2017 BSN Sports Queen City Classic Tournament

Patriots Matt Smith with a slam against Lincoln Charter. (Ron Morris)
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The second annual BSN Sports Queen City Tournament took place between December 21-23 at Charlotte Country Day School.  The following Men’s teams participated in a highly competitive event.  The schools included Charlotte Country Day, Carmel Christian, Comenius, Independence, Liberty Heights, Lincoln Charter, Porter Ridge and Queens Grant High School.

We will focus our articles on the local teams the Mint Hill Times normally covers on a regular weekly basis which is Independence and Queens Grant High Schools.

Independence had another solid tournament and moved up their bracket into the championship game against another local team from Matthews Carmel Christian which ended in a classic battle down to the final 17 seconds when the game was still in doubt.

Independence vs. Lincoln Charter – December 21st

In game one on opening night the Patriots took on Lincoln Charter from Denver, NC a top rated 1A – Southern Piedmont Conference opponent.  From the opening during the first half the Eagles gave the Southwestern 4A Conference leader a hard fought game.  By half time the Patriots only had a 31 to 26 lead in what appeared to become a defensive battle.

Patriots Jamarius Burton driving to the basket.

However, in the second half the Patriots began to dominate the game offensively and their defense held the Eagles to only 14 points while the Patriots scored 36 points of their own to pull off a 67-40 victory.  Senior Jamarius Burton led all scorers with 17 points, while adding 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 1 block and shooting 9/10 free throws.  Andra McKee pumped in 15 points, Raja Milton 12 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 6 steals made a major contribution to the victory.  Power Forward Matt Smith had 11 points and grabbed 14 rebounds with 3 steals and 3 blocks for the Patriots.  Myles Pauldin the Patriots sixth man game in off the bench to add 2 points, 5 rebounds and 1 block for Coach Preston Davis.

Independence vs. Charlotte Country Day School – December 22nd

In game 2 Independence faced a very determined Charlotte Country Day team led by Junior Guards D’Angelo Epps, Rylan McLaurin and Alex Tabor.  CCDS plays in the NCISAA 3A – CISAA Conference.

During the first period Independence held a 19-13 lead primarily on the play by Matt Smith and Raja Milton.  In the second period Andra McKee and Myles Pauldin stepped up for the Patriots to score some valuable points and Pauldin playing tough defensively grabbing valuable rebounds down the stretch.

Patriots Jordan Mobley in action under the net for a lay-up.

Meanwhile, Jamarius Burton held Epps in check who got himself into early foul trouble scoring only 2 points in the first half of play.  Burton normally scores 14-15 points per game was also held to only 3 points so these two standout players were not a major factor up to this point in the game going head to head with the Patriots leading 29-23 at the intermission.

Patriots Andra McKee hitting jump shot against Country Day.

In the second half during the third period both teams exchanged two lead changes as the game remained close caught in a defensive battle.  In the fourth period with 45.7 seconds remaining on the scoreboard clock with Indy ahead 45-41 Myles Pauldin made a big power move to the basket giving the Patriots a much needed basket and was fouled for a 3 point play opening the lead to 48-41.  After the Bucs hit a two point jump shot by Epps, with less than 20 seconds remaining Pauldin made another power move after grabbing a rebound under the basket immediately put the ball back up and was fouled.  He made 1 of 2 free throws to give the Patriots a 49-43 lead.  After the Eagles missed a three point shot, Matt Smith grabbed one of his 15 rebounds to end the game as the clock ran out of time.

Matt Smith scored 12 points and had 15 rebounds for a double-double, Raja Milton added 11 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals, Andra McKee added 10 points, Jamarius Burton contributed 7 points, 5 rebounds and Myles Pauldin had 5 points and 7 rebounds off the bench.

For Country Day Epps ended up scoring 11 points and Alex Tabor contributed 10 points for the Buccaneers.

With the big win over CCDS the Patriots have earned a spot to play in the championship game against Carmel Christian which is expected to be a highly contested basketball game for the tournament title.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
Ed can be reached at ed@minthilltimes.com, eberti7777@gmail.com and linkedin.com.