After games on Sunday, March 11
An upset, comeback and dynasty. That's what we're left with after crowning the state champions this past weekend at the Dean Dome.
In Class 4A, defending champ West Charlotte's bid at a repeat fell short against an undersized but upstart New Hanover squad. Kadeem Allen, who transferred from Laney this year, was huge with 21 points and a buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter that have the Wildcats the lead for good.
In Class 3A, Hickory couldn't hold on to its early lead against Rocky Mount, which surged ahead for the title. The Gryphons were led by double-doubles from Dante Battle (20 points, 16 boards) and Terrill Hilliard (21 points, 11 rebounds).
In Class 2A, Kinston conjured up talk of a dynasty by winning its eighth title overall and third crown in the last five years. Cuthberston nearly pushed the game to overtime, but a last-second 3-pointer missed, giving the Vikings a 58-55 win.
That'll do it for the North Carolina basketball rankings in what was an eventful season. Stay tuned for NICSAA 3A champ Ravenscroft in the ESPNHS NHSI tournament starting March 31 in Maryland.
Here are the final rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):
1. New Hanover (Wilmington) 30-1 (3)
Wildcats knocked off defending 4A champ West Charlotte to win the crown behind game MVP Kadeem Allen's 21 points.
2. Ravenscroft 31-3 (2)
Ravens were selected to play in the ESPNHS NHSI tournament in Maryland on March 28-31.
3. West Charlotte 27-6 (1)
Lions couldn't repeat as 4A champs, falling to New Hanover despite getting 14 points and 21 rebounds from Kennedy Meeks.