It’ll go down as either one of the best comebacks in HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational history or one of the biggest collapses. Waxhaw Cuthbertson rallied from a 14-point halftime deficit against Kinston — in the process, shutting out the Vikings in the fourth quarter — and won, 50-47, in a Summit Hospitality bracket elimination game Friday afternoon.
The Cavaliers (10-1) trailed 38-24 at halftime against the Vikings (9-2) in what was a rematch of last season’s NCHSAA 2A championship game. However, Cuthbertson held Kinston to nine points in the third quarter and pitched a shutout in the final frame to escape with the victory.
The Cavaliers will face the Holly Springs at 11 a.m. on Saturday in the fifth-place game of the Summit bracket. Kinston was eliminated from the HSOT for the second time in three seasons.
Cuthbertson coach Mike Helms was understandably excited about his team’s performance.
“What a second half; I couldn’t be prouder of my kids,” Helms said. “If you’d told me at halftime we’d only give up nine points in the second half, I wouldn’t have took that bet.”
The Cavaliers were led by Shelton Mitchell’s 19 points; Isiah Cureton added 10 points for Cuthbertson.
Kinston was paced by Denzel Keyes’ double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds.
“Obviously, we’re pretty disappointed with the outcome of today,” Kinston coach Perry Tyndall said. “In the second half, we got all out of sorts and didn’t handle the pressure well. We got out-physicalled a little bit.”
End 1Q: Kinston 19, Cuthbertson 11
Halftime: Kinston 38, Cuthbertson 24: KHS led by Denzel Keyes with 12 points and 6 rebounds, along with Brandon Ingram and Tiquan Canady with 6 each; Cuthbertson paced by Shelton Mitchell’s 11 points
End 3Q: Kinston 47, Cuthbertson 36
6:10 4Q: Kinston 47, Cuthbertson 40
5:37 4Q: Kinston 47, Cuthbertson 43; Cavaliers on 9-0 run
4:25 4Q: Kinston 47, Cuthbertson 46; Cavs on 12-0 run
3:15 4Q: Kinston 47, Cuthbertson 46
2:37 4Q: Cuthbertson 48, Kinston 47
Cuthbertson 11 13 12 14 – 50
Kinston 19 19 9 0 — 47
Cuthbertson: Shelton Mitchell 19, Isiah Cureton 10, Luciius McMillon 9, Emmitt Afam 8, Jorden Hardrick 2, Justin Austin 2.
Kinston: Denzel Keyes 16, Andrew Lopez 8, Brandon Ingram 6, Darnell Dunn 6, Tiquan Canady 6, VeQuain Joyner 3, Josh Dawson 2.