Tuesday night, there was a premier matchup between two of the top teams in the NCISAA Metrolina Conference as Northside Christian (12-6 overall, 3-2 conference) traveled to Gaston Day (15-1 overall, 4-0 conference). The game started just as you’d expect with two really good teams going back and forth. Evan Montanari came out hot knocking down two three-pointers for Gaston Day. Wesley Tubbs III and Antonio Perkins led the charge early on for Northside Christian. Gaston Day held onto a 18-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Both teams lit it up in the second quarter, both scoring 20 points each. Gaston Day’s Colin Fayed had a big first half, scoring all eight of his points. And Chris Britt was spectacular with his ability to create plays for others. He had seven of his nine assists in the first half. Tubbs and Perkins were both in double-figures at the half to lead Northside. Gaston Day led 38-34 at the half.

Gaston Day began to pull away in the third, extending their lead to double-digits as they held a 53-42 lead at the end of the third quarter. Callum Richard was exerting his presence on both ends of the floor. He was scoring inside, attacking the glass, and protecting the rim on the defensive end.

But Northside Christian wasn’t done. Sam Cogan played a big role in their fourth quarter comeback efforts. He knocked down shots on the offensive end and came up with steals on the defensive end that led to baskets. With just under five minutes remaining, Cogan grabbed the offensive rebound off a free throw and converted the put-back to cut the deficit to 57-56. On the inbounds play, Northside Christian came up with a steal and Wesley Tubbs converted the layup to take the lead at 58-57 with about 4:30 remaining.

However, Gaston Day responded. They didn’t let Northside Christian’s run dictate their play. Callum Richard came up with a big-time block on the defensive end that led to a crafty transition layup by Evan Montanari on the other end to regain to lead at 59-58. A few possession later, Montanari had a chase down steal to prevent a Northside layup. This led to a Chris Britt to Callum Richard alley-oop to extend the lead to 63-58. Gaston Day’s composure under pressure helped propel them to a 68-63 victory to improve to 16-1 overall and 5-0 in conference.

Final Stats
Gaston Day 68

Callum Richard – 17 points, 14 rebounds, 9 blocks
Chris Britt – 17 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 steals
Evan Montanari – 14 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal
Colin Fayed – 8 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists
Chase Owens – 7 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists
Kurt Hunter – 5 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists

Northside Christian 63
Wesley Tubbs – 18 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists
Sam Cogan – 14 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals
Antonio Perkins – 12 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist
Jalen Mattocks – 6 points, 5 rebounds, 1 block
Ashton Pierce – 6 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals
Kamar Goudelock – 4 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist
Mychael Mitchell – 3 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals

Game MVP: 6’10 2023 Callum Richard (Gaston Day)
Callum Richard was excellent all game long. He finished with a near triple-double of 17 points, 14 rebounds and 9 blocks. Richard was outstanding on the defensive end. Not only did he block nine shots, he altered several more and made it very difficult for his opponents to get easy baskets in the paint. When shots did go up, he made sure to go after and grab the rebounds. On the offensive end, he controlled the paint. He worked hard to get good post position. When he got the ball, he showcased his ability to finish with either hand. What really stood out was his toughness and how much stronger he has gotten. He was playing through contact and finishing strong. Richard is playing with a ton of confidence right now. He currently holds offers from Marshall, ETSU, and Mercer.

5’9 2022 Chris Britt (Gaston Day)
Chris Britt played a tremendous floor game at the point guard position. He had a near double-double, finishing with 17 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists, and 3 steals. The unsigned senior commanded the game and made great decisions with the ball with a 9:2 assist to turnover ratio on the night. Britt made a living getting into the paint and finding the open man. He also was able to finish at the end of drives and knock down the midrange jumper. In addition, at the end of the game, he was automatic from the foul line. That’s a winning point guard; someone who takes care of the basketball and finishes games at the line.

6’2 2023 Evan Montanari (Gaston Day)
Evan Montanari shot the ball extremely well from the perimeter, knocking down four three-pointers in route to his 14 points and 5 rebounds. More important than his shot making ability, what really stood out the most was his effort and motor, especially on the defensive end. He defended and rebounded his position. And with 1:40 remaining in the game, he had a chase down steal in transition to prevent Northside from cutting the lead to one. Gaston Day was able to convert on the other end after Montanari’s steal. This was a four-point swing to help secure the win. Plays like that are why college coaches should be on this kid.

6’7 2023 Wesley Tubbs III (Northside Christian)
Wesley Tubbs led the way for Northside Christian finishing with 18 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 assists. He scored the ball in a variety of ways. He started the game knocking down a three and then hit a midrange pull-up in the ensuing possessions. Tubbs has the ability to create off the bounce and make plays for himself and others. This is what makes him the player he is. He constantly finds ways to get into the paint. And what really stands out is his ability to find the open man. Even though he led his team in scoring, he is a very unselfish player and makes really good passes at the end of drives.

6’3 2022 Sam Cogan (Northside Christian)
After transferring to Northside, Cogan has immediately made his presence felt. He gives them an added shooting threat from the perimeter and another player who can create for others. This was evident as he knocked down three three-pointers on his way to 14 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. Cogan played a major role in Northside Christian’s fourth quarter comeback efforts. He was forcing steals and creating second chance scoring opportunities. With under five minutes remaining, Cogan had the offensive rebound put-back on the free throw to cut the deficit to 57-56. Plays like this show Cogan’s value on both ends of the floor.

6’3 2023 Antonio Perkins (Northside Christian)
Antonio Perkins finished with 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 1 assist. Perkins is the type of player who finds ways to be productive without needing to force things on the offensive end. He knocked down multiple three-pointers. He was able to drive and finish at the rim. In addition, he rebounded on both ends. To start the second quarter, he grabbed two offensive rebounds in one possession, and then drove and finished the layup. He continued to make hustle plays like this throughout the game.