Expectations for Providence Day’s boys’ basketball team were less than lofty entering this season after the Chargers lost three Division I players to graduation, but coach Brian Field and his bunch didn’t listen to the outsiders and naysayers.
Many picked Providence Day to finish third in the CISAA, but the Chargers won the conference for the fifth year in a row. They also won the Hoodie’s House Tournament, where they beat three Top 25 nationally ranked teams. No. 3-seeded Providence Day advanced all the way to the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 3A state semifinals, where it fell 75-69 to No. 2-seeded Wesleyan Christian Academy on Feb. 24 at Charlotte Country Day.
Junior point guard Devon Dotson led Providence Day with 32 points. Junior combo guard Trey Wertz, who tweaked his ankle, added 19 points, and junior forward Isaac Suffren chipped in 11 points.
Providence Day overcame a four-point halftime deficit when it exploded with an offensive burst in the third quarter, outscoring Wesleyan 24-17 to take a 56-53 lead going into the final period. Field said the difference in the third quarter was shots were falling that weren’t going in during the first half.
Unfortunately for the Chargers, they couldn’t sustain that high level of offensive production in the fourth quarter and were gradually worn down by the Trojans.
The Chargers finished the season with a 23-11 (9-1 CISAA) record and made it to the Final Four for the third year in a row.
“They’re a fun group to be around,” Field said. “We went into a lot of games this year where on paper we were an underdog. These guys have big hearts, and they like playing against better players and good teams. One thing is for sure they don’t give up. They fight. I’m proud of that. That’s something we try to talk about, and they really buy into that.”
Providence Day only loses forward Ben Ferris to graduation, while the rest of the roster and core nucleus of talent returns. They expect to get freshmen Luke Stankavage and Jacolbe Cowan back healthy after both went down with season-ending injuries.
The Chargers should be the frontrunner to win the CISAA and contend for a state championship next season.