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Olympic High holds off Vance, advances to Elite 8

The Charlotte Observer logo The Charlotte Observer 3/1/2020 By Langston Wertz Jr. and Steve Lyttle, The Charlotte Observer

Olympic is headed to the Western 4A Regional semifinals, thanks to a second-half shooting clinic that carried the Trojans to a 71-65 victory Saturday afternoon over visiting Vance.

The second-seeded Trojans (21-6) missed only six of their 23 shots after halftime, erasing an early deficit against a Vance team that was on-target much of the time too.

“They’re young -- they don’t even know what this is,” Olympic coach Baronton Terry said of his team, which had won 10 in a row before losing to Ardrey Kell last weekend in the SoMeck 7 4A tournament finals. “They’re excited.”

While the Trojans changed momentum in the third quarter, it was a 80-second span in the second period that might have saved their season.

Seventh-seeded Vance (22-7) dominated much of the first half and led 25-14 with 3:52 left in the second quarter.

Things looked bad for Olympic, as leading scorer Joshua Banks and standout rebounder Nishawn Hodge each had two fouls

Up stepped junior Jalen Smalls. He hit a three-pointer with 2:40 left in the half, cutting the deficit to 25-17, then added another with 1:37 remaining. Then after a missed Vance shot, Smalls got the ball on the wing and connected with another three-pointer. The Cougars’ lead was down to 25-23, and Olympic was back in the game.

“Jalen Smalls had three or four three’s that were really big,” Terry said. “They were keying on our main scorers, and he came up big for us.”

The opening five minutes of the third quarter featured spectacular shooting by each team. Olympic hit 7-of-8 from the floor, including five three-pointers; and Vance made 6-of-7, including three from three-point range.

Vance pulled ahead 48-45 with 1:27 remaining in the quarter, but Olympic outscored the Cougars 21-8 over the next six minutes and led 66-56 with about three minutes to play.

Vance got as close as five points in the late going, but Olympic hit 5-of-6 free throws and iced the victory.

Banks recovered from his first-half foul problems for a spectacular 27-point game. He and Vance’s Trey Green, who took game scoring honors with 30 points, were nearly unstoppable in the second half.


Joshua Banks, Olympic: A VCU commit, Banks hit 10-of-13 from the floor and scored 27 points. Banks, who scored 23 of those points in the second half, also had five rebounds.

Trey Green, Vance: A freshman who is a big part of Vance’s future, Green scored 30 points. He made 12-of-17 from the floor, including 5-of-9 from three-point range.

Jalen Small, Olympic: His three three-pointers in the second quarter kept Olympic in the game and set up the team’s second-half surge.


? Olympic was denied a chance for a rematch with Ardrey Kell in the fourth round of the playoffs, when the Knights lost 57-46 Saturday at Northwest Guilford.

? Vance attempted a full-court press against Olympic in the fourth quarter, but the Trojans broke it twice in a row with long passes downcourt that ended in layups.

? Vance had a 21-4 run in the first half, erasing a 10-4 deficit and building a 25-14 lead -- before Jalen Small got hot from the outside.

? Olympic finished the game shooting 53 percent from the floor. The Trojans hit 17-of-23 in the second half after a cold (9-of-26) first half.

? Vance shot 48 percent from the floor, hitting 26-of-54.


“We put pressure on their guards, they couldn’t get it inside, and we stopped fouling.” -- Olympic coach Barry Terry, explaining how his team rallied in the second half.


Olympic is home in the regional semifinals, facing third seed Northwest Guilford (24-4) on Tuesday night. With a starting lineup of two freshmen, a sophomore, and two seniors, Vance should be a power again next year.

Steve Lyttle on Twitter: @slyttle

NCISAA All-Star Games: West sweeps East

The annual N.C. private school all-star basketball games were played Saturday at Providence Day, featuring the top seniors from the NCISAA.

The All-Star games were typical high-scoring affairs with a run-and-gun style, little emphasis on defense, lots of 3-pointers and highlight-reel plays and dunks. In the girls’ game the West defeated the East 78-64, while the boys’ game also saw the West prevail 112-107.

In the boys’ game, the West took a 20-point halftime lead before the East rallied with a big second-half surge to fall by only five points. The West had seven players in double figures with Northside Christian’s Jaden Seymour leading with way with 16 points. Davidson Day’s Jackson Threadgill (Charlotte 49ers commit) was next with 14 while Concord First Assembly’s Garrett Hien (Furman commit) and Ambaka Le Gregam (Presbyterian commit) each poured in 13.

Cam Hayes (Greensboro Day and NC State commit) led the East and all scorers with 22 points. Grace Christian and Wake Forest commit Jaylon Gibson finished with 17 while Landon Sutton (High Point Christian) ended with 14.

