Phenom game report: NCHSAA 3A state championship game Weddington vs. Northwood
By Johnathan Kirkland
The first of the NCHSAA state championship games on Saturday featured the 3A game between Weddington and Northwood. Weddington came into the game undefeated at 17-0 and Northwood was 14-2. It was a great game to start the day that stayed close throughout before Weddington pulled away in the final minutes of the game to win the state championship by a score of 56-47 to capture the first boys basketball state title in school history.
Early on the two teams traded three-pointers and tried to establish themselves down low to gain momentum. Northwood freshmen Jarin Stevenson (6’8) and Drake Powell (6’5) seemed to have an edge early on over the smaller Weddington team, but the Warriors were able to make some adjustments and held a 14-11 lead after the first quarter.
Chase Lowe (6’5 2022) of Weddington showed early on the potential that he has on the court. Lowe made strong drives to the basket, as well as passing the ball out to teammates for assists.
Things started to heat up in the second quarter for both teams as they seemingly shook off the 10:30 a.m. start time and began hitting shots at a much more frequent pace. Weddington began to extend their lead, at one point up to 8 points, but Northwood wasn’t about to let the game get away from them. They were able to chip into the Weddington lead and went into the half down 26-23.
Weddington held a 44-38 lead heading into the final quarter when things began to slow down. The Warriors were patient and tried not to make any mistakes or turnovers and Northwood stayed in their 2-3-zone defense until the final 2-3 minutes of the game.
With 4 minutes to play the Weddington lead was 7 and the closest the game would get down the stretch was 48-43 after Powell hit one of his 3 three-pointers. Northwood also cut it to 5 on a Stevenson turnaround with 1 minute remaining, but clutch free throws by Weddington would secure the victory. The final score was 56-47 and Weddington is now bringing home the first state championship in the schools history.
Weddington 14 9 21 12 56
Northwood 11 15 12 9 47
Chase Lowe 14 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals
Kyle Frazier 12 points, 4-8 FG, 2-4 3PT
Brock Bown 11 points, 5 assists, 4 steals, 2-3 FG, 1-2 -PT, 6-6 FT
Drake Powell 15 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 5-9 FG, 3-6 3PT
Jarin Stevenson 13 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 6-10 FG
Frederico Whitaker 12 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds, 4-8 FG, 2-4 3PT
NCHSAA 3A State Championship Game MVP: 6’5 Junior Chase Lowe
Chase Lowe Weddington (6’5 2022) Lowe was the leader on the court for his team throughout the game. He is able to see the court very well and makes good decisions when the ball is in his hand. He has the ability to take jump shots, but is very good at getting to the basket. He can absorb contact and finish plays at a high level.
Drake Powell Northwood (6’5 2024) Powell is part of the big three of the Northwood team that consists of all freshmen. The trio scored 40 of the 47 points the Chargers scored on Saturday. Powell’s three-point shot seems to get better with each game. He was 3-6 from three in the game. Powell has star potential with the way he is able to shoot and get inside and crash the boards. Powell, Stevenson, and Whitaker have great chemistry and make things happen on the court together.
Kyle Frazier Weddington (6’3 2022) Frazier was efficient from the floor and from three on Saturday. He shot 50% from both and was also 2-2 from the free throw line. Frazier has a smooth shot and a high basketball IQ and decision-making.
Jarin Stevenson (6’8 2024) Stevenson used his height to his advantage during the game, with a three inch advantage over Weddington’s tallest player. Stevenson is going to be a force in North Carolina basketball in the coming years. He has the ability to shoot from long range, but doesn’t go to it often. He stays home and has a turnaround shot that is extremely hard to guard. As he gets older and puts on more muscle, Stevenson has the potential to be one of the best players in the state.