WEEK 5 ➡️ Carmel Christian (Matthews, NC)
What’s up?! Welcome back to this week’s series of “Hoop State Team of the Week,” where we pick the best NC team each week. This week I went with Carmel Christian of Matthews, NC.
Carmel Christian came away with two big wins this week. The first a Tuesday night matchup against the Burlington school. The second a Friday night showdown against Wesleyan Christian Academy. These two wins take them to 21-1 to complete the regular season. NCISAA seeding starts next weekend Coach Badgett and his squad, lead by Justin Taylor and Ben Burnham, are looking to make a deep run in the 4A tournament. They are currently ranked number one in the state per MaxPreps rankings; however, I have them at number 3.
Carmel Christian 🆚 The Burlington School
Carmel Christian took on The Burlington School(TBS) Tuesday, February 9th on the road, spoiling their senior night. They won in a high scoring 90-81 bout. Carmel jumped out to an early 20-11 lead after quarter one and kept the lead pretty much the rest of the way. They did this by making TBS play at their pace. Carmel used a two-man press after a lot of their scores, along with pushing the ball every opportunity they got. Their excellent ball movement in the offensive set allowed them to keep three-star center Kuluel Mading out of the game defensively. TBS did make a bit of a comeback in the 4th, winning the quarter 35-27, but it wasn’t enough as Carmel still came away with it. Ben Burnham was the star in this one(as he often is), scoring 32 points on 82% shooting. Taylor and Bynum helped him out, dropping 19 and 20, respectively.
Carmel Christian 🆚 Wesleyan Christian
Carmel Christian Finished up the week and the season with a thirty point route over Wesleyan Christian, winning 94-64 at home. They Dominated from the jump leading by ten after one and moving on to win every quarter. They did this not with dominant strength or skill but with outstanding team basketball. Their ball movement and unselfishness rivals any teams in the state, which was on full display on Friday. We saw four guys in double digits and nine different scorers along with Ben Burnahms(29 Pat) Dominant (as always) performance. This exactly the kind of win you want going into the playoffs, and I’m sure coach Badgett couldn’t be happier with his squad.
Carmel Christian earned this accolade for two strong wins to cap off one of the most impressive North Carolina High school basketball seasons. They look to bring home lots of hardware in the coming months, being a favorite for the NCISAA championship, along with star forward Ben Burnham being in the running for NC Gatorade player of the year. Best of luck to them from us here at the Hoop State Network.
That’s all for this week. Next week, we enter the final week for the NCHSAA regular season, and from then on, it’s all playoff basketball. I hope you keep following us throughout the basketball postseason because that’s when the matchups get even better. ✌️
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