Day one of the Cape Fear Christian Academy Senior Classic basketball tournament saw the host Eagles advance to the girls championship, but fall in the first round of the boys bracket in a pair of games against Berean Baptist Academy on Friday night.
Cape Fear Christian’s girls advanced to the championship of the girls tournament with a 62-4 rout over visiting Berean Baptist.
“They surprised me a little bit,” said Cape Fear Christian coach Dwain Ellis, who coaches both varsity basketball teams. “They didn’t have a lot of confidence in themselves. But all they needed was someone that had confidence in them and they came out here and did what they needed to do. That’s a good setup for the future. Good first game. Good first win.”
Three players scored in double figures for the Eagles (1-0). Junior Cailee Ray led all scorers with 25 points, sophomore Ella John Dupree had 14 points and senior Trinity Olive had 10 points.
“(Ray and Dupree) are our best two guards,” Ellis said. “They’re pretty tough guards.”
Perri Caroline Ennis had five points and Mariah Bell, Anna Avery, Madeline Brocious and Laney Trainer had two points apiece.
Mariah Harris scored all four points for the Bulldogs (0-1).
Cape Fear Christian outscored Berean Baptist 25-0 in the first quarter, 22-4 in the second, 7-0 in the third and 8-0 in the fourth. The running clock rule was in effect for the entire second half.
In the other girls game, Fayetteville Christian School defeated Father Vincent Capodanno High School 59-19. Berean Baptist will meet Father Vincent Capodanno in the consolation game at 11:00 a.m. and Cape Fear Christian and Fayetteville Christian will play for the championship at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.
“The real test will be tomorrow,” Ellis said. “We can see what we can really do defensively.”
A late rally was not enough for Cape Fear Christian in the boys game, as Berean Baptist held on for an 80-74 win.
“Our height is going to be a problem all year,” Ellis said. “We have to figure out a way to box out or just fly to the ball when the shot goes up, because I imagine that’s going to be the smallest team that we play all year. That’s just going to be something that we’re going to have to figure out. And our turnovers were pretty bad. I think if we could have limited that, we probably would have won the game. I think we had 24 total. That hurt us. Losing by six, that could have made a big difference.”
Senior DeShawn Wood had a game-high 31 points, sophomore Zeke Brock had 21 points and senior David Okropiridze had 13 points to lead the Eagles (0-1).
“We lost a lot of players,” Ellis said. “We had, I think, 16 players either transferred or graduated. We’ve got some guys that came from last year, Zeke, DeShawn and David, that didn’t get a lot of playing time last year that’s now in the starting roles. That’s a lot of pressure on them, especially DeShawn and David, being seniors.”
Reid Miller had five points and Trevor McLamb had four points.
The Bulldogs (1-0) had four scorers in double figures. Kenny Vera had 25 points, John Butler had 19 points, Adonis Mitchell had 18 points and Chase Evans had 11 points.
After Cape Fear Christian led 16-15 at the end of the first quarter, the score was tied 31-31 at halftime and Berean Baptist led 53-51 at the end of the third quarter, the Bulldogs started the fourth quarter on a 10-2 run to push the lead into double digits.
With the Bulldogs holding their largest lead of the game, at 69-57, midway through the fourth, the Eagles went on an 11-2 run to cut the lead to just three. But three was the lowest the lead got during the fourth, as the Bulldogs were able to hold off the Eagles down the stretch.
In the other boys first-round game, Village Christian Academy beat Father Vincent Capodanno High School 73-6. Cape Fear Christian will face Father Vincent Capodanno in the boys consolation game at 12:30 p.m. and Village Christian and Berean Baptist will meet in the championship game at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.
“I’m not worried about the next game, but hopefully next Tuesday (at Wake Christian Academy), we’ll do a lot better,” Ellis said.