High School Sports

Thursday’s Roundup: UNC/Wake target Cole Anthony, Oak Hill, hold off West Charlotte

Oak Hill’s Cole Anthony runs through pre-game warmups.
Oak Hill’s Cole Anthony runs through pre-game warmups. Special to the Observer


Gaston Day Shooting: Spartans shot 5-for-34 from 3-point range and blew a 17-point lead against High Point Westchester Country Day. Gaston Day lost 58-53 despite getting big games from Demi Adelekun and MJ Collins (22 points, four rebounds, two steals).

Zeb Graham Jr., Fort Mill Nation Ford: Named S.C. 5A player of the year. Fort Mill’s Jacobi Wright made the all-state team.

Davidson Day shooting: Patriots made 13 3-point shots in an 81-31 win over Salem Baptist in the second round of the N.C. Independent Schools playoffs. Jackson Threadgill led Davidson Day with 19 points.

Zaria Clark, Gaston Day girls: 10 steals in a 52-17 win over Hickory Christian in the NCISAA playoffs. She had 19 points and five assists. Teammate Olivia King added 15 points, 10 rebounds and four steals.

Quick Links

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Thursday’s #BIG5 Top Performers

Demi Adelekun, Gaston Day: 20 points, 17 rebounds, four blocks, four assists and two steals against Westchester Country Day.

Nevaeh Brown, Davidson Day girls: 21 points, 10 rebounds, seven steals in a 73-26 win over Westchester Country Day in the second round of the NCISAA 2A playoffs. Teammate Mallorie Haines had a game-high 25 points.

Wendell Moore, Caleb Carrawell, Concord Cox Mill: Both players had 29 points in a 79-74 loss to the Patrick School. Moore, named to Nike Hoop Summit national team Thursday, had 10 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals. Carrawell had five rebounds, two steals.

AJ Smith, Hickory Grove: 24 points in a 59-50 win over Calvary Day in the second round of the private school playoffs. Smith, a 6-4 sophomore, became the fastest player in school history to get to 1,000 career points.

Tate Johnson, Metrolina Christian: 23 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two steals in a 74-63 win over Concord Cannon in the second round of the NCISAA 4A playoffs. Teammate Stephen Clark (22 points, 10 rebounds, four assists) had a double-double. Johnson made 10-of-12 free throws.

Nationally ranked Cox Mill was upset by The Patrick (NJ) School at the Own The Game Invitational sponsored by the Jordan Brand. After the loss, Cox Mill coach Jody Barbee talked about how that might help his team chase a third straight state title

No. 1 Cox Mill, No. 3 West Charlotte fall at Own The Game Invitational

As part of the NBA’s All-Star festivities in Charlotte, the “Own the Game” Invitational was played Thursday night at the Brayboy Gymnasium on the campus of Johnson C. Smith University.

The opener of the high school basketball doubleheader featured the Patrick School Celtics from Hillside, New Jersey and the local Cox Mill Chargers from Concord. The second game featured national power Oak Hill Academy Warriors (Mouth of Wilson, Virginia) against the West Charlotte Lions, ranked No.3 in this week’s Observer Sweet 16.

In the first game Patrick School edged Cox Mill 79-74, while the nightcap saw a scrappy West Charlotte team bested by Oak Hill Academy 76-66.

A poor second half doomed Cox Mill in the opener. The Chargers were outscored 46-36 in the final 16 minutes of the game, which according to Cox Mill coach Jody Barbee, was the difference.

“I thought we came out really hard in the first half and did some good things defensively, but I thought the second half was different,” said Barbee. “Patrick School wanted the game more than we did and we struggled defensively. They came right at us.”

Cox Mill, No.1 in this week’s Observer’s Sweet 16, was led by Duke recruit Wendell Moore, and Caleb-Stone-Carrawell who each had 29 points. Al-Amir Dawes lead the Celtics in scoring with 24 points.

In the nightcap, West Charlotte had some moments but couldn’t match the incredible depth of Oak Hill. After a close first quarter and a Lions 15-14 lead, the Warriors took control in the second quarter and never trailed the rest of the way.

Oak Hill placed four players in double figures with Cameron Thomas leading the way with 19. Christian Brown added 14 while Cole Anthony and Kofi Cockburn had 12 each. Cockburn, a 6-10, 255 pound senior, also had a team-high 11 rebounds.

West Charlotte’s Patrick Williams and Cartier Jernigan both led the Lions with 19 points, while Quinten Thomas also landed in double figures with 14 points and a team-high seven rebounds.

West Charlotte played a solid first quarter, and actually led Oak Hill Academy 15-14. But the Warriors came out in the second quarter flexing their muscles by outscoring the Lions 26-13 to lead at the break 40-28.

The Lions did make one final run midway through the third quarter, cutting the lead to five points. But that’s as close as West Charlotte could get as they trailed by as many as 15 while finally succumbing by ten points.


(Cam Thomas – Oak Hill) His 11-point second half and 19 points overall prevented West Charlotte from mounting a serious comeback.

(Cartier Jernigan – West Charlotte) Senior guard was a handful with his team-high 19 points, and his 3-pointer midway through the third quarter cut the Oak Hill lead to five points.

(Kofi Cockburn – Oak Hill) Warriors’ big man helped hold West Charlotte’s star Patrick Williams to 5-of-18 from the field.


  • High profile and current NBA players who have played at Oak Hill Academy include Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors and Rajon Rondo of the LA Lakers, as well as former NBA greats Stephen Jackson, Rod Stickland and Steve Blake.

  • Thursday’s game against West Charlotte was Oak Hill’s second game in the past three days. The Warriors will play again Friday and Saturday giving them four games in five days.

  • The Lions’ 6-8 Williams had a monster first-quarter block on the 6-10 Cockburn.


: “I’m always looking forward to coming back home to play in front of my family and friends.” Oak Hill senior forward and Charlotte native B.J. Mack, who helped lead Charlotte Catholic to its first ever state title as a freshman in 2016.


Oak Hill (23-3); West Charlotte (17-6, 11-2)


West Charlotte will close out its regular season Friday with a conference game hosting Hopewell. Meanwhile Oak Hill Academy will travel to Bristol Tennessee to take on Teays Valley Christian Valley Prep Friday.

Langston Wertz Jr. is an award-winning sports journalist who has worked at the Observer since 1988. He’s covered everything from Final Fours and NFL to video games and Britney Spears. Wertz -- a West Charlotte High and UNC grad -- is the rare person who can answer “Charlotte,” when you ask, “What city are you from.”

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