High Schools

Isaiah Hicks' championship performance is one for the high school basketball books

tstevens@newsobserver.comMarch 19, 2013 

Oxford Webb’s Isaiah Hicks may have had the best N.C. High School Athletic Association championship game ever in any sport on Saturday in leading the Warriors to a 73-70 overtime basketball victory against Statesville.

The 6-foot-9 North Carolina recruit’s statistics: an NCHSAA championship game record 30 rebounds; and 34 points, which is tied for No. 7 on the NCHSAA championship game list.

Hicks’ 30 rebounds broke the record of 28 set by Miami center Reggie Johnson when he played in Winston-Salem Prep’s noncompetitive 73-42 1A title win over Pamlico in 2008.

“In 17 years of doing this, I once saw Kevin Love get 32 rebounds in a game and had never heard of anyone approaching it until Hicks did it last weekend,” said ESPN recruiting analyst Dave Telep. “Think of it this way, he pulled down one rebound every minute for the entire game.

“Rebounding is a reflection of the effort and desire you have. To sustain that focus and effort for the entire game is remarkable.”

The NCHSAA has maintained state tournament records only since the 1990s when the organization moved its finals to neutral sites. The neutral sites give the NCHSAA more assurance that the statistics are reliable.

Before Hicks’ game last weekend, the best statistical game since the NCHSAA started keeping records was Pender’s Addison Spruill’s 32 points and 17 rebounds in 2011.

The most comparable individual basketball performance was Clinton Union’s April Cromartie, who scored a girls’ championship game record 48 points in 1998. She also had 17 rebounds.

Another notable double-double in the girls’ finals was Roseboro Lakewood standout Chasity Melvin (37 points, 21 rebounds) in 1994.

It is difficult to compare Hicks’ game to other top performances in other sports.

T.J. Logan of Northern Guilford set a state record with 510 rushing yards and he scored eight touchdowns in a 64-26 win over Charlotte Catholic last fall.

Perhaps the most comparable performances to Hicks’ were in track and field.

Southeast Raleigh’s Gabby Mayo won an unprecedented four NCHSAA individual 4A titles in the 2006 finals with victories in the 100 and 200 sprints and the 100 and 300 hurdles.

Jacinda Evans of Southern Durham matched that in 2008 by winning the 100- and 200-meter sprints, the long jump and the triple jump.

One of the legendary state finals performances that I have heard of repeatedly, but have never confirmed, was that of Durham Hillside’s John Lucas, who won 4A tennis singles championships in 1970, ’71 and ’72. He won the last title so quickly, in about 30 minutes, that he never took off his warm-ups.

But as far as number crunching, Hicks’ game may be unmatched.

What do you think? Drop me an email at tstevens@newsobserver.com.

Stevens: 919-829-8910

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