The season was coming to an end, as we were looking to crown another champion. Winston Salem Christian and Combine Academy, the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, met up in a packed house on Saturday for a chance to be crowned champion. Combine Academy came out and delivered the first punch, finding success offensively and defensively. It allowed them to jump out to an early lead but WS Christian started to settle down. Combine led 16-11 by the end of the first quarter, but WS Christian started to knock down shots and use their size more to regain the lead midway through second quarter. But Combine was able to punch right back. It felt like a heavyweight fight and that is exactly what it was, as Combine Academy held the narrow halftime lead 32-26.
The competitive nature didn’t stop in the second half, as WS Christian came out strong and eventually tied the game in what was a lead-trading game throughout the third quarter. WS Christian held the 46-44 lead after the third quarter but this was anyone’s game going into the fourth, exactly what you would want in a championship game.
Fourth quarter though, it was going to be who stepped up and hit big shots… that was Combine Academy and Collin Tanner, as he scored 12 points in the fourth that helped his team gain the edge late. Though it was still a tight battle as WS Christian was able to cut it to two points with three second remaining, it was Combine Academy that walked away from a championship, giving the program another but Coach Mike Wright his first title. Congrats!
Final: Combine Academy 65 – WS Christian 61
Combine: Collin Tanner 18pts, Trentyn Flowers 15pts, Silas Demary Jr. 10pts, Rakease Passmore 9pts
WS Christian: Kany Tchanda 17pts, Isaiah Washington 14pts,
2024 Kany Tchanda (WS Christian): Tchanda was impressive in this game, and he showed why he has so much potential in his game. Tchanda did everything on the floor, whether it was displaying great touch over defenders in the paint, stretching the floor with his outside shot as a big, attacking the glass and grabbing rebounds, or altering shots defensively. What a showing from the big man.
2023 Trentyn Flowers (Combine): Flowers has been playing at another level since he announced his commitment; almost looks like a weight was lifted off his shoulders and he could just showcase his game. Flowers is such an impressive shot-maker on the court but also explosive in getting in the paint and finishing strong. Have loved what I’ve seen from him over the last two days.
2023 Torey Alston (WS Christian): Alston might have not had the biggest offensive game but one could say he made a world of difference for his team on the defensive end. His ability to alter shots with his length caused a lot of havoc, while also blocking and rebounding extremely well. For a prospect at his size, he does a great job in guarding.
2023 Collin Tanner (Combine): Tanner has had an incredible week of basketball, really stepping up for his team and hitting big shot after big shot. He was a consistent weapon with his jumper, whether it was with his mid-range game or from three. In this game, he stepped up once again in the second half and hit some HUGE shots that ultimately helped seal the win.