Article by Ray Maisonet
With the amount of talented teams in the #HoopState, it was no surprise that the gym was a madhouse during every night of the NCISAA 3A playoffs! There were so many great match-ups throughout the entire playoffs such as, (host school) Ravenscroft vs. Wesleyan Christian Academy. Another memorable match-up was High Point Christian against Greensboro Day School as they played for the 3rd time this season with both teams earning a win on a the opponents home court.
With all of the talented high major players, the University of Tennessee seemed to have hit the jackpot, as they had 4 committed players – Providence Day’s PF, Grant Williams; Wesleyan Christian’s G, Kwe Parker and SF, Jalen Johnson; and Christ School’s PF, John Fulkerson – in the NCISAA 3A playoffs. The intensity of the matchups showcased some of the reasons Tennessee heavily recruits in the HoopState. Of the four players, Power Foward’s Fulkerson and Williams definitely left their mark. Playing against High Point Christian, the 6’8 Fulkerson was able to catch a nasty left hand dunk over a defender and Williams helped lead his team to win the State Championship.
Michael Okauru, the 6’4 Point Guard of the host school, Ravenscroft (Raleigh, NC) also left his mark as he dominated for his team throughout the playoffs until coming up short against Providence Day. He played with heart and ultimately did not get to take home the champion title, but showed a laundry list of ways he would be a phenomenal addition to a high major D1 team. Up and comer 6’1 Point Guard, Devon Dodson of Providence Day School (Charlotte, NC) showed flashes of why he holds offers from UNC and Florida just to name a few. He has a high basketball IQ, reads the court and makes good decisions, along with speed and leadership. Another Point Guard that captured the crowd was High Point Christian’s (High Point, NC) 5’9 Michal Seals. Although undersized, he possesses the heart and fearlessness that helped his team get to the 3A championship.
Although Greensboro Day School came up short in an exciting 1 point loss against High Point Christian, 2017 Forward JP Moorman and 2018 Guard William Dillard left it all on the court. Both are high quality players that always seem to make the right decisions on the court. Not forgetting 2018 6’5 W John Newman, who had one of the most exciting plays of the playoffs, a 2 handed dunk over a High Point Christian defender.
For the Providence Day / High Point Christian Academy championship game the crowd was arguably the largest it’s been since John Wall’s Word of God team played against Ryan Kelly’s Ravenscroft team. There was barely standing room as people piled in to see the rematch between Kentucky commit Edrice “BAM” Adebayo and Tennessee commit PF, Grant Williams, along with budding star PG, Devon Dotson. Ultimately, Providence Day School came away with the championship in a convincing victory. It was border line deafening in the gym as both school’s student sections and fans .were cheering on their respective teams. The crowd went absolutely berserk when Bam dunked on Williams for the And 1, in hopes that it would spark a comeback which never came to fruition for High Point Christian.
All in all it was a fast paced, high energy event that anyone could appreciate, regardless of if your team was winning or losing. Looking forward to seeing more from the NCISAA in 2017.