The Wayne Country Day High School boys’ basketball team fell short of a state title Saturday evening, but it was still a historic night for the Chargers’ program.
The unranked Chargers played in their first state championship game since 1990 in the NCISAA 2-A state championship played at North Raleigh Christian Academy. Unfortunately for the Chargers, it couldn’t put the bow on its historic season, falling to top-seeded Fayetteville Academy.
Chargers Head coach David Flowers said he proud of his for reaching this point.
“We were underdogs since the second round, and for us to make this run I’m proud of the guys,” Flowers said. “It’s amazing what they’ve done this season. This is most proud I’ve ever been of a team. To see them go through what they went through to get here it’s been an awesome ride.”
Following a three-pointer by Marcus Metcalf, Wayne Country Day had an early 5-4 lead, but the Eagles went on a 5-0 run and led 10-5 after the first quarter. Wayne Country Day struck back in the second quarter, outscoring Fayetteville 15-12. The Chargers were only down 22-20 at halftime.
However, the offensive attack of the Eagles proved to be too much for the Chargers in the second half. Fayetteville’s Emmanuel Izunabar scored eight points in the third quarter, and the Chargers were held to just five points.
“It was brutal,” Flowers said. “We ran out of gas, but they gave me everything they had.”
Going into the fourth quarter, Fayetteville was up 41-25, and it was a matter of the clock striking midnight to end Wayne Country Day’s incredible postseason run.
“The reason I was most proud of them is as a high school coach it doesn’t get any bigger of a stage, and they brought me here,” Flowers said. “I just told them thank you for bringing me to this game.”
Linwood Grandy paced the Chargers with 16 points, while Metcalf added 13 points. Jaden Cooper added nine points, Javon Outlaw scored three points, and Tracy Whitfield contributed two points.
“I love our seniors. I love this class,” Flowers said about the seniors on the team. “It was almost tough to leave the locker room because of how much they meant to this to this program.”
With starters Cooper and Grandy returning to the Chargers next season, Wayne Country Day is in a great position to make another run next season.
“The underclassmen got a feel for it and taste for it, and that will drive them for next year to come back again,” Flowers said. “We’ll make another run.”
Coming out of the locker room Flowers said his players have bright futures ahead of them on and off the court.
“We just picked a bad night, it was a big stage for the guys, and I told the guys in the locker room this isn’t the biggest stage their going to have. They’re going to have much bigger stages,” Flowers said.