2023 1A WOMEN’S BASKETBALL RECAP | Bishop McGuinness blasts past Chatham Charter 73- 43
RALEIGH, NC – Bishop McGuinness won their second straight championship rolling by Chatham Charter convincingly 73-43 to win the 1A Women’s Basketball State Championship. The Villians had four scorers in double-figures in a balanced team effort that saw nine different players score.
Adelaide Jernigan led the Villians with 21 points and three rebounds. She also contributed four assists on her way to earning Kay Yow Most Valuable Player honors. Charley Chappell was selected as the Villians Most Outstanding Player, scoring eight points to go with six rebounds and six assists.
Three other Villians were in double-figures. Kiersten Varner led other scorers from Bishop McGuinness with 12 points and nine rebounds. Tate Chappell chipped in 10 points and Isabella Ross had 11.
Chatham Charter was powered by Meah Brooks who had 18 points and nine rebounds in the game. She was selected as the Most Outstanding Player for the Knights. The only other Knights player with double digits in the points column was Tamarya Walden who had 11 points and three rebounds in the game.
Chatham Charter finished the season 26-6. The Knights won the Eastern Regional final for the first time in program history and were the Central Tar Heel 1A Conference Champions.
Bishop McGuinness wrapped up the year 28-4. The Villians were the conference champions of the Northwest 1A. Bishop McGuinness won the Western Regional Finals for the 11th time in program history, earning their 11th State Championship. The win secured back-to-back titles for the Villians.
The NCHSAA is committed to promoting and highlighting outstanding sportsmanship and has partnered with North Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance to recognize one athlete from each team that has displayed the ideals of sportsmanship throughout the year. The 2023 NC Farm Bureau Sportsmanship Award winners for the 1A Women’s Basketball Championship were Lillian Jones from Chatham Charter and Katie Deal from Bishop McGuinness.
2023 2A WOMEN’S BASKETBALL RECAP | Salisbury climbs back over Seaforth 48-39 to win back-to-back championships
CHAPEL HILL, NC – The Salisbury Hornets started slowly, but they erased a 13-point first quarter deficit to slide by Seaforth 48-39 and win the 2A Women’s Basketball State Championship for the second year in a row. Makayla Noble jump started the Hornet offense in the fourth quarter, scoring eight of her 15 points in the quarter on her way to earning the Kay Yow Most Valuable Player Award for the 2A Championship.
Seaforth came out hot, running off the first 13 points of the game to go up 13-0 with 1:44 to go in the first quarter. Gabby White and Peyton Collins combined to put up 13 of the Hawks 15 points in the opening frame. Haley Dalton finally got the Hornets on the board with a layup, 20 seconds after the Hornets fell behind 13, and they slowly started to claw their way out of the early hole.
Icesis Nwafor was a catalyst for the Hornets breaking out of the slow start, she hit one deep three late in the first quarter and then bombed home her first two threes of the second quarter to help the Hornets cut the lead to just two at the 5:16 mark of the second. Nwafor also helped defend White, one of the toughest draws on the Hawks roster, on her way to being named the Most Outstanding Player for the Hornets.
Kyla Bryant also had an outstanding game for Salisbury, handling point guard duties admirably with 14 points and four assists against just two turnovers. For Seaforth, White was the lone double-figure scorer, tossing in 15 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. White was selected as the Hawks Most Outstanding Player.
Seaforth wrapped their year at 27-4, champions of the Mid-Carolina 1A/2A. The team appeared in the State Championship Game for the first time in the school’s brief two-year history. The Hawks will return all players on the roster for next year.
Salisbury claimed the school’s sixth championship in Women’s Basketball. They won the Regional Title for the seventh time in school history. The Hornets finished the year 27-3, winning the Central Carolina 1A/2A and winning back-to-back State Championships for Coach Lakai Brice.
The NCHSAA is committed to promoting and highlighting outstanding sportsmanship and has partnered with North Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance to recognize one athlete from each team that has displayed the ideals of sportsmanship throughout the year. The 2023 NC Farm Bureau Sportsmanship Award winners for the 2A Women’s Basketball Championship were Hannah Ajayi from Seaforth and Icesis Nwafor from Salisbury.
