To start the day off at Gaston Day, The O’Neal School and Wayne Country Day battled it out for a chance to compete for a championship. The O’Neal School came out strong to hold an early 11-7 lead after the first quarter. Led by senior Hadiya Balser and others, they continued to attack the paint area to increase their lead to double digits but Wayne Country Day stayed within striking distance at half (24-13).
Holding a double-digit lead throughout the third quarter, it wasn’t until the fourth quarter in which Wayne Country Day started to make a push and cut into the lead. Picking up the pressure, creating turnovers and playing scrappy basketball, Wayne Country Day cut the lead down to two in the final minute due to the play of Lexi Jeffery. However, a late basket by the O’Neal School sealed the 38-33 win and a chance to compete in the championship on Saturday.
Final: The O’Neal School 38 – Wayne Country Day 33
O’Neal: Hadiya Balser 12 points, Aaliyah Balser 7 points
Wayne: Ja’Kea Brunson 11 points, Lexi Jeffrey 13 points
Davidson Day vs. Gaston Day
Davidson Day hit the road to Gaston Day, host of the 2A Division and boy, was it a ruckus crowd to cheer on the Spartans. Early on though, Jessie Wiles and Mallorie Haines took charge for Davidson, consistently scoring, getting out in transition, and getting to the free throw line. It helped Davidson Day get out to a double-digit lead and possibly looking to put this one away early. But give credit to Gaston Day, as they never backed down and continued to attack. Picking up the energy on defense and finding success in attacking the paint and getting to the line, they were able to go on a second-quarter run to get right back into the game and only be down eight at halftime (33-25).
In the second half, Gaston Day kept on chipping away at Davidson Day’s lead but Haines and company never surrendered their lead. It was an absolute fight till the end, as Haines scored 30 points but Zaria Clark was tremendous for Gaston Day, scoring 27 points and really keeping her team right there.
Davidson Day though helped seal the win with a few late free throws from Wiles, escaping with a 61-56 win and moving on to the championship round.
Final: Davidson Day 61 – Gaston Day 56
Davidson: Mallorie Haines 30 points, Jessie Wiles 16 points
Gaston: Zaria Clark 27 points, Portia Shouse 16 points