Courtesy of Michael Fields(GTCC) for GreensboroSports.com:
The quarterfinal matchup of the NCCSA 2A State Tournament was ready to play. This quarterfinal game was between Vandalia Christian School and Raleigh Christian Academy. The two teams had played each other in the past three state tournaments.
They faced off in the 2012 NCCSA State Tournament semi-finals. Vandalia went on to get the win. They faced off in the 2013 NCCSA State Tournament Championship Game. Again, Vandalia went on to get the win and the state championship. They played last year in the 2014 NCSSA State Tournament quarterfinals. Vandalia was the favored team since they had beaten Raleigh Christian in the two previous state tournaments. They were upset by Raleigh Christian and were knocked out of the tournament. They faced off this year in the quarterfinals as I mentioned earlier. I liked the matchup personally. I thought the teams were matched up pretty evenly. Vandalia was representing the #3 seed from the West. Raleigh was representing the #2 seed of the East. I was ready for this incredible game!
You could tell that both teams came out ready to play hard. You could sense the desire of both teams wanting that state championship. Vandalia started the game out hot and on a roll. They had all of their key contributors scoring and distributing the ball. You could tell that Raleigh Christian was going to rely on one player, DeAnthony Harris.
He got the Eagles back in the game during the first quarter. He got a lob and banged the alley-oop. He got his teammates and the fans energized. He was sending a statement that they weren’t gonna let the Vikings run all over them. Going into the second quarter, the Vikings still had the lead though. The second quarter was very entertaining. The teams kept going back and forth trading baskets. You could tell that it was going to be a high-scoring game. DeAnthony Harris wasn’t done dunking. He got the ball on a fastbreak. Matt Hobbs was the only Viking back on defense. He went up with Harris. Harris finished with the dunk though. The teams were battling hard the entire first half. The Vikings went into halftime with the lead still.
It was only single digits though. There was no telling who was going to win this game. Both teams were scoring at will. It was the fact of which team was going to get a stop when it mattered the most. Both teams came out of halftime ready to go. The Vikings found themselves in the third quarter witnessing the DeAnthony Harris show. The Vikings were struggling with Raleigh’s zone defense. They couldn’t stop DeAnthony Harris on defense either. He was going right through the defense. When he wouldn’t drive, he would kick the ball out. Raleigh would knock down the wide open three pointer. The Eagles hit numerous three pointers that were uncontested. This is what brought them back in the game. The Eagles went into the fourth quarter down by five points. You could sense that the momentum was changing from Vandalia to Raleigh. Raleigh kept it going in the fourth quarter. They kept seeing their scoring difference decreasing. Before Vandalia knew it, they were trailing instead of winning. Raleigh had it rolling. They were executing on offense and defense. With a few minutes remaining, Raleigh’s star point guard fouled out. You could tell that this was going to make or break Raleigh Christian.
Now, it was DeAnthony Harris versus the whole Vandalia Christian team. Raleigh was up by six points with nineteen seconds left in the game. Noah Dunn hit a three pointer for Vandalia. That cut the deficit to three points. Vandalia fouled DeAnthony Harris. He went to the line to seal the game. He only had to make one free throw to win the game, even though there was nine seconds left. He missed both free throws!! Vandalia got the rebound. They threw the outlet pass to senior Bryson Gordon. He spots up and hits the clutch three pointer as time expires!
This game was going into overtime baby! Senior Bryson Gordon wanted another shot at this game. He wasn’t giving up in his last game as a Vandalia Viking. The Friendship Christian gym was going crazy. There were people yelling, laughing, and even crying. The game was not over though. They still had to play the overtime period. Vandalia started overtime with a Cam Alston layup. The teams exchanged baskets. The dagger for Raleigh was when Vandalia’s Noah Dunn got an and one play. Raleigh had given it all they had. Vandalia went on to the win though.
Game changing play: Raleigh’s DeAnthony Harris dunks over two Vandalia defenders. The ball doesn’t go all the way through the basket though. The basket didn’t count. This missed opportunity led to a Vandalia fastbreak. Noah Dunn got another and one play. This completely changed the momentum of the game in the fourth quarter.
1 2 3 4 OT Final VCS 20 19 16 24 16 95 RCA 14 17 20 28 9 88
Leaders for each team
DeAnthony Harris: 50 points
Noah Dunn: 26 points; 10 rebounds
Cameron Alston: 24 points; 6 assists; 5 steals
Bryson Gordon: 21 points; 6 assists
Jared Talley: 15 points
Tyler Crook, Matt Morgan, and Matt Hobbs: 3 points each
Next game for VCS
Tonight at 7:30 vs Friendship (NCCSA 2A State Tournament Semi-Finals in Raleigh, NC)