It was a tough day to be a fan of high school basketball in Chatham County.
Each of the three county schools playing in their respective state finals — the Seaforth girls, the Chatham Charter girls and the Northwood boys — failed to bring home the top prize Saturday.
The runner-up state finishes ended spectacular seasons for each team, albeit on a tough note.
Chatham Charter girls
In the 1A girls final, Chatham Charter was dominated by Bishop McGuinness, 73-43, at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh. The win marked the second straight 1A title for the Villains and the team’s 11th overall since the start of the 2006 season.
Leading the way for the Knights was junior Meah Brooks, who had a team-high 18 points and nine rebounds. Senior Tamaya Walden also chipped in 11 points, though she was held to 2-of-15 shooting from the field. Meanwhile, Bishop McGuinness’ top-scorer was sophomore Adelaide Jernigan, who had 21 points.
Finishing the season with a record of 26-6, Chatham Charter will graduate four seniors, including Walden, who finishes her career as the all-time leading scorer in Chatham Charter hoops history, girls or boys (1,866).
Playing at the same time as the Knights on Saturday were the Seaforth girls, who lost to Salisbury by a score of 48-39 in the 2A finals in Chapel Hill.
The Hawks opened the game with a 13-0 run, but the Hornets rallied to take back the lead by halftime and never looked back. The second half saw Seaforth plagued by foul trouble, with sophomore Gabby White picking up her fourth midway through the third quarter.
White finished with 15 points, 11 rebounds and four assists to lead her team and was named Seaforth’s Most Outstanding Player of the 2A final.
White, along with fellow starters Peyton Collins, Hannah Ajayi, Katie Leonard and Sydney Ballard, are all expected to return for Seaforth next season. The Hawks are the only county team without a senior on their roster.
Finally, playing at Reynolds Coliseum on Saturday night, the Northwood boys saw their season come to an end by way of a 65-51 loss to Central Cabarrus.
Despite having a clear size advantage and the presence of five-star guard Drake Powell — a UNC commit — the Chargers had a hard time dealing with the Vikings’ on-ball defense and failed to slow down Central Cabarrus on the offensive end. The loss was Northwood’s worst since falling to Cannon (N.J.), 60-36, at the John Wall Holiday Invitational in December.
Finishing the year with a 28-3 overall record, the Chargers will graduate a pair of starting forwards this offseason in seniors Kenan Parrish and Max Frazier. Powell will return for his senior season in 2023-24, and he hopes his last campaign with the team will end with a state championship ring.
Among the other players expected to return for Northwood next year are Fred Whitaker, Ashton Elliott, Jake Leighton, Cam Fowler and Griffin Hobbs, among others.
Sports Editor Jeremy Vernon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @jbo_vernon.
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