Carlisle, Wakefield Win 4-A Title

<b>RALEIGH, N.C. –</b> Wakefield High School was facing an opponent who had played 7 times for the state title in North Carolina. In its initial appearance in the championship game, Wakefield beat the odds.

It was one of the most electric basketball atmospheres we've seen all year on the high school level. Saturday, at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, N.C., Wakefield rallied to defeat state power Winston-Salem Reynolds 48-46 in the 4-A title game.

A conservative guess puts about 7,000 fans in Reynolds Coliseum for the game and it was hotly contested. Reynolds entered the game as the prohibitive favorite to capture the school's 6th state title. Wakefield, meanwhile, has only been in existence as a school for four years. Classic mismatch turned instant classic.

Howard West's Reynolds team featured forward Joe Fulp, a Liberty signee, and forward Jarhon Giddings who is headed to Richmond. Up and down the roster, there are possibly two more guys who could find Division I homes. The Demons entered the game 25-4 while Wakefield was 25-3 and didn't appear in any state poll until after the playoffs.

Reynolds got off to a fast start as Fulp seemed intent on showing that he was the best player in the game. At the half, Reynolds was up by 7 points and held that advantage through 3 quarters as Fulp would finish with 18 points and 7 rebounds.

Reynolds scored just 14 points in the second half. Wakefield scored 17 in the final quarter to rally for the win.

All season long, Wakefield won with the team concept driving them to victory. The best college prospect on the squad is 6-9 junior center Sam Carlisle. In the title game, Carlisle scored 15 points and had 7 rebounds. Right now, he's a low-to-mid-major college prospect if he improves his game.

Carlisle has size and goes about 230. He's not overly athletic and certainly not polished inside but he's capable of scoring when put in position. Schools will want to see him get more active on the glass – among other things – but he's got a chance and without him, Wakefield doesn't win on Saturday. In the past, we've seen him make a few shots on the perimeter too.

Elhadji N'Diaye (big bucket late in the game), Kerry Atkinson (17 rebounds) and Jordan Coston (steals and heart) each played a role in the win. Each is receiving attention at the D-II and D-III levels from what we gathered.

Reynolds' Fulp will have a chance to get on the floor early for Liberty because he's an energy guy who likes to run and rebound. Giddings, a perimeter oriented forward, had 13 and 12 in the loss. He's not reached his potential as a prospect and he's adding weight which will help him become a better inside presence in college.

Wakefield finished its season on a 13-game winning streak.

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