, and if he has his shot, there’s a great chance he’s going to make it.”
Jackson was asked about the chances of Word of God reloading next season despite losing nine seniors.
“If you look at the history of Word of God, it’s a continuous process,” Jackson said. “We have guys that consistently come in and perform. Winning the state championship does nothing but help the program.”