Raleigh, N.C. — South Central defeated West Charlotte 72-46 to win the 4A boys state championship. This is the first 4A boys state title won by the east since Garner in 2015.
The Falcons wasted no time getting going.
On the Falcons’ first defensive possession of the game, senior Shykeim Phillips got a steal and a layup in transition. Junior UNC commit Day’Ron Sharpe followed that with a monster dunk while getting fouled. The Falcons scores in transition a possession or two later, forcing West Charlotte to take a timeout. The Lions were down 7-0 after the first 1:45 of the game.
After scoring just four points in the regional final, Jahzeer Baker has seven in the first five minutes of the game. Baker made an acrobatic left-handed layup and followed that with a 3-pointer from the right wing to give South Central a 12-2 lead.
West Charlotte star wing Patrick Williams, a Florida State signee, answered with a powerful dunk in transition.
South Central maintained its strong advantage throughout the rest of the first quarter and led 17-6 as the buzzer sounded.
In the second quarter, Sharpe continued to dominate. The junior powered home a dunk right after pulling off a reverse layup to give South Central a 23-6 lead. West Charlotte called a timeout.
West Charlotte forced its way back into the game. South Central began missing threes and the Lions took advantage. Quinton Thomas landed an incredible alley-oop in transition to cut the lead to 14 with 2:00 left in the half. Thomas then got a steal and a layup in transition to force a South Central timeout.
The Falcons came out of the timeout with a 3-point play by Phillips. West Charlotte hit back with another highlight dunk. South Central continued to attack in the final minute of the half and rebuilt its lead out to 16 points before the break.
The top three scorers in the game at halftime all belonged to South Central. Sharpe led the game with 14 points and seven rebounds in the first half. Baker added nine points and Phillips pitched in eight. Thomas had seven at the half for West Charlotte, while the FSU commit Williams was limited to four points.
The teams traded impressive dunks to start the second half. Patrick Williams jammed a one-handed dunk over a South Central player for the Lions’ first points of the half. On the other end, Falcons senior Shy’Quan Jones made a two-handed flush in response.
A couple of possessions later, Williams dunked over Sharpe. Less than 15 seconds later, Sharpe slammed home a lob from Phillips in the half court. South Central led 44-28 after the play by Sharpe.
Despite some flashy plays and good shooting by Williams, West Charlotte could not cut into the commanding South Central lead.
With 15 point, the third quarter was the South Central’a lowest scoring output so far. West Charlotte changed up defenses in an effort to slow down the speedy Falcons.
The Falcons led 50-31 after three quarters.
South Central effectively ran time off the clock throughout the fourth frame. The Falcons outscored West Charlotte 4-0 in the first three minutes of the fourth due to the slow pace.
Thomas got a steal and made a windmill dunk on the other end to cut the deficit to 54-33 with 4:31 left in the game.
Out of a timeout, the Lions turned up the pressure and forced South Central into a few turnovers. A Thomas dunk with 4:03 left capped off a 7-1 run for the Lions in less than 30 seconds.
Williams continued to shoot very well in the fourth quarter. The senior hit a midrange jumper over Phillips with 3:40 left to cut the South Central lead to 59-42.
South Central effectively managed The increased pressure and hit enough free throws to mount its lead even further throughout the remainder of the quarter.