Chandler Schmidt scored 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and wasn’t even voted his team’s most valuable player.
The Cabell Midland star ceded that honor to Teays Valley Christian’s Josiah Davis, who scored 25 points and pulled down three rebounds to lead the South to a 126-122 victory over the North Friday night in the North-South Basketball Classic at the South Charleston Community Center.
“I had fun and it was great to play with such a great group of players,” said Schmidt, who has signed with Navy. “It was good to play one last high school game. Now I’m ready for college.”
Three times Schmidt made shots to give the Cardinals the lead. Nitro’s Kolton Painter’s basket with 17:53 left in the game put the South ahead 64-63 and it never trailed again.
Davis was a crowd favorite. The West Virginia University signee made some spectacular dunks. He showed, though, he is more than just a high-flying player. He whipped a pass as if it were a baseball from near half court to Painter under the basket, drawing “aahs” from the fans as the Wildcats star easily scored.
“I give all glory to God,” Davis said. “Without Him, none of this is possible.”
Davis said he enjoyed being a teammate with Schmidt. A third NCAA Division I signee, Poca’s Isaac McKneely, a Virginia recruit, originally was on the South roster but missed the game because he attended a wedding.
“He holds me accountable,” Davis said of Schmidt. “He’s a great player and I like playing together with him.”
The game was close most of the way. The South led 80-70 with 12:34 left, but the North rallied within 87-85 after a basket by Clarksburg Notre Dame’s Jaidyn West with 10:04 to play, but Schmidt scored from the lane to spark an 8-2 run.
The South extended the lead to as many as 12 points before a late rally by the North made the margin four points to end the game.
“To be able to come together in such a short amount of time was amazing,” Davis said of his team, which practiced once together. “[The North] had tremendous athletes from the front of the bench to the end of the bench.”
Schmidt, too, said he was surprised by how well the teams played together despite such a limited practice time. He also said that even though the game didn’t count in the standings, the South had a huge desire to win.
“We talked about it before the game,” Schmidt said. “We talked about it at halftime. We talked about playing good defense and making plays.”
Herbert Hoover’s Devin Hatfield, who also is playing in Saturday’s North-South football game, scored 23 points. Zane McCarty of George Washington scored 14, Tanner Whitten of Wyoming East 12, and Shad Sauvage of James Monroe 10.
West led the North, which had won the two previous games, with 25 points. Parkersburg South’s Ashton Mooney scored 16 points, Grafton’s Ryan Maier and Webster County’s Rye Gadd scored 14 each and Ryan Reasbeck of Wheeling Central 12. Grant Barnhart of St. Marys grabbed 10 rebounds.
The South leads the series 29-9.