A highly-anticipated matchup in the Charlotte area, as public schools were getting back on the court.' West Charlotte, who came in with one loss to North Meck, welcomed in undefeated Vance on Thursday night. 'Both teams brought a lot of talent to the court and it looked to be a battle in Mecklenburg County.' West Charlotte though came out strong, picking up and putting pressure on Vance with a press.' It through Vance a little out of sort early on, along with the length as well that was disruptive.' Chance Morrow though came out strong offensively for West Charlotte, using his versatility to find ways to score all over the court.' It helped West Charlotte get out to an early double-digit lead.' Vance didn't find much success until the second quarter, as the pace of the game started to pick up on both sides.' Daniel Sanford saw the ball go through for an early 10 points for Vance but Morrow and company still held the 33-24 halftime lead.
Vance though looked to turn the table with their defense in the third quarter, creating turnovers and turning them into points. Though they did get in some early foul trouble as a team in the second half, it helped West Charlotte to get to the line as well early in the second half. Vance had a few chances in the second half to make this a one-possession or even tie the game up, but key turnovers and missed free-throws really hurt them. West Charlotte though was able to capitalize from the line and countered offensively at the right time in the fourth, to expand their lead back to double-digits. Overall, West Charlotte took home an impressive home win and certainly have now put themselves on notice with everyone else that they are a team to be reckoned with.
Final: West Charlotte 59 ' Vance 50
Chance Morrow 23 points, 10 rebounds
Ollie Alford 16 points
Daniel Sanford 19 points
Chastin Gatewood 15 points
2022 Chance Morrow (West Charlotte): Morrow is such an interesting prospect. We have heard that he is getting looks on the football side of things but if I was a college coach for basketball, I'd be taking a hard look as well his way. Morrow brings a tremendous, long 6'6 frame and uses his body well in being aggressive, finishing over defenders, and operating on so many levels of the court. You can place him in many situations and he will find success. And boy, is this guy just mentality tough; just always seems to play no matter what the situation has him (battled through some bruises in this game). Every time we have seen him, Morrow simply produces at a high level and scores the ball effectively from the field, as well as get on the boards and helps in other areas.
2023 Donovan Raymond (West Charlotte): Second time watching this young man, and one can see, if he continues to work with his game and makes those necessary steps down the road, Raymond is going to be a player coveted by many schools. He finished with eight points, eight rebounds, and five blocks on the game, but really made it tough for Vance down low in the paint with his length. Raymond is still one developing on the offensive end but there is a ton of potential in this young man and is going to be a name to remember in 2023.
2022 Daniel Sanford (Vance): Sanford continues to be a dominant force, much like he has done all season long. Sanford continues to show his expanded game on the offensive end, operating from multiple levels, creating for himself more, but also still playing strong ball with his strength around the paint. The junior is playing at a high level and defenses are making it tough for him, but Sanford continues to be a force but is also making it tough as he continues to develop his overall feel and offensive array on the court.
2023 Chastin Gatewood (Vance): The young guard played really well.' He really made a presence both on offense and defense. Offensively, he took charge in pushing the break, attacking when the opportunity was there, and either scoring or creating for others. He has a good touch and feel with the basketball in his hands.' Defensively, really liked the pressure he provided against an opponent, really getting into their space and making them speed up, as well as active hands that created a few turnovers.