By Brent Cooper
Raleigh, NC – The Chatham Charter Knights lost a heartbreaker to Hayesville High School in the 1A Boys State basketball title game 54-43 in Overtime on Saturday afternoon, March 12, 2022 at on Kay Yow Court in Jim Valvano Arena at Reynolds Coliseum on the campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. The Knights jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first six minutes of the opening quarter on a put back, nifty reverse layup, and a 3-pointer by freshman Knights Guard Beau Harvey who led the Knights with 16 points on the night. A basket by Amir Mapp and the back end of a two shot foul by Beau Harvey helped the Knights build a 11-6 lead after one quarter of play.
A basket by Knights sophomore Guard Aidan Allred on a goaltending by Yellow Jackets center Jake McTaggart increased the Knights’ lead to 13-6 with just over six minutes to play in the second quarter. However, the Yellow Jackets awakened over the next minute and a half to cut the Knights’ lead to 13-11 with just under five minutes to play, leading Knights’ Head Coach Jason Messier to stem the Yellow Jackets’ momentum by calling a time out. Following the Chatham Charter time out, the Knights would go on to outscore the Yellow Jackets 8-3 the remainder of the first half to take a 21-14 lead to the half. Knights junior forward Adam Harvey got into the scoring column with a basket with just over three minutes to play in the first half to extend the Knights’ lead to 15-11. Adam Harvey then added two free throws shortly after to extend the Knights’ lead to 17-11. Beau Harvey added two more baskets over the next two minutes to extend the Knights’ lead to 10, their largest of the night, at 21-11. Yellow Jackets center Jake McTaggart would score in the paint while getting fouled, and added the ensuing free throw to cut into the Knights’ lead right with just under a minute left in the first half to give the Yellow Jackets a slimmer of momentum headed to the half.
The first half was dominated by the Chatham Charter Knights on both ends of the court. Offensively Beau and Adam Harney scored 12 and 5 points respectively. Defensively, a full court press and the in the paint, last line of defense presence of Brennen Oldham the Knights 6’6” Freshman Center, frustrated the Yellow Jackets throughout the first half and into the third quarter. Oldham would lead the Knights with 12 rebounds and three blocked shots on the night, including the game saving blocked shot at the buzzer at the time to send the game to Overtime.
An early 3-Ponter in the first minute of the second half by Yellow Jackets Guard Junior Guard Logan Caldwell appeared to give the Yellow Jackets new life cutting the Knights once 10 point first half lead to four. However, a minute and a half later, Adam Harvey’s bucket extended the Knights’ lead back to six at 23-17. Yellow Jackets Point Guard Kolbe Ashe broke through with his first 2-pointer on the night with just under three minutes remaining in the third to cut the Knights’ lead to 24-21. However, Beau Harvey answered right back with a bucket of his own extending the Knights’ lead to 26-21 with just over two minutes to play in the third quarter. After a bucket by Adam Harvey to extend the Knights’ lead back to seven at 28-21 with just over a minute to go in the third quarter, Ashe closed the third quarter scoring with two Free Throws with just under a minute to go in the third quarter, which capped off the third quarter scoring with the Knights leading 28-23 headed to the fourth quarter. Ashe’s late free throws to close the scoring in the third quarter would become an all too familiar sight for the remainder of the night as Ashe would go on to shoot and make 13 of his next 14 free throws later in Overtime to seal the 1A State Championship for the Yellow Jackets.
The Knights dominated throughout the first three quarters and into the fourth quarter until the Yellow Jackets tied the game on and old-fashioned three-point play at 28-28 with just under seven minutes left in regulation on a basket and free throw by Yellow Jackets guard Kolbe Ashe who led all scorers with 29 points. Following a stop on defense, Ashe added a foul line jumper on the Yellow Jackets next possession to give Hayesville HS its first lead of the game at 30-28.
For the remainder of the fourth quarter, the Knights and Yellow Jackets fought back and forth through seven ties or lead changes over the course of the final 5:30 minutes of regulation before proceeding into Overtime tied at 37-37. The Yellow Jackets nearly ended it in walk off fashion at the buzzer. However, Knights center Brennen Oldham had other ideas. As he had done throughout the night, Oldham provided the last line of defense and protected the rim, swatting away a Yellow Jackets shot in the paint from the right side of the rim as time expired to send the Knights and Yellow Jackets into overtime.
In overtime, the Yellow Jackets scored the first nine points, starting with a free throw less than 20 seconds into overtime by Yellow Jackets starting center Jake McTaggart, to give the Yellow Jackets a 38-37 lead. Following continued great defense by McTaggart on the defensive end, McTaggart hit a turnaround jumper to extend the Yellow Jackets lead to 40-37. Following a McTaggart steal on the next Knights’ possession, Ashe began a free throw shooting marathon for the remainder of overtime by connecting on six straight free throws to extend the Knights’ lead to 46-37 before Knights guard Aamir Mapp hit the first of his two 3-Pointers in overtime to cut the Yellow Jackets lead to 46-40. Ashe hit four more free throws following Mapp’s 3-pointer, his tenth made free throw in a row in overtime, before Mapp connected on a another 3-pointer for the Knights to cut the Yellow Jackets lead to 50-43 with under a minute remaining in overtime. Ashe then added two more free throws to extend his made free throw streak in overtime to 12 and extend the Yellow Jackets lead to 52-43. The Knights would go scoreless following Mapp’s second 3-pointer in overtime, for the remainder of overtime in falling to the Yellow Jackets 54-43. Mapp scored Chatham Charter’s only six points in overtime. With the heartbreaking loss in the 1A Boys State Championship, the Chatham Charter Knight closed one of the greatest boys basketball seasons in Chatham County history at 33-2. With the dramatic fourth quarter comeback and domination of overtime, the Hayesville High School Yellow Jackets closed their undefeated season at 28-0.
Freshman Beau Harvey was named Most Outstanding Player for the Eastern Regional Champion Chatham Charter Knights after tallying 16 points on the night. Junior Adam Harvey added 11 points, while junior Amir Mapp added 10 points including the Knights’ only points in overtime via his two 3-Pointers.
Yellow Jackets senior guard Kolbe Ashe was named the game’s Most Valuable Player after hitting 13-of 14 free throws in overtime and scoring 24 of his game high 29 points in the fourth quarter and overtime. Jake McTaggart added 18 points and 18 rebounds to earn the Most Outstanding Player Award.
Chatham Charter had no seniors on its roster and started two freshman, Beau Harvey and Brennen Oldham. Look for the Knights to use this heartbreaking defeat to potentially fuel another 1A Boys Basketball Championship Game appearance in 2022-23.