We started the championship day in the 3A Division as High Point Christian and Concord Academy battled it out. The length and size for Concord Academy made their impact early, as Kany Tchanda and company were able to start the game with a 13-0 lead and they led 17-6 after the first quarter. HP Christian though started to get it going, led by their leader in 2023 Darius Kane. Kane was able to aggressively attack the paint, get out in transition, and score the ball effectively, as HP Christian continued to creep back into the game. A late 7-0 run from HP Christian in the second quarter, they were able to get their first lead with a minute left, 24-23. 2022 DJ Cuttino though hit a big three before halftime, as Concord Academy held a 26-24 halftime lead.
High Point Christian though came out strong, led by their guard play once again. Kane and 2023 Isaiah Sanders led the charge, using their quickness, attacking the defense, and scoring effectively. With their strong play, they were able to regain the lead and maintain it for much of the third quarter. 2022 DJ Cuttino stepped up for Concord to keep his team right there though. At the end of the third quarter, we had a tight battle as HP Christian held the 43-39 lead.
It was an absolute battle in the fourth quarter. HP Christian was able to come out strong to create a little more separation but Concord answered right back, as it looked like this one was going to come down to the wire. Ultimately, Concord tied it up at 60 with a big three from Cuttino but Kane had a chance to give HP Christian the lead with eight seconds. But going 0-2 from the line, we ended up going into overtime.
In overtime, Concord came out strong early on but HP Christian was able to battle right back. HP Christian, down by two with under a minute to go, had a chance to tie but came up short and Cuttino made it a two-possession game with two clutch free throws. That was all they needed, as Concord Academy sealed the championship, ultimately winning 70-66.
Final: Concord Academy 70 – HP Christian 66
2023 Darius Kane (HP Christian): Kane did everything he could to help his team secure a championship. He was aggressive in attacking the defense, showcased his athleticism and ability to finish, and made big play after big play. Really loved his energy and passion he played with, really getting in the paint and finishing so strong throughout the game.
2022 DJ Cuttino (Concord): The senior guard may have had his best showing in a Concord uniform and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Cuttino hit so many big shots, knocking down five 3-pointers in the game, playing strong on defense, and just stepping up when his team needed him to. He ended the night with 23 points.
2024 Kany Tchanda (Concord): Though it may have not been his most dominant performance, Tchanda continued to show how effective he can be as a young forward. He displayed nice touch and was effective in the paint, using his wingspan/length to finish over defenders and get on the boards. This young man looks to have a bright future and he stepped up when his team needed early and late in the game.
2022 Thomas McIntosh (HP Christian): The senior forward had a tough matchup against the length of Concord but he more than held his own. He battled through physical play down low, was able to finish around defenders, get to the line, and even showcased his ability to pop out and knock down shots.