After writing an in-depth look at some of the top public school teams in the state, it only felt appropriate to do the same thing for private schools. However, there are even fewer clear-cut favorites and only one undefeated team remaining (Davidson Day) within the NCISAA. Right now, Concord First Assembly, Durham Academy, Greensboro Day, Trinity Christian, and Wayne Country Day have each lost one game. Meanwhile, Greenfield, Freedom Christian, Carmel Christian, Village Christian, Northside Christian, and Charlotte Latin have each lost twice. Cannon School is the only top tier team to suffer three losses.
Concord First Assembly has dealt with some early injuries to Ambaka Le Gregam (Presbyterian commit) and Tyler Fearne, but still enjoyed phenomenal success. They strut out a lethal lineup with three Division I prospects, Garrett Hien (Furman commit), Cheick Traore (Youngstown State), and Trae Benham (holds multiple D1 offers). Add in Isaac Boothe, Javian Cannady, and Lloyd Latta, and this group has depth with complementary talent at all positions. With their only loss coming to undefeated and nationally-ranked Moravian Prep, it’s fair to say they’ve justified their current place as our top team. Their upcoming battle against Davidson Day later this week could be very telling of what to expect going forward.
Durham Academy is another team that finds themselves pretty high up in this year’s rankings, especially after an outstanding victory against a yearly powerhouse in Greensboro Day. They might not have as much depth as some, but their talent is on par with just about anyone in the state. MJ Rice continues to shine as a nationally-regarded prospect and more than just a physical specimen. Nikolas Graves is easily among the best true floor generals in the state, especially within his class. Cole Sinclair is a proven shot-maker with range and nice secondary creation skills. Toby Harris also adds a very useful dynamic to this team with his ability to score from inside or outside the arc. They’ve suffered one loss to a talented Therrell squad out of Georgia. Their next month projects to be a brutal one, with upcoming games against Cape Fear Academy, Montverde, and Village Christian among various others.
Greensboro Day seems to always be in the discussion with the top teams in North Carolina, regardless of roster construct. With Freddy Johnson and Jeff Smith at the helm, it almost doesn’t matter that four of their top five players are guards. No other private school team has two ACC commits in the same backcourt like Cam Hayes and Carson McCorkle. Bryce Harris is a vital part of their success on a nightly basis with his ability to be physical and play bigger than his size. Brock Williams is another useful scorer that knows how to defend his position at a terrific level. Cason Pierce provides the clean up crew and does whatever his team needs on both ends of the floor. Jaydon Young continues to look like an absolute star in the making. Like most teams in this discussion, their schedule only gets more difficult over the next month with the Chick-Fil-A Classic, Haeco Invitational, and Bass Pro Tournament of Champions all rapidly approaching.
Trinity Christian genuinely possesses as much talent as anyone in the state and, unlike all of the aforementioned teams, has already gone through the roughest part of their schedule. With a ton of quality wins under their belt and only one loss to a very talented Village Christian squad, it makes sense why they are held in such a high regard. Their mix of veteran leadership crossed with young studs and excellent coaching make them an incredibly tough group. Their big man trio of Robert Wright, Todd Burt, and Travon Jackson give opponents fits on a nightly basis. Cam Oates is one of the most poised and effective floor generals around, Jamori McDougald offers a nice balance between scoring and playmaking, and Fred Dilione has quietly gone about his business while asserting himself as one of the top prospects in the state. Add in scholarship-worthy Marcus Boykin and young, yet impressive, Xavier Tubbs, and this team can overthrow any opponent on any given night.
Wayne Country Day is the final team with only a single loss, which came to Northside Christian within the last week. In terms of talent, they are one of the best. Jaden Cooper is an absolutely dominant force at the point guard position and has quickly become one of the most dynamic prospects within his class. The transfer and reclassification of Mike Best only makes him a more desirable prospect, especially as he gets his footing with this group. Carlos Raven is another heady guard with toughness and three-level scoring prowess. Linwood Grandy is a rugged, no-nonsense wing/forward that can do a strong amount of everything on the court. HowVante Hutcherson is a strong, reliable force inside the paint with touch, rebounding prowess, and useful rim-protection instincts. Many of their toughest games are behind them, so it’ll be interesting to see how this group fares over the next few months.
Davidson Day remains the only undefeated team in the NCISAA and look likely to continue having success. Jackson Threadgill (Charlotte) and CJ Huntley (App State) are the clear one-two punch of this group and complement each other extremely well. Bryce Alfino fits somewhere between the two in terms of position and has the two-way versatility to become a special type of prospect. Joel Baucom and Adam Brazil also have very useful roles on this team. It’s still early and they have many challenging contests ahead, but this group is capable of winning on any given night.
Although all of the two-loss teams are incredibly talented and likely state-championship contenders, the Cannon School (with three losses) is another squad that should be firmly in the discussion as the top private school team in North Carolina. While they’ve lost three times, it’s only been by four total points and each loss has come to a team that will almost certainly win a championship this season. Jaden Bradley has earned his reputation as the country’s top floor general in the Class of 2022 and showcases pure dominance on a nightly basis. DJ Nix continues to get better and better while accumulating plenty of Division I offers. Jarvis Moss is among the best shooting prospects in the entire state. Elijah Ormiston and Jayden Dibble do a lot of the thankless work. Christian Reeves is a potential star but hasn’t played a game this season due to injury.