The semifinals kicked off on Friday night, as Game 1 brought us Winston Salem Christian National and 1of1 Academy together for what looked to be a thriller. The intensity was real in this game, as both teams played with tons of energy and put it all on the line. WS Christian was able to get the narrow edge after the first quarter, as Kobe George/ Isaiah Washington got the team going early. WS Christian’s defensive intensity continued in the second quarter, as they were able to keep 1of1 more along the perimeter and also get out in transition, finishing at the rim. It allowed WS Christian to get a double-digit lead in the second quarter, but 1of1 Academy battled back with a few big threes to cut the lead to 37-32 by halftime.
Second half was much of the same, as both teams really made small runs for a back-and-forth feel. The intensity continued to be at a high level, and teams were able to get to the free-throw line a lot more in the second half. WS Christian was able to hold their lead; each time they looked to make a run, 1of1 would respond. The game started to get very interesting late in the fourth quarter, as 1of1 Academy started to chip away at the lead and found themselves down by two baskets, but Winston Salem Christian National was able to withstand the late run and seal the hard-fought win to advance to the championship 73-67.
Final: Winston Salem Christian National 73 – 1of1 Academy 67
WS: Isaiah Washington 18pts, Lewis Walker 17pts, Kobe George 10pts
1of1: Isaiah Denis 17pts, Christian Wilkins 14pts, Emmanuel James 11pts
2024 Isaiah Washington (WS Christian): Though he was a bit quiet on Day 2 for his team, Washington stepped up big time for his team in the semifinals, making several big plays in the game. Washington continues to be strong out in transition, finishing well with body control, but also making big defensive plays. He brings such explosion to the table and plays with a toughness to his game.
2024 Lewis Walker (WS Christian): It was Walker’s turn in this game, as the sturdy-framed prospect got back to what he does best. He continues to be a force on the floor with his strong frame, finishing and bullying opponents inside and out, but also continues to show his flashes of expanding his game. Had a good game and didn’t settle, capitalizing from the line as well.
2025 Christian Wilkins (1of1 Academy): There is just something about Wilkins’ game that you have to like, as he brings more of a veteran leadership feel to the floor. He steps up for his team when needed, stretching the floor and hitting big shots from outside. Just love his overall presence on the court.
2025 Taye Smith (1of1 Academy): Smith’s overall impact could be felt in a variety of areas; he was able to make strong finishes, stretch the floor at times, but also really be a monster on the boards and block multiple shots. A rising big to really watch out for and continues to make strides with his game.