Cannon “Earns” Trip to NCISAA State Championship

Cannon 75 Greensboro Day 64

For head coach Che Roth, his motto at Cannon is “earn it,” and their play in the semifinals against three-time defending state champions Greensboro Day was simply just that. Cannon came out red-hot and led 19-13 in the first quarter. 6’6 sophomore DJ Nix hit four 3-pointers and offensively Cannon was a well-oiled offensive unit as they took a commanding 40-25 halftime lead. Greensboro Day battled back in the fourth quarter, but 6’3 sophomore point guard Jaden Bradley made one outstanding play after another, whether it was scoring or dropping off timely passes and assists to teammates. Now, let’s take a look at the game’s outstanding players. 

6’6 2022 DJ Nix (Cannon)

DJ Nix set the tone early by knocking down four 3-pointers in the first quarter. He finished with a game high 23 points including an additional 3-pointer in the crucial fourth quarter. Nix was wired from start to finish and his ability to stretch the defense with his outstanding range and touch along with his ability to take his man off the dribble was the difference.

6’3 2022 Jaden Bradley (Cannon)

What else can be said about the “silky smooth” point guard? He has unbelievable body control and makes the game look so easy. More importantly, his head is constantly up surveying the court to make one of his patented passes off the dribble. He understands the game, knows who is hot and makes his teammates better. Bradley finished with 16 points and countless assists as he solidified why he is one of the premier players in the country for his class. 

6’4 2021 Jarvis Moss (Cannon)

Jarvis Moss finished with 14 points, but he was steady, reliable and efficient throughout the game. Like Nix, he has touch and range, but has the ability to create scoring opportunities off the dribble. In addition, Moss scored within the framework of the offense. He was patience, poised and reliable on the defensive side of the court. 

6’7 2021 Elijah Ormiston (Cannon) 

Elijah Ormiston is your typical blue-collar type player that scores when opportunities arise, battles and competes on both ends of the court, but has an impeccable feel for the game especially when it comes to rebounds. Orminston finished with 13 points and came up with loose balls and rebounds when the momentum of the game could have swung in favor of Greensboro Day

6’5 2021 Bryce Harris (Greensboro Day)

Bryce Harris knows one speed and that is all out. He finished with 16 points, but everything came off hustle plays. He’s a workhorse in the paint and will battle you “tooth and nail” for loose balls and rebounds. Without question, Harris brought the energy and intensity, but unfortunately it was not enough to counter the overall outstanding team play of Cannon. 

6’3 2023 Jaydon Young (Greensboro Day)

Jaydon Young showcased why he will be in the conversation as one of the top freshmen players in the state. He has size, skill and athleticism and plays both ends of the court. Young finished with 13 points, but scored 10 in the third quarter when Greensboro Day made a run and challenge to Cannon. The future is bright for Young and will only continue to get better and better. 

6’5 2020 Christian Bailey (Greensboro Day)

Christian Bailey is a great example of perservance and hard work. He has battles countless injuries over the past two years since at Greensboro Day. Many players would have given up, but Bailey is a model student, citizen and most of all, a quality basketball player that gives you every ounce of energy and effort. Bailey finished with eight points but made equally or more hustle plays throughout the game. 

Coach Freddy Johnson has led Greensboro Day to 38-42 NCISAA Final Fours. He lost Carson McCorkle for the season, but never once complained and in the final minutes of the game, understand defeat was at hand. He is a gracious a loser as he is a winner and that is saying a lot. Coach Johnson is a Hall of Fame coach, but even a better person on and off the court. 

Coach Che Roth deserves a lot of credit. It’s tough going against a mentor such as Freddy Johnson and the amount of admiration and respect he has. That being said, Coach Che Roth is quietly building a national power at Cannon. This season, he challenged his team to a brutal and difficult schedule to illustrate that his players can play and be on the big stage. He has one more step today and whether they win or lose, he has his starting lineup returning that will make them one of the premier teams in the country for next season.