We continued on throughout the early part of the evening, as Concord Academy and Asheville School took the court for a terrific showdown. Concord Academy was missing a key player in Noah Van Bibber, but Concord had veterans that could step up to the challenge. The size and playmaking of Asheville School came out strong early to gain the early 16-12 lead. They were able to get attack the boards well and get second-chance points. But Concord Academy started to grind away and ultimately took the lead in the second quarter behind players like 2023 Sergej Cvetkovic and 2022 DJ Cuttino making plays and getting to the line. Their strong play helped them hold a 29-24 halftime lead.

Second half, Asheville School come out strong and quickly erased the lead. 2023 Derin Saran and 2023 Gus Yalden continued to play well while others were knocking down shots as well. They were able to regain their lead and eventually expand it to double-digits in the fourth quarter. But credit to Concord Academy, who never gave in and worked hard to chip away at the lead in the fourth. Eventually getting it into single digits, Kany Tchanda and others made tough plays to get themselves within a basket with 30 seconds left. But in the end, Asheville School was able to seal it from the line, ultimately winning 62-58.

Asheville School:
Gus Yalden 19pts, 13rebs
Derin Saran 14pts, 10rebs, 5asts
Kaden Holdbrook 16pts

Kany Tchanda 22pts, 5rebs
DJ Cuttino 17pts, 2stls
Jayden Munson 7pts, 3asts

POB’s Eye Catchers:

Asheville School:
2023 Gus Yalden: Ranked as one of the top players in the state, Yalden really showcased his entire skillset and impact on the court. Love his ability to be a scorer from multiple levels, stretching the defense well, but also using his body to battle in the paint. Also love his ability to get his hands and keep the ball active off the rebound, really showing great instincts in making plays off the boards.

2023 Derin Saran: It was just over a year ago watching Saran and we were impressed and he has continued to elevate his play and get better. Saran has the floor general sense, playing under control with the ball in his hands, creating and getting into the lane well

Concord Academy:
2024 Kany Tchanda: We just released our 2024 rankings and Tchanda cracked the Top 5 and if you watch how he operates on the court, one can see why. He is such a skilled forward at 6’8, understanding how to impact the floor on both sides, and is incredibly skilled for his size and not to mention athletic. He continues to expand his game every time he is on the court and it is just a matter of time before schools coming running his way.

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