Cape Fear Christian Academy took a pair of varsity basketball wins over visiting New Life Christian Academy to sweep the championships of the 2020 CFCA Senior Classic on Saturday, with the girls taking a lopsided victory and the boys rallying to win an overtime thriller.
In the boys game, Cape Fear Christian erased a fourth-quarter deficit before finishing strong to end a five-game week with a 68-63 win in overtime.”
“Such a difficult game,” said CFCA boys coach Steve Mims, Jr. “Tough team. Awkwardly hard to guard. Good defense. They were very solid and had a lot of athletes. We just had to figure out a combination that was healthy enough to come in and do what we needed to do, because legs were kind of off today.”
After a slow start, in part because of early foul trouble, Jabare Perry was a major factor in the second half for the Eagles (5-0), leading the team with 19 points.
“Defensively and offensively (Perry was a key),” Mims said. “And he played with four fouls for a very long time and through the whole overtime. But that shows the type of resilience and competitiveness these kids have.”
Twins Paul and Silla Tako provided a spark off the bench for the Eagles. Paul Tako finished with 13 points and Silla Tako had six.
“I’m trying to figure out my two lineups,” Mims said. “My line that comes off of the bench, I want to have energy. I know that Paul and Silla play very well together. That was something I was trying to figure out, because I was mixing and matching them, but as we get more chemistry, we’re seeing who’s going to work better together, as far as having a boost. The key isn’t to be the best one-through-five. The key is to be the best one-through-10.”
Cinque Lemon, with 13 points, and Caden Bell, with 10 points, also scored in double digits for Cape Fear Christian. Zeke Brock had five points and Amari Pearson had two points.
Tre Gasque had 22 points and Jahmonie Jones Parker and Alvin Singleton had 10 points apiece to pace the Monarchs (2-1).
After the first quarter ended in a 14-14 tie, the Monarchs outscored the Eagles 17-13 in the second quarter and 18-15 in the third to carry a 49-42 lead into the fourth.
The Eagles opened the fourth quarter on an 11-2 run to take a 53-51 lead. With the Eagles leading 59-56 late in the fourth, a pair of Gasque free throws cut the lead to one before a Lemon free throw pushed it back to two. But with just seconds left, Gasque scored to send the game into overtime.
Silla Tako was the first to score in overtime, but Gasque answered with a three to put New Life Christian back in front. But a Perry score started Cape Fear Christian on a 6-0 run to close out the contest and claim the tournament championship.
In the girls game, New Life Christian had a second-quarter surge, but Cape Fear Christian dominated the other three quarters to win 68-32.
“We go as the defense goes,” said CFCA girls coach Bobby Lamb. “We had a breakdown where we didn’t get to shooters, so they got a couple of threes off. But after we corrected, we kind of started pulling away.”
A pair of juniors were the leading scorers for the Eagles (3-1). Gracie Byrd led all scorers with 19 points and Leah Brannon had 14 points.
“Gracie and Leah really stepped up throughout this tournament,” Lamb said. “Throughout the season, we’re going to go as they go, but it really takes a whole team to be successful and I feel like the whole team pitched in throughout this weekend.”
Sophomore Meredith Taylor was also a key player for Cape Fear Christian. She finished with nine points.
“Meredith Taylor is the heart of this team,” Lamb said. “When its time to lace the tennis shoes up, she’s ready to play.”
Reyna Johnson had nine points. Ella John Dupree had seven points. Laney Trainer had four points. Mariah Bell, Perri Caroline Ennis and Rachel Thornton had two points apiece.
The second quarter was the only close period, with New Life Christian outscoring Cape Fear Christian 16-14. But Cape Fear Christian dominated the other three quarters, outscoring New Life Christian 18-6 in the first and third quarters and 18-4 in the fourth.
“I’m very excited about a 3-1 start,” Lamb said. “I feel like the season is looking bright, but it’s going to take a whole lot of hard work to continue to keep the momentum going.”
Berean Baptist swept Crossroads Christian in the consolation games, winning the girls game, 52-26, and the boys game, 91-69.
Cape Fear Christian hosts Lee Christian on Tuesday. The boys team also has a home game on Wednesday against Word of God Christian Academy.