It has been a terrific season for Tri-City Christian High School, as they have gone undefeated this high school season - in hopes for a state title amongst charter schools. Tri-City Christian's only competition this season has been Skyline Prep, and the two teams understand that, to win it all, each will have to defeat the other en route to the championship. Tri-City Christian is definitely the favorite after first defeating Skyline Prep at home earlier this season, and then doing it again on Saturday evening at South Mountain Junior College.
In front of another standing-room only crowd, Tri-City Christian (17-0) would get another excellent performance from 6-foot-7 senior do-it-all wing Brock Gardner (Liberty University signee) to defeat Skyline Prep, 78-68.
Skyline Prep (18-2) would come out fired up in this one, led by the play of superb 6-foot sophomore guard Amari Hudson. Hudson is one of the state's elite 2018 prospects, and he would catch fire in the game's first half - scoring 14 points of his team's 37 total points. Skyline would take a narrow 37-34 lead into halftime.
Brock Gardner would start the game with a nice two-handed dunk off an alley-oop pass, but he would not look as dominant in the game's first half, as he had in the two team's previous meeting. Not yet, but there would still be a second half left to play.
In the third period, 6-foot-8 junior post Nigel Shadd would get Tri-City Christian going quickly with a nice one-handed dunk in the post. After a steal by Brock Gardner and a missed transition layup, Gardner would collect three offensive rebounds on his own missed shot and convert a basket - tieing the game at 41 all with 4:44 left to play in the third.
Amari Hudson would come right back with a nice up-and-under layup for his team to tie the score again with 4:07 left to play in the period, but Gardner would take over the third period for Tri-City Christian, much like we have seen all season - giving Tri-City Christian a nice 55-47 lead heading into the fourth period.
With 7:24 left to play in the game, Gardner would throw down a strong two-handed dunk in traffic - making a statement for his team and putting the momentum strongly in the hands of Tri-City.
After a technical foul would be called on Skyline's 6-foot-7 senior forward Seth Mason with 6 minutes left to play, he and Amari Hudson would go to the bench during the most important portion of the game. But the Skyline bench would play inspired basketball and get their team back into the fold. Skyline would go on a 8-0 run - making the game very interesting late.
But a three-point play by Brock Gardner late, and another offensive rebound and basket by Gardner, after a missed three-point play opportunity by Nigel Shadd, would give Tri-City Christian a nice 71-63 lead late. Tri City would eventually pull out the big victory again - keeping them as the big favorite to win it all this season.