What was it like playing on the same floor with so much talent on both sides.

“It’s an honor, a blessing and a humbling experience,” said Charlotte Latin guard and Holy Cross commit Randy Johnson. “It was fun to get up and down with these guys, learn a lot, just compete and have some fun.”

In the girls’ game, the West All-Stars led the entire way to win by 14 points. After trailing by seven point at the half, the East rallied to once cut the lead to three points but could get no closer.

Aniyah Vanhook from the Burlington School lead the West and tied for the game’s leading scorer with 18 points. Providence Day’s Andi Levitz added 14 with Asheville Christian’s Caroline Sikkink also finishing in double figures with 11 points.

The O’Neal School’s Hadiya Balser led the East and tied for the game’s leading scorer with 18. Cape Fear’s Chloe Kernan and Rabun Gap’s Aileen Marquez each finished with 11 points respectively, while North Raleigh Christian’s Levossie Taylor added 10 points for the East.


Cam Hayes, East – Led the East All-Stars and all scorers with 22 points including six 3-pointers.

Jaden Seymour, West – Gave the fans several highlight-reel dunks while leading the West in scoring with 16 points.

CJ Huntley, Davidson Day and Appalachian St. commit – Finished with nine points including a windmill slam dunk and a two-handed slam dunk.


Aniyah Vankook, West – Led the West in scoring with 18 points with only one 3-pointer.

Chloe Kernan and Aileen Marquez East – Each had three, 3-pointers and 11 points.

Andi Levitz, West – Led both teams with four, 3-pointers.


Charlotte Latin’s Chris Berger was the Head Coach of the Boys West All-Stars with Durham Academy’s Tim McKenna serving as the Boys’ East Head Coach.


Lulu Brase from the O’Neal School was the Coach of the Girls East All-Stars while Tavores Vanhook of Burlington School was the Coach of the Girls West All-Stars.

THEY SAID IT: “It was actually a thrill. The last 24 hours was a lot of fun. The West team and the East team feature wonderful young men who are going to very successful moving forward in college and past college. I really enjoyed the practices, the game and doing some service with them yesterday.” Chris Berger on his opportunity to coach the Boys’ West team.

Saturday’s Boys Boxscores



EAST BOYS 38 69 --107

WEST BOYS 58 54 -- 112

East: Cam Hayes (Greensboro Day – NC State Commit) 22, Jaylon Gibson (Grace Christian - Wake Forest commit) 17, Landon Sutton (High Point Christian) 13, Dji Bailey (Greenfield School and Wake Forest commit) 11, Kaleb Brooks (Wesleyan Christian) 9, Aymoric Toussaint (Freedom Christian) 8, Cason Pierce (Greensboro Day) 8, Christian Bailey (Greensboro Day) 7, Creighton Lebo (Greenfield School) 6, Myljael Poteat (the Burlington School – Rice) 6.

West: Jaden Seymour (Northside Christian) 16, Jackson Threadgill (Davidson Day and Charlotte 49ers commit) 14, Garrett Hien (Concord First Assembly and Furman commit) 13, Ambaka Le Gregam (Concord First Assembly and Presbyterian commit) 13, Tyler McKinney (Asheville Christian and Lincoln Memorial commit) 11, Will Coble (Davidson Day) 10, Myles Hunter (Carmel Christian – Youngstown St. commit) 10, CJ Huntley (Davidson Day and Appalachian St. commit) 9, Randy Johnson (Charlotte Latin and Holy Cross commit) 7, Seth Smith (Victory Christian) 4, Peter Lash (Charlotte Christian) 3, Cheick Traore (Concord First Assembly and Youngstown St. commit) 2.

Saturday’s Girls Boxscores



EAST GIRLS 34 30 -- 64

WEST GIRLS 41 37 -- 78

East: Hadiya Balzer (O’Neal School) 18, Chloe Kernan (Cape Fear and Washington University commit) 11, Aileen Marquez (Rabun Gap) 11, Levossie Taylor (North Raleigh Christian) 10, Derin Akdeniz (Rabun Gap) 5, Shelby Woods (Cary Christian and Meredith commit) 5, Marissa Lee (Lee Christian) 2, Emily Hayman (Ravenscroft) 2

West: Aniyah Vanhook (Burlington School) 18, Andi Levitz (Providence Day) 14, Caroline Sikkink (Asheville Christian) 11, Nina-Simone Clark (Providence Day) 9, Morgan Kelson (Providence Day and Chaflin commit) 8, Molina Williams (Burlington School and Charlotte 49ers) 7, Kennedy Grier (Charlotte Country Day) 5, Grace Godwin (Providence Day) 4, Triniti Lockhart (Concord First Assembly) 2.


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