2023 3A WOMEN’S BASKETBALL RECAP | West Rowan gets by Rocky Mount 60-50 to win first title
RALEIGH, NC – The West Rowan Falcons completed a perfect season to earn the program’s first State Championship, defeating Rocky Mount 60-50 to win the 3A Women’s Basketball State Championship at Reynolds Coliseum. Lauren Arnold was a powerful force for the Falcons, scoring 17 points and grabbing 16 rebounds on her way to earning the Kay Yow Most Valuable Player Award for the game.
West dominated the glass, outrebounding the Gryphons 60-35 but only held a small advantage in second-chance points at 15-9. The difference in the game was a dry spell in the second quarter for Rocky Mount, as the Falcons outscored the Gryphons 23-9 in the quarter to take a 14-point lead into the break.
In addition to Arnold, two other Falcons were in double-figures as Tiara Thompson dumped in 15 points and Demya Phifer scored 12. Thompson and Phifer both nabbed 10 rebounds to secure double-doubles. Thompson got the nod as the Most Outstanding Player honoree for West Rowan.
Rocky Mount only had two players score in double-figures. Caroline Thiel led the way for the Gryphons, scoring 20 points and grabbing eight rebounds. Shileyia Williams had 12 points and eight boards. Thiel was selected as Rocky Mount’s Most Outstanding Player in the game.
The Gryphons finished the season 30-2, they were 14-0 as the champions of the Big East 2A/3A. The team won the program’s first Regional Championship and appeared in their first State Championship Game.
West Rowan capped the magical season at 31-0. The Falcons collected the South Piedmont 3A Championship and earned the program’s first Western Regional Championship. The Falcons bring home the first State Championship in Women’s Basketball in school history.
The NCHSAA is committed to promoting and highlighting outstanding sportsmanship and has partnered with North Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance to recognize one athlete from each team that has displayed the ideals of sportsmanship throughout the year. The 2023 NC Farm Bureau Sportsmanship Award winners for the 3A Women’s Basketball Championship were Madison Mitchell from Rocky Mount and Emma Clarke from West Rowan.
2023 4A WOMEN’S BASKETBALL RECAP | Panther Creek sprints to 75-65 win over Lake Norman with late surge
CHAPEL HILL, NC – The Panther Creek Catamounts collected the program’s first women’s basketball State Championship, knocking off Lake Norman 75-65. Panther Creek junior guards Taylor Barner and Olivia Tucker combined for 47 of the Catamounts 75 points on the way to the victory.
Panther Creek stretched the lead out to eight three separate occasions, but never led by more than that until Tucker stole a cross court pass with ten seconds remaining in the game to pick up another two points and cement her selection as the Kay Yow Most Valuable Player for the game. Tucker finished with 27 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Lake Norman briefly surged in front with 4:55 to go in the game, taking a 63-62 lead when Alexis Shehan scored four straight points to give the Wildcats their only lead of the final quarter. The Wildcats did not record another field goal in the game, as the Catamounts surged to end the game on a 13-2 run, with the only Lake Norman points coming on two free throws by senior Kirsten Lewis-Williams who finished her career with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Each time the Catamounts extended the lead, Lake Norman clawed their way back into the game with three-point shooting. Kelsey Rhyne, a freshman, shot 6-11 from three, scoring 20 points and grabbing six rebounds on her way to being named the Most Outstanding Player for the Wildcats. Overall, Lake Norman shot 42.9% from three.
Panther Creek relied heavily on the speed of their guards to put points on the board. In addition to the 27 points by Tucker, Barner knocked down 20 of her own, regularly slashing into the lane to make contested layups. Barner also distributed the ball well, assisting on four buckets as well on her way to being named the Most Oustanding Player for the Catamounts.
Lake Norman finished the season at 31-1, the best season in school history. The Wildcats won the 4A Western Regional to make the first appearance in a State Championship Game in program history. The Wildcats were unbeaten in conference play, winning the Greater Metro 4A regular season and conference tournament.
Panther Creek reached the state finals for the first time in school history in women’s basketball wrapping the season with a 29-4 record overall. The Catamounts were the champions of the Southwest Wake 4A.
The NCHSAA is committed to promoting and highlighting outstanding sportsmanship and has partnered with North Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance to recognize one athlete from each team that has displayed the ideals of sportsmanship throughout the year. The 2023 NC Farm Bureau Sportsmanship Award winners for the 4A Women’s Basketball Championship were Olivia Tucker from Panther Creek and Kirsten Lewis-Williams from Lake Norman.