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For a varsity boys basketball program in just its second year of existence, Wilson Prep took a couple of big steps forward this week with a chance at another Monday night.
The Tigers defeated Bull City Prep, a well-known independent prep team, 73-61 on Saturday at WPA. Two days earlier on their own floor, the Tigers knocked highly regarded Word of God Christian Academy of Raleigh, 83-67, in the first meeting of the teams. The Holy Rams will get their chance at revenge Monday night when they host the rematch.
Word of God joined the Carolina Athletic Association for Schools of Choice — the third-year statewide association that Wilson Prep joined last year as it fielded varsity teams for the first time — earlier this year. Word of God, the alma mater of NBA star John Wall, was a longtime rival of Greenfield in the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association ranks but was expelled from the NCISAA in 2014 for allegedly recruiting. Since then, WOG has been an independent program but one that still features plenty of talent in its roster.
Thus, the win was significant for Wilson Prep not only because of WOG’s high profile but also because the Holy Rams are now conference rivals of the Tigers in the CAASC’s Triangle Athletic Conference.
And Wilson Prep is now a sparkling 6-0 in league games and 12-4 overall with four conference games remaining.
“With us playing these types of teams, we want to our school to be known not only academically, but also athletically as a top school in the state,” said Terry Byrd, Wilson Prep’s assistant athletic director.
The Tigers went 16-7 in their first season a year ago, winning the Capital City East Conference regular-season title but losing to Durham Mount Zion Christian in the tournament final. Wilson Prep exited the CAASC playoffs in the quarterfinals.
Head coach Corwin Woodard, who started the program at the middle school level, stepped aside as Craig Wilson took the reins with Woodard serving as assistant coach this season. But nine of the 13 players from last year’s team are back, including seniors Tyronne Whitaker and Righteous Tomlin, the Tigers’ top two scorers at 19.5 and 19.0 points per game, respectively.
Against Bull City Prep, Tomlin sparked the Tigers with 26 points and 10 rebounds. Whitaker poured in 20 points, Sean Sanders 10 and Cody Taylor nine.
Denardrick Gray contributed six rebounds, six assists and four blocks. Taylor also grabbed six rebounds, while Whitaker dished out five assists.
The Tigers relied upon explosive second and fourth quarters that totaled 49 points. Trailing 17-13 after the first quarter, Wilson Prep piled up 28 points in the second quarter and grabbed a 41-31 halftime lead. The Tigers outscored Bull City 21-11 the final quarter.
After Monday’s Triangle Athletic Conference game at Word of God, Wilson Prep has two games remaining against conference foe LifeSpring Academy of Cary, including Tuesday’s game in Cary, as well as home conference game against the Raleigh Hawks home school team.
A pair of home-and-home games versus Mount Zion highlight the remaining nonconference schedule.
With 11 seniors that will be part of Wilson Prep’s first graduating class this spring, there is no time like the present for the Tigers to make more history on the court.
BULL CITY PREP (61)
Scoring not available
WILSON PREP (73)
Whitaker 20, Gray 2,Taylor 9, Tomlin 26, Blackston 6, Sanders 10.
Score by quarters:
Bull City Prep 17 14 19 11 — 61
Wilson Prep 13 28 11 21 — 73