Christ School Vs. Greensboro Day
6:30 PM Friday, November 16
This is a rematch of last season’s NCISAA 3A state semi-finals, where Greensboro Day took the game and went on to win the state title. Both teams bring a different look to the table this year, and both teams may be better than they were last season.
More so than that matchup last season, this could be a passing of the torch, as Christ School was the last dominate team the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association (NCISAA) has seen. From the 2006-07 season to the 2010-22 season, Christ School amassed a 168-15 record to go along with five consecutive NCISAA State championships.
For Greensboro Day, they start the year ranked 25th in the country by USA Today. They lose 4 year varsity players John Newman (Clemson), Alex Michael (Wofford) and Will Dillard (Georgia Southern) who amassed a 122-20 career record and brought home 3 state titles…that’s a pretty significant hit. However, they bring in 6’3” 2021 5-star Cam Hayes (#20 via 247Sports), 6’9” 4-star Josh Taylor and 6’5” 2020 1,000 point scorer Christian Bailey. They also return starting point guard Austin Inge, 6’3” 2021 5-star and early Virginia commitment Carson McCorkle as well as 6’4” senior Noah Dunn along the perimeter. Look for 6’7” senior Nick Evtimov to have a breakout season and become a hot recruit during the late signing period and for 6’9” senior and James Madison commit Michael Fowler to be a steadying force.
Yes, this team runs 8 deep with scholarship level talent, the cupboard is loaded at Greensboro Day. I am sure you can say that the winning tradition the three graduated seniors set is what allowed talent like this to come in, but Greensboro Day is right smack in the middle of one of the best runs NCISAA has seen, since the aforementioned Christ School’s run in the 2000s.
Look for this Greensboro Day team to put up a ton of points all year, to simply outscore opponents in a UNC type of fashion. They will have college coaches all over their program and they should have the national media and videographers at each of their games. Head Coach Freddy Johnson is already North Carolina’s all-time winningest high school coach at over 1,000 wings, and he seems to be just hitting his stride.
Not to be outdone, Christ School is a team right on the verge of breaking back onto the national scene. They too, like Greensboro Day, are deep with next level talent. They also, like Greensboro Day, loose significant pieces off of last year’s team. Gone is 5-star Jalen Lecque, who recently made headlines as a potential prep to pro jump, a la Anfernee Simons, as he is being listed as a first round draft pick in mock drafts.
However, even with losing Lecque, this Christ School team may be a better team. With the 2018-19 version, everyone on the team has a defined role and the ball moves so well with them. When it comes to headliners, it starts with 6’10” 2020 4-star Justice Ajogbor. The Top 75 prospect, who is also number 1 in his class academically, has been offered by numerous high major programs. He is a brute force on the low block.
Adding to the fire is 6’11” Top 150 2019 Brandon Stone, a LaSalle commit. The Pittsburgh native is skilled, very athletic and runs the floor like a gazelle. He is just coming off an appearance in the football state title game. Stone has the ability to be a mis-match with his overall set of tools. Also, 6’4” junior Norance Berry is a player who made waves as a recruit, picking up offers from the likes of Tennessee and Auburn. Then you have 6’10” sophomore Gabe Wiznitzer, who carries a St John’s offer and hybrid forward, 6’7 freshman Deante Green who will be soon to see his recruitment really pick up.
This team will be led at the point by senior Kojack Thompson, a hard-nosed point guard who does nothing but go out and make winning plays. Then they have lengthy 6’3” junior Trey Austin and 6’ senior Brad Halvorsen who can both really, really shoot the ball from deep.
Like Greensboro Day, Christ School trots out 8 college level players. Once they are able to get everyone on the floor together, and create chemistry, watch out.