Durham Academy 72 Greenfield 63
The early morning games on Day Three featured the consolation bracket of the David West bracket. Greenfield and Durham Academy came into the contest with an identical 15-3 record. Greenfield lost a nail-biter to NCHSAA 4A state power Millbrook on opening day while Durham Academy had the dubious task of playing national power and the No. 1 team in the country, Montverde. Durham Academy would be playing without the services of MJ Rice due to an injury. That being said, today’s game featured two of the best bench coaches in the state with Tim McKenna of Durham Academy and Rob Salter of Greenfield.
It was an interesting first half. You have two of the better coaches in the state. Each team takes pride in the execution and team play. They are extremely good in the half-court, running well-designed sets, moving without the ball, and making the extra pass. With the score bouncing back and forth, it was a Nik Graves layup at the buzzer to send the game into the half with a 25-25 score. To take it a step further, both teams had almost identical statistics. Greenfield went 9-of-14 from the floor, 3-of-9 from the 3-point line, and 4-of-6 from the free-throw line. Durham Academy went 10-of-24 from the floor, 3-of-8 from the 3-point line, and 2-of-3 from the free-throw line. 6’6 junior Toby Harris (Durham Academy) led the way in scoring with 10 points including two 3-pointers while 6’5 Wake Forest signee Dji Bailey (Greenfield) had eight points.
Durham Academy pushed the lead to eight points in the third quarter behind the hot shooting of 6’0 junior Cole Sinclair who went 4-of-4 from the 3-point line while Harris collected five rebounds. Leading 47-39, Greenfield’s 6’7 senior Trey Pittman hit a corner 3-pointer to pull the score within five (47-42) going into the deciding final quarter. The fourth quarter belonged to Durham Academy as they outhustled and outplayed Greenfield, not to mention unbelievable 3-point shooting by Durham Academy and Cole Sinclair who scored 24 second-half points.
Playing without the services of national-level prospect MJ Rice, not many people gave Durham Academy a chance of winning, but give credit to coach Tim McKenna and his team. They came out inspired and just made one big play after another and will advance to Monday’s game against Apex Friendship.
Leading the way for Durham Academy was 6’0 junior Cole Sinclair with 27 points going 8-of-13 from the floor, 7-of-9 from the 3-point line, and a perfect 4-of-4 from the free-throw line. We were also impressed with the play of 6’6 junior Toby Harris with 20 points going 7-of-11 from the floor, 3-of-6 from the 3-point line, 3-of-4 from the free-throw line, collected seven rebounds and dished out three assists in a terrific all-around game. Brent Randleman also chipped in 11 points and Graves had eight points and seven assists.
For Greenfield, four players got into double-digit scoring. Leading the way was Pittman with 19, while Bailey, Jordan Lynch, and Collin Guilford scored 12, 11 and 10 points respectively.