CHAPEL HILL – Henderson Collegiate sped out to a 14 point lead by midway through the second quarter, but it was Bishop McGuinness’ consistent pressure and tenacity that whittled down the deficit and eventually brought home the school’s second Men’s Basketball Title with a 55-54 victory.
Andrew Budzinski scored 23 points for the Villains, grabbing seven rebounds during the comeback victory. Budzinski had 9 points and three boards in the final quarter alone, including making one of two foul shots with the game tied at 54 with just .7 seconds remaining to seal the victory for Bishop McGuinness. Budzinski was named the Charlie Adams Most Valuable Player of the 1A Championship for his efforts.
Cameron Caroway also played a huge role in the comeback effort, scoring 15 points and grabbing 10 rebounds with three steals as he helped lead the Villains from behind. Caroway was named the Most Outstanding Player for Bishop McGuinness.
Henderson Collegiate’s pressure gave Bishop McGuinness problems all game, turning the Villains over 23 times. But the Villains 1-2-2 trapping zone gave the Pride difficulty in the final three quarters, forcing 15 turnovers and leading to some easy buckets, particularly in the late second quarter when Bishop McGuinness trimmed the lead back down to just three points at the halftime intermission.
Javonte Waverly led the Pride with 13 points and three rebounds. He was selected as the Most Outstanding Player in the game for Henderson Collegiate. Kameron Brooks had 11 first-half points with seven rebounds, but exited the game with an injury during the second quarter.
Henderson Collegiate finished the season 31-3, 14-0 in the North Central Athletic 1A Conference where they were the champions. The Pride won the Eastern Regional Final in their first appearance in the Regionals all-time, and made their first appearance in an NCHSAA State Championship Game.
Bishop McGuinness wrapped up the year 24-8, they were 6-4 in the Northwest 1A Conference where they finished in a tie for second place. The Villains claimed the school’s second Men’s Basketball State Championship and their first since 2009 when they won their only other State Championship Appearance.
The NCHSAA, in partnership with the North Carolina Farm Bureau, is committed to recognizing outstanding sportsmanship. Prior to the start of the game, the Association recognizes one individual from each team with the 2019 North Carolina Farm Bureau Sportsmanship Awards. This year’s recipients were Micah Lewis from Henderson Collegiate and Gus O’Hale from Bishop McGuinness.