Greensboro Day School Girls Dominate High Point Christian Academy
The Greensboro Day School’s girls basketball team beat High Point Christian Academy on Friday night by a score of 56-24. The game was played at Alumni Gymnasium on the campus of Guilford College, due to the anticipated attendance for the boys game, which followed.
Greensboro Day’s Gloria Smith-Bunch was the game’s leading scorer. She had 17 points on the night—15 in the first half. Mahlon Brady also scored in double-digits for the Bengals with 13.
It appeared that Greensboro Day was just too much for the High Point Christian Academy girls from the word go. Greensboro Day opened the scoring and never looked back. They led by as much as 34 points before finishing the game with a 32 point lead.
Gloria Smith-Bunch took full advantage of her ability to drive the lane, and credited her team for such a big win.
“The middle was wide open. I played it as hard as I could, and if it was open, I was going to take it,” a confident Smith-Bunch said. “We played really well offensively and as a team tonight. That’s what got us our win,” she added.
The Bengals of Greensboro Day played a well-executed basketball game against HPCA Friday night. They showed that they were by far the better team. Would the same prove true for the boys?
Greensboro Day Edges Out One-Point Victory over High Point Christian Academy
The stage was set. The teams were there. The gym was filled to capacity. The underdog Greensboro Day Bengals (18-3) took on the (14-2) High Point Christian Academy Cougars at Alumni Gymnasium, inside the Ragan-Brown Field House, on the campus of Guilford College because of the expected crowd. A crowd that showed up in multitudes in what turned out to be a game that will be remembered for a long time. Many thought that HP Christian would roll past the Bengals, but that was far from the case on Friday night.
Although Greensboro Day’s 6’5’’ JP Moorman out jumped HP Christian’s 6’10” Edrice “Bam” Adebayo to give the Bengals first possession, the first basket of the game was a put-back slam that came from none other than Adebayo. The capacity crowd erupted as he soared through the air to put his Cougars on the board first.
That was one of only three leads that HP Christian would have the entire night. The first came at 2-0, the second at 6-4, and the third at 59-58.
Greensboro Day’s defense was definitely a key factor in the victory. The Bengals defended the perimeter and kept the ball out of Adebayo’s hands.
“I can’t say enough about what (assistant coach) Jeff Smith does with our defense,” Greensboro Day head coach Freddy Johnson said. “He’s done a wonderful job with our defense over the last four or five years, and it really showed tonight.”
The Bengals led 30-26 going into halftime.
Late in the fourth quarter, the Cougars put together a 6-0 run in just over a minute. With 2:35 to play, and his Cougars trailing 58-55 Reece Bogan was fouled and went to the free throw line with a chance to get his team within one point of the lead. Bogan made both free throws to narrow the Bengal lead to 58-57.
Then, with 1:50 to go, Cougars head coach Brandon Clifford called a timeout.
Coming out of the huddle, the Cougars had momentum on their side, coming off a 8-0 run and trailing by only one point. Were the Cougars going to come back and beat the Bengal team that had led all but about a minute of the game, or were the Bengals ready to hold on for the win?
Adebayo scored his 17th and final point with 1:14 left in the game, giving HP Christian the lead, 59-58, their first lead since mid way through the first quarter.
After the Cougars took the lead, Greensboro Day’s defense stepped up once again and forced Adebayo to make an errant pass, turning the ball over and giving the Bengals possession.
It was Greensboro Day’s John Newman who scored the game winning basket and drew a foul with only 36.6 seconds remaining in the game. Although Newman missed the free throw, the Bengals led 60-59.
HP Christian got the rebound and called a timeout with just over 26 seconds left to draw up their last play.
The Cougars brought the ball down the court, and it was Ty Graves who took the final shot. The ball bounced off the rim and several players collided attempting to gain possession as time ran out.
The old-style horn sounded in Alumni Gym, over the roar of the Greensboro Day fans, to signify the Bengals’ victory over powerhouse HP Christian.
Scoring 20 points, including the game winning basket, and his tenacity on offense and defense being instrumental in the Bengals’ victory made Greensboro Day sophomore John Newman the big story of the night.
Greensboro Day’s Freddy Johnson had nothing but good things to say about Newman.
“John Newman is a very good player. He just keeps getting better and better and better,” coach Johnson said of the game’s leading scorer. “His effort tonight was outstanding on the defensive side as well as the offensive side. He is a total team player, plays team basketball, and that’s why he does such a good job.”
HP Christian head coach Brandon Clifford displayed a different mood and words after the game.
“We did some good things. A lot of shots didn’t go in that normally go in for us,” Clifford said. “We didn’t defend the way we needed to defend, and that falls on me. We just didn’t do a good job defensively and that’s not normal for us. Credit to Greensboro Day, they made the shots, we didn’t. They won, we didn’t.”
Clifford called senior and University of Kentucky-bound Adebayo a “horse”.
“We just didn’t get him the ball enough, and I take the blame for that also,” he lamented.
Adebayo finished with 17 points and 19 rebounds along with adding some excitement with his signature huge dunks.
The two teams face off again in what promises to be another great game on January 29th at Greensboro Day.
Greensboro Day, (19-3) after the huge win over top-ranked HP Christian Academy on Friday night, hosts (13-5) Wesleyan Christian Academy on Tuesday night. High Point Christian Academy, who fell to (14-3) after losing to the Bengals, also plays their next game Tuesday, as they look to bounce back, traveling to take on (16-2) Forsyth Country Day School.
GDS 17 13 19 11 – 60
HPC 9 17 16 17 – 59
Greensboro Day Scoring:
John Newman- 20 points
Will Dillard- 9 points
Travon Mayo- 9 points
Solomon Smith- 8 points
JP Moorman- 6 points
Pierce Landry- 3 points
Jordan Perkins- 3 points
Alex Michael- 2 points
High Point Christian Academy Scoring:
Bam Adebayo- 17 points, 19 rebounds
Reece Bogan- 11 points
Ty Graves- 11 points
Jalen Seegars- 8 points
Ben Robertson- 8 points
Michael Hueitt Jr- 3 points
Michal Seals- 2 points