By: Rod Bridgers

Tonight felt normal. Almost a year into this pandemic I watched a basketball game with fans and it felt good. Even better for me, it was in my hometown as the Wilson Prep defeated Riverside Martin 66-50 to advance to the 1A NCHSAA State Championship game Saturday.

The first quarter was filled with a bunch of turnovers and missed opportunities from both teams. Blame it on nerves. The second quarter is when Wilson Prep started to impose their will inside as seniors Nasiar Blackston and Eric Wynn helped stretch the lead out for the Tigers. 2022 star Avion Pinner did all he could to keep the Knights in the game including a thunderous jam in transition. Freshman sensation DaiDen Sutton hit a corner 3 at the buzzer to give Wilson Prep a 29-18 halftime lead. 

Both teams came in the 3rd quarter much more aggressive offensively as they traded baskets but Riverside couldn’t quite cut in the double-digit lead. 2021 F Devyn Bullock gave the Tigers a huge spark in the 3rd quarter with his play on both ends of the court. 

The 4th quarter saw Wilson Prep increase their lead to as much as 18 points but a quick spurt by Pinner and the Knights cut the lead to 11.  2021 G Omarreyon Johnson gave the Tigers they needed to in the 4th with his all-around playmaking ability as well as making timely baskets to seal the win for the Tigers. This is Wilson Prep’s 2nd year in the NCHSAA and they are headed to the state championship where they’ll face Lincoln Charter. Head coach Anthony Atkinson & his staff have quickly made the Tigers one of the premier programs in the HoopState. 

Wilson Prep: Final Stats
Nasiar Blackston -16 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds
Eric Wynn – 12 points, 9 rebounds
Omarreyon Johnson – 9 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals 
Devyn Bullock – 9 points, 10 rebounds
DaiDen Sutton – 7 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals
Christen Battle – 6 points, 8 assists

Riverside Martin: Finals Stats
Avion Pinner – 21 points, 12 rebounds