The playoffs continued on Thursday night throughout North Carolina, as we checked in at Weddington as they welcomed in a tough Central Cabarrus. However, Central Cabarrus had their work cut out for them, as they had a big task in taking down one of the favorites on their home floor.
Weddington came out strong like they have been doing for much of the season. It was the outside shooting, something they have been doing all year long and are quite dangerous with. AJ Cook knocked down four 3-pointers in the first quarter to help Weddington get out to an early 23-8 lead after one. But when you watch them play, it has to be the unselfishness, the crisp passing, the pace of play, and the collapsing defense they bring to the floor; honestly, it seems like they are all over the place. They did that all throughout the first half, as Weddington held a 41-17 halftime lead. Freshman Chase Daniel led the charge for Central Cabarrus with eight early points.
Central Cabarrus started to get their offense going, eventually outscoring Weddington 21-12 in the third. They were led by Daniel and sophomore Jaiden Thompson, as they stayed aggressive and cut into the lead. But Weddington was just too much. The outside shot was falling and they were able to maintain their 20-point lead for much of the second half. Weddington was able to maintain their lead throughout, getting it done on both ends and take home the second-round playoff win, 77-60.
Weddington: 23 – 18 – 12 – 24 : 77
Central Cabarrus: 8 – 9 – 21 – 22 : 60
AJ Cook 24 points
Chase Lowe 20 points
Evan Morton 13 points
Chase Daniel 17 points
Jaiden Thompson 14 points
2022 AJ Cook (Weddington): What can you say about the junior guard. I feel like we have said it multiple times but just continues to show why he is one of the better shooters in the state with his range. Only needing just a little space and super confident with a fluid jumper, Cook gets to his spots and is ready to let it fly, ultimately knocking down multiple threes. He moves extremely well without the ball to get himself open.
2022 Chase Lowe (Weddington): Lowe is an intriguing talent with his ability to initiate the offense, play with or without the ball, and his strength. He gets downhill extremely well and can finish through contact and doesn’t mind mixing it up in the paint. One of the more underrated prospects in North Carolina but fills it up. Did a good job staying aggressive and getting to the line and on the boards in this one.
2024 Chase Daniel (Central Cabarrus): The freshman had a really strong showing in this one. He moved well with or without the ball, showed how crafty he can be with the ball in his hands, and create for himself, as he made some tough finishes in this one. Strong freshman to really watch as he continues to develop and lead Central Cabarrus.
2023 Jaiden Thompson (Central Cabarrus): Another young guard to watch for this program, Thompson stayed aggressive and looked to create for himself with his dribble, showing some crafty and shifty footwork and dribbling to penetrate the defense.