An abundance of future Division I college talent will be on display Saturday when the North Carolina High School Athletic Association holds state championship games in four classifications at Smith Center in Chapel Hill and Raleigh’s Reynolds Coliseum.
Among the most anticipated matchups is the 3A title showdown between Cox Mill of Concord and Jacksonville’s Northside High.
Although the game will be played on the campus of NC State, it’s a North Carolina signee that will command the most attention as 6-foot-8 forward Rechon Black will play his final high school game before becoming a Tar Heel.
The four-star prospect is averaging 13.6 points and 5.8 rebounds per game for the 28-3 Chargers, but is coming off a subpar performance in which he was just 4 of 11 from the floor for 11 points in his team’s West Region championship game victory against Ben L. Smith last weekend.
Black’s teammate, 6-5 wing Wendell Moore Jr., had 32 points, three assists, three steals and two blocked shots in the region final. A five-star recruit in the Class of 2019, he is being pursued by all the major schools, including UNC, State and Duke.
The 4A championship game at Smith Center between Heritage of Wake Forest and Charlotte Independence will feature two Division I signees. Heritage’s 6-3 shooting guard Jaren McAllister is headed for Virginia Tech next season while 6-8, 225-pound power forward Jayden Gardner is headed for East Carolina.
Both players are three-star prospects.
Playing on the same Minges Coliseum floor that will be his college home, Gardner hit for 21 points and eight rebounds in his team’s overtime win against South Central last Saturday in the East Region final. Gardner averages 23 points and 15 rebounds per game.
McAllister, who averages 17.5 points per game, scored 17 in the 61-55 victory.
Although Independence does not yet have any players signed for next season, senior point guard Jamarius Burton has several mid-major offers on his plate. He scored 25 points and pulled down eight rebounds in the Patriots’ West Region victory against Rocky River.
The only other signed Division I recruit playing in a state championship game is Daivien Williamson of Winston-Salem Prep, whose team will take on Pamlico County in the 1A title game at Reynolds Coliseum.
A 6-1, 165-pound point guard, Williamson is headed to East Tennessee State. He scored 26 points, going a perfect 13 for 13 from the free-throw line, in the Phoenix’s 78-67 West Region final victory against North Stanly.
The other state championship game is the 2A matchup at Smith Center between Greene Central and Forest Hills.
The girls championship games will match Southeast Raleigh against Northwest Guilford in 4A and North Pitt and North Wilkes in 2A at Smith Center, and Northern Guilford against Jacksonville in 3A and Pamlico County against Mount Airy in 2A at Reynolds Coliseum.
For more information and game times, see the NCHSAA’s website at https://www.nchsaa.org/sports/basketball.
NCHSAA boys and girls basketball championships schedule
All games Saturday, March 10
Reynolds Coliseum, Raleigh
1A Girls: Pamlico vs. Mount Airy, noon
1A Boys: Pamlico vs. Winston-Salem Prep, 2:30 p.m.
3A Girls: Jacksonville vs. Northern Guilford, 5 p.m.
3A Boys: Northside-Jacksonville vs. Cox Mill, 7:30 p.m.
Dean E. Smith Center, Chapel Hill
2A Girls: North Pitt vs. North Wilkes, noon
2A Boys: Greene Central vs. Forest Hills, 2:30 p.m.
4A Girls: Southeast Raleigh vs. Northwest Guilford, 5 p.m.
4A Boys: Heritage vs. Independence, 7:30 p.m.