Posted On: 12/18/17 6:10 PM
CHARLOTTE, NC – Friday night’s game of Gaston Day against Carmel Christian may have been the game of the week in the city as it featured two of the areas top private schools. Gaston Day came into the game 9-2 and off of a dominating performance against a Zion Williamson-less Spartanburg Day team while the Carmel Christian Cougars looked to keep the ball rolling on its 11-0 start to the season. Both teams featured good athleticism and highly skilled players across the board and few would be surprised to see these teams in the 3A private school state championship game.
The game got off to a quick start – 6’4 junior Martin Maide scored a layup off of a nice tip play right off the bat for Carmel Christian and in the first 90 seconds the teams combined for a blistering 14 points. 6’4 junior Donovan Gregory had an electric putback dunk to tie the game at 10 three minutes into the game. The stars came out to play in this one for sure. Gaston Day was a bit sloppy in the first quarter and were called for travels three times in the first six minutes of the game. 6’8 junior Demilade Adelekun showed a great feel for the game around the basket for the Spartans and had seven points in the first quarter. Star Spartan guard Nate Hinton demonstrated his ability to get to the basket all night, including a coast to coast layup off of a missed free throw to put the Spartans up by the score of 22-15 at the end of the first.
The update flow of the game continued in the second quarter and the Spartans continued to extend their lead and went up 31-17 on a Nate Hinton reverse layup. The Spartans really started taking it to the Cougars on the offensive glass and had three offensive rebounds and four points on two straight possessions but just outhustling Carmel Christian. Senior guard Quan McCluney hit a three pointer at the buzzer to put the Spartans up 44-31 heading into the halftime. McCluney, a College of Charleston signee, finished the game with 21 points.
The third quarter continued to be a heavy dose of Adelekun who continued with great finesse and a feel around the basket. He kept the ball active on the offensive glass and on multiple occasions was the first guy on the floor for a loose ball despite being the biggest player on the court. The middle of the third quarter featured a much more frenetic pace. A McCluney jumper extended the lead to 17 with five minutes left in the period but a Gregory three pointer followed by a monster fast break dunk cut the lead to 12. A key Adelekun steal led to an extra possession for the Spartans which culminated in a McCluney spin move and floater and killed the momentum that the Cougars had started to gain. Gaston Day went into the fourth period up by 14.
Gaston Day kept a fast running Carmel Christian team at bay in the fourth quarter. 6’3 junior Myles Pierre hit his third corner three pointer of the game which cut the deficit to 11 with 6:20 left in the fourth and got the Cougar faithful back into the game. However, the experienced Gaston Day team didn’t panic and a Nate Hinton layup put the Spartans up by the score of 70-56 with four minutes left.
Gaston Day started holding the ball with three minutes left up 13 and forced Carmel Christian to foul early and rush three pointers. The Cougars, outside of Pierre, were ice cold from the three point line all night. An Adelekun miss, offensive rebound which was his seventeenth of the game, and pretty and one extended the Gaston Day lead to 78-63 and epitomized the game well – just too much Gaston Day hustling and being active on the glass for the Cougars.
Gregory, an unsigned junior, showcased on multiple occasions why is one of the most explosive athletes in the state and finished with 29 points. Gregory was the only consistent reliable offense for the Cougars. Gaston Day got a nice balanced attack from Adelekun, McCluney, Hinton, and senior guard MJ Armstrong who chipped in 21 points.