Never miss the
Charlotte, NC – In a battle of three of the country’s top talents, the nation’s No. 22-ranked team Cox Mill (2-0), according to USA Today, prevailed over Providence Day (5-1) by a score of 64-59.
Junior standout Wendell Moore Jr. dropped 27 points and hauled in a game-high 16 rebounds to fuel Cox Mill to the victory.
A sold-out gymnasium, with standing room only, poured into Berry Academy on Saturday to witness this primetime matchup featuring Providence Day senior Devon Dotson (Kansas signee) against Cox Mill senior Rechon Black (UNC signee) and Moore.
Fresh off an undisclosed contract extension earlier in the day, Wake Forest head coach Danny Manning and Kansas assistant Norm Roberts were among those in attendance. Moore, one of the highest-rated players in the class of 2019, narrowed his list of intended landing spots to ten schools earlier this month. Kansas and Wake Forest were among the programs listed.
Moore didn’t disappoint in the early going as the six-foot-six guard brought down the house after just two minutes of action. The junior received the ball in the right corner before driving baseline and throwing down a two-handed jam to give Cox Mill a 9-4 advantage.
Defensively, Cox Mill coach Jody Barbee deployed an effective half-court trap against Dotson in the first half. Junior guards Khalid Davis and Hunter Sedergren were the primary defenders, with Black keeping a watchful eye for chances to bring pressure. Dotson, who scored 13 in the game, struggled against Cox Mill’s opportunistic defense as the senior turned the ball over four times in the first half.
Providence Day senior Isaac Suffren connected with a corner three at the end of the first half to give the Chargers a 29-22 lead heading into the break. The unsigned six-foot-three guard scored 13 points in the half en route to a team-high 17 point performance. Suffren’s recent play has garnered the attention of Drexel, Elon, and USC Upstate according to Prep Hoops and Basketball Society insiders.
“I just got here and played. I know you got all the scouts in the crowd and everybody is hyping up these matchups, but I just go out there and play. [To] have fun and compete,” said Suffren.
After trailing by as many as seven, Cox Mill heightened the intensity with a full-court press that sparked a 7-0 scoring run in the third quarter. Providence Day sophomore John Miralia scored on consecutive possessions, and Dotson added a coast-to-coast basket before the end of the period to cut the Cox Mill lead to 43-41.
With Dotson finding a rhythm at the end of the third, Moore looked to Barbee for an opportunity to guard the Kansas recruit for the first time of the night.
“The big thing was to just keep him out of the lane,” said Moore. “And then when it came down to the crunch and we needed some stops, I told coach that I wanted to guard him and I was going to stop him.”
Moore showcased his defensive ability as the talented junior limited Dotson’s impact in the fourth quarter while also finding baskets in transition for the Chargers.
With just 40 seconds remaining in regulation, Providence Day trailed Cox Mill by a 60-56 margin. Displaying his resilience, Dotson stormed to the basket taking on two Cox Mill defenders at the rim and finishing with an impressive double-clutch lay-up plus the foul. Dotson converted the three-point play to cut the lead to 60-59.
After Cox Mill extended the lead back to 62-59, Providence Day had one last chance with 19 seconds remaining. Head coach Brian Field dialed up a successful play that freed up senior sharpshooter Trey Wertz at the three-point line with a chance to tie.
The attempt by Wertz rimmed out, but a rebound cleared out to Dotson made way for one final desperation heave. However, Dotson’s attempt was also off the mark as Cox Mill regained possession with two seconds remaining. Moore iced the game at the line as Cox Mill escaped with a hard-fought 64-59 win.
Providence Day will return to play at home on Tuesday against defending NCISAA 3A State Champs Greensboro Day.