Farmville Central rolls to third straight 2A state championship
By Johnathan Kirkland
Farmville Central came into the NCHSAA 2A tournament as the nine seed despite their undefeated record. They blew through their four opponents heading into the state championship game, with their closest game being an 18-point win in the opening round over Hertford County. Saturday afternoon was no different as Farmville Central defeated Hendersonville 113-98 to capture their third straight state championship. The Jaguars also set a state record for points scored in a championship game.
Hendersonville was up to the task early on, trailing 22-19 after one quarter and 52-48 after halftime. The speed and talent of Farmville Central and their star Terquavion Smith (2021 NC State) were just too much for Hendersonville as their deficit grew to 18 heading into the final quarter. Hendersonville never quit though, racing up and down the court with Farmville Central until the final buzzer sounded.
Dwight Canady (2022) and Keenan Wilkins (2023) of Hendersonville were great in the game, scoring 31 and 28 respectively. The duo kept pushing themselves and their teammates throughout the game, but Terquavion Smith, Jah Short and Leontae Moye were just too much in the end.
Farmville Central proved Saturday that they were not only the best team in 2A, but they are the best high school basketball team in North Carolina.
Farmville Central 22 28 32 31 113
Hendersonville 19 23 22 34 98
Terquavion Smith 33 points, 10 assists, 9 rebounds, 5 steals
Jah Short 23 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists
Leontae Moye 21 points, 12 rebounds, 9-14 FG, 1-2 3PT
Dwight Canady 31 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists
Keenan Wilkins 28 points, 7 steals, 6 assists
Alex Lemmens 18 points, 9 rebounds, 9-12 FG
Terquavion Smith (Farmville Central) What more is there to say about Smith other than he is a star. He not only put up 33 points in the game, but his double double came on 10 assists. He was one rebound short of a triple double, a feat very rarely achieved in high school basketball. He is the leader of the team in every way, taking control and getting baskets when his team needs them. He has great vision on the court and his length causes problems for opposing teams.
Keenan Wilkins Hendersonville (2023) Wilkins was probably the most impressive player on the court not named Terquavion Smith. He has a pure shot, hitting 4 three-pointer in the game to account for 12 of his 28 points. He is a scrappy defender, getting 7 steals in the game. At only 5’8, Wilkins game makes him seem much bigger on the court. He is just finishing up his sophomore season and I expect he will be getting a lot of attention after his performance on Saturday.
Jah Short Farmville Central (6’4 2023) Short was one rebound away form a double-double on Saturday, pulling in nine rebounds to go with his 23 points. He also shot 50% from the floor in the game. Short battled inside all night with all of his points coming from inside the three-point line. In fact he didn’t even take a shot from beyond the arc. He is a strong and scrappy player that stays true to his strengths and does all the right things. Another sophomore that is going to be one of the next stars at Farmville Central, Short is a budding star.
Dwight Canady Hendersonville (5’10 2022) Canady led his team with 31 points and 11 rebounds in the game. He uses his strong frame to drive to the basket and not shy away from contact to get shots inside. He also has a pretty good three-point shot, making 3 in the game. Canady was the player on Hendersonville that Smith was to Farmville Central by seeing that his team needed points and pushing the ball up the court and driving to the basket.