The contest between Asheville Christian and Gaston Christian started off somewhat slow, as neither team offered much offensive firepower. That being said, Asheville Christian controlled the action for most of the first quarter, opening up with an 11-2 run and ultimately closing the quarter with a 11-6 lead. Things quickly turned around for Gaston Christian, tying things up to start the second period and offering quality resistance through the remainder of the half. The Lions of Asheville Christian walked into the break with a 19-18 lead over Gaston Christian. The second half consisted of more of the same, as both teams continued to compete and neither team was able to gain much separation, keeping things tight at 29-30 with the favor turning towards Gaston Christian entering the third guard. After a strong first-half from guys like 6’2 ’21 Collin Mills and 6’3 ’21 Max Rogers (Asheville Christian), 6’1 ’23 Derek Bradley (Gaston Christian) was arguably the most noteworthy catalyst for either team throughout the final two periods. After a back-and-forth battle, Gaston Christian secured an eight-point lead going into crunch time and secured the victory from there—ultimately winning over Asheville Christian by a score of 43-34.
6’2 ’21 Collin Mills (Asheville Christian)
There’s so much to like about this Asheville Christian group, especially behind the two-way leadership of Mills. He was able to consistently and effortlessly access his midrange jumper, and seemingly hit anything he attempted around the elbows. Mills also displayed IQ and patience as a floor general, making the extra pass and setting up his teammates whenever possible. He defends very well, rebounds effectively for his position, and makes a quality impact in transition. After receiving a New Orleans offer, it’s surprising that more scholarship-level coaches haven’t gotten involved.
6’3 ’21 Max Rogers (Asheville Christian)
Although Kavan Horton was sidelined, the Lions were able to effectively fill his void with phenomenal production from Rogers. He’s a noted shooting threat, but he did far more than idle within a spot-up role. Rogers moved without the ball, attacked off the bounce, and asserted himself as a scorer from all levels. He also stood out defensively with his toughness and ability to contain his assignment. With his recruitment seeing a recent boost, one should expect Rogers to continue gaining traction from programs at the next level.
6’8 ’21 Cody Chapman (Gaston Christian)
With so many different dynamics on this team, Chapman served a very purposeful role as their lone interior presence. Not only did he operate well within the paint as a scorer, rebounder, and defender, but his ability to space the floor was on display. He plays with a high motor, runs the floor properly in transition, and offers a pretty low-maintenance role for a roster loaded with guards.
6’1 ’23 Derek Bradley (Gaston Christian)
Though he had a pretty solid first half, Bradley began to truly emerge as a leader after the halftime break. He highlighted poise, toughness, and constant aggressiveness as a downhill penetrator. Bradley made great decisions with the ball in his hands, both in transition and the half-court setting, and finished strong around the basket. He’s also a capable playmaker and perimeter shooter with useful defensive prowess.