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The Greenfield School varsity boys basketball team completed its three-year consecutive run of the 1-A/2-A Coastal Plain Independents Conference regular-season and tournament championships with a 87-71 victory over archrival Wayne Country Day School on Friday night in the Greenfield gym.
The Knights (29-4) raced to a quick 20-7 lead in the first quarter, but WCDS pushed back and got within 40-35 at halftime. But the Knights never let the Chargers (16-11) get within one possession in the game.
“We jumped out to lead and we relaxed,” Greenfield head coach Rob Salter said. “Wayne can really shoot the basketball and they got guys that can put it on the floor and they did a good job at driving at us all night.”
The Knights were efficient at the free-throw line by knocking down 20 of their 26 shots to seal their 19th win in a row. The win was also the seventh straight win over Wayne Country Day.
“It feels great,” said Greenfield junior and Goldsboro resident Jacari Outlaw, whose older brother, Javon Outlaw, plays for the Chargers. “To beat them three times, it’s pretty tough to do. They gave us a pretty good run the first time. We knew they were going to come in harder this time so that’s why we came to play.”
Junior Creighton Lebo led the way for the Knights with 24 points, seven rebounds and four steals to take home CPIC tournament MVP honors to go along with conference player of the year.
“It’s crazy, I didn’t think I was going to get it. I thought Jacari was going to get it,” Lebo said. “It’s a blessing. I put in a lot of hard work so I’m happy, but I’m more happy about us getting a championship and a win tonight.”
Outlaw was both all-conference and all-tournament after putting in 16 points, grabbing eight boards and three assists in Friday night’s game. Salter applauded the play of junior guard Collin Guilford, who had 19 points, four assists and two steals to make the all-tournament and all-conference team. Junior Trey Pittman, who was also named all-conference, knocked in 11 points for the Knights.
Sophomore Jaden Cooper and senior Marcus Metcalf both finished with 17 points for WCDS while junior Linwood Grandy muscled his way to 15 points.All three earned all-tournament and all-conference acclaim.
Salter and the Knights now turn their attention to winning the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A state title for the first time since 2006 as the Knights head into the postseason with their best record in the last decade.
The brackets will be released Sunday and Greenfield is expected to be the 1-A top seed.
“We’ve had a really special regular season,” Salters said. “We’re excited, we’ll be ready for next week.”
Greenfield was the No. 1 seed for the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A playoffs when the brackets were unveiled Sunday. The Knights will play Thursday against the winner of the first-round matchup between Lee Christian and Hobgood Academy on Tuesday.
WAYNE COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL (71)
Raven 9, Grandy 15, Whitfield 8, Cooper 17, Metcalf 17, Outlaw 5.
Lebo 24, Guilford 19, Pitman 11, Baker, Outlaw 16, Bailey 7, Lynch 10.
Score by quarters:
WCD 12 23 15 21 — 71
Greenfield 20 20 19 28 — 87