West Charlotte advances to the NCHSAA 3A State Championship
For head coach Jacoby Davis, this season has had its fair of adversity, with a late season injury to 6’8 star Donovan Raymond. Last season, West Charlotte was in the I-Meck 4A Conference, which was probably the toughest conference in the state. With realignment, West Charlotte moved to the 3A in the newly formed Queen City 3A/4A conference, and again West Charlotte was once again in the toughest conference in the state.
Coming into the game with a 20-9 record, West Charlotte and Central Cabarrus (30-0) both had steamrolled the competition. West Charlotte was averaging 77.2 PPG through four games and allowing only 48.7 PPG, a difference of 28.5 PPG. On the other hand, Central Cabarrus was averaging 94.5 PPG and allowing only 48.2 PPG, a difference of 46.2 PPG. The key to West Charlotte would be the ability to control pace and tempo and they did so with flying colors in posting a convincing 84-75 win. While West Charlotte recorded nine losses on the season, five of them came to cross-town and conference rival Chambers and North Mecklenburg, two of the upper tier teams in the NCHSAA 4A. In addition, West Charlotte played an extremely tough non-conference schedule to help prepare his team for the state championship run. With losses to traditional powerhouse teams like Myers Park, Harding and Lake Norman Christian, and to eventual NCISAA 4A state champion, Carmel Christian. The message was clear, you knew West Charlotte would be battle tested on a nightly basis in conference play with the likes of Chambers, North Mecklenburg, Mallard Creek and upstart Hopewell, Coach Davis wanted to challenge his team with tough competition that would prepare them for the rigors of a state championship run.
6’0 senior guard Landon King was the team’s leading scorer, averaging 14.7 PPG while 6’6 senior and Louisville football signee Chance Morrow was also averaging in double digit scoring with 13.5 PPG, King finished with 18 while Morrow had a team high 24 and 18 rebounds against Central Cabarrus. With the last season injury to 6’8 junior Donovan Raymond, the two seniors would have to step up and step up they did! West Charlotte raced out to an early lead and caused early problems with their overall length and athleticism. While Central Cabarrus was able to attack the rim, the majority of drives were contested defensively. On the other end, Coach Davis game plan of passing against the pressure defense of Central Cabarrus worked to perfection with the pitch ahead pass that led to many transition points. West Charlotte came out hot and led the entire game. While Central Cabarrus made a few runs in the second half, West Charlotte countered every major momentum run.
For West Charlotte, senior Landon King and Chance Morrow stepped up beautifully for Coach Davis, but 6’2 freshman point guard Chadlyn Traylor showcased why he is one of the premier players in the loaded North Carolina 2025 class. Traylor may not the flashiest player, but one thing is crystal clear, he is both reliable, fundamentally sound, makes the right play, and mature for his age and grade. While King was saddled with early foul trouble, Central Cabarrus “helter skelter” defense could have created a lot of problems, but Traylor was able to control both pace and tempo, as well as timely scoring as he finished with 14 points and eight assists. In addition, Coach Jacoby Davis also had high praise for 6’1 junior Ollie Alford as one of the unsung heroes of the game. Alford finished with 12 points, but was also instrumental when King was out with foul trouble. He led the team defensively and made excellent pitch ahead passes that enabled West Charlotte to handle the Central Cabarrus pressure.
West Charlotte will advance to the NCHSAA 3A state championship and will play Seventy-First of Fayetteville that is looking to be another classic championship game.