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The 2017-18 Greenfield School varsity boys basketball team, in the words of veteran head coach Rob Salter, is one of his tallest and most talented.
“The sophomores have a chance to be really good,” Salter adds, “but they have got to believe in themselves. But we are really learning on our two horses. They bring it every night — that’s what they do.”
The “horses” — the senior tandem of 6-foot-5 Coby White and 6-6 Elijah McCadden — brought it Monday night in the Greenfield gymnasium. They combined for 46 points and 21 rebounds to lead the Knights to an 81-45 triumph against Wayne Christian in the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A Coastal Plain Independents Conference opener for both teams.
White, who has signed with the North Carolina Tar Heels, responded with his first triple-double (30 points, 12 rebounds, 13 assists) as the Knights hiked their record to 3-2 going into Tuesday night’s home assignment against highly regarded United Faith of Charlotte. Wayne Christian, without three starters for academic reasons, departed 1-4.
McCadden complemented with 16 points and nine rebounds. Also scoring in double figures were sophomore long-distance threat Dji Bailey with 12 points and Jacari Outlaw with 10. Every Greenfield player scored with the exception of Olie Andeason, a 6-8 junior from Denmark, who had his chances.
White turned the proverbial corner in his bid for his career triple-double at the outset of the second half. He poured in the Knights’ first 10 points and outscored the smaller Eagles, 10-3, in the first three and one-half minutes.
Overlooked was White’s defense against Wayne Christian eighth-grader Jayden Young, who fired in all 16 of his points in the first half. He failed to connect on 11 second-half shots from the floor.
“He had Mr.Coby White on him,” explained Victor Young, Wayne Christian’s head coach and Jayden Young’s father. “That changes everything.”
“We’ve got a good group of guys,” White downplayed the triple-double. “It was fun getting everybody involved and seeing them having fun. This is fun group. It’s a young group but we’re getting there. We played pretty good. We played good defense the second half.”
Behind Jayden Young and fluid senior guard Darrian Oates, the Eagles netted the first five points. Providing Greenfield’s first six points on a pair of 3-pointers was Outlaw. The Knights trailed 8-6 when White ignited an 8-0 spree that vaulted Greenfield out front for keeps.
Trailing 22-12, the Eagles came as close as 25-17 in the second quarter. But four baskets from White and three each from McCadden, who has signed with Georgia Southern, and Bailey gunned Greenfield to a 45-29 halftime lead.
Defense was prevalent in the second half. The Eagles were limited to 16 points and the Knights first doubled the score at 70-35.
Oates drilled in 21 points to lead the Eagles.
“We can compete a little better with all of our players,” Coach Young said. “But this (Greenfield) team is one of the best I’ve seen. You can try to tame them, but ...”
WAYNE CHRISTIAN (45)
Oates 21, Young 16, Jackson 6, Johnson, Davis 2, Wallace.
White 30, McCadden 16, Outlaw 10, Bailey 12, Foster 4, Pittman 3, Baker 6, Andreason.
Score by quarters: