It’s no secret that Central Cabarrus versus The Burlington School is a premier high school matchup with two of the top basketball programs in North Carolina. On one side, the Vikings of Central Cabarrus are led by Carson Daniel, Chase Daniel, and Desmond Kent with guys like Emari Russell and newcomer Josh Dalton emerging as key pieces. The success of the Daniel-Daniel-Kent trio over the last few years is basically unprecedented. They went 32-0 in 2022-23 and 32-0 during the most recent travel ball season (only suffering losses to Christopher Columbus in The Throne and Panther Creek in the NCHSAA June Live period across that span), truly redefining what the word “dominant” means. This season, they’ve yet to beat an opponent by less than 21 points.

On the other side, the Spartans history of success is widely known by the masses. Coach Marshall enters his second year at the helm, currently standing at a strong 11-3 with a loaded roster featuring a slew of college-level players. Their balance as a group is a major part of what makes them so difficult for opponents. Guys like Cam Flippen, Kaden Hammond, Ty Outlaw, and Jordan Durham continue to be massive difference-makers, but the likes of Devin Sims, Josh Randolph, and Matija Moravcevic also provide meaningful minutes. Highly regarded freshman King Gibson has also shined in his role while showing steady improvement each time out. That being said, Zion Walker’s production and leadership is what propels this group forward.

Both squads are title-favorites in their respective classifications (3A NCHSAA for Central Cabarrus; 2A NCISAA for The Burlington School). While that’s unlikely to change for either squad after tonight, there are certainly bragging rights at stake for the “who’s who” of North Carolina. Between the talent and atmosphere, this has the makings to be one of the best games of the high school season.