PAC Boys: UCA emerges with league title

Ashton Troutman of UCA lets out a big yell prior to the buzzer going off in a victory against top-seeded Providence Grove.

RANDLEMAN – Uwharrie Charter Academy put together a solid boys’ basketball campaign in the Piedmont Athletic Conference, and the Eagles might have saved their best for late in the season.

Uwharrie Charter Academy team members celebrate the tournament championship against Providence Grove on Feb. 18 at Randleman. PJ WARD-BROWN/NORTH STATE JOURNAL

They capped this part of the surge by winning the PAC Tournament with Friday night’s 66-52 toppling of regular-season champion Providence Grove.

Coach Brad Monroe’s team won three of its last four regular-season games before last week’s three-game sweep in the conference tournament while holding the No. 3 seed. The Eagles (18-6) were set to embark on play in the Class 1-A state playoffs this week.

In the title game, Ashton Troutman poured in 26 points, while Jordan Harrison had 16 points and Pierce Leonard added 11 points.

Troutman, a post player, was too much of a load for the Patriots.

“We have to play almost perfect weak-side defense to control him,” Providence Grove coach Wes Luther said.

UCA led for a large portion of the title game, but was up just 42-37 after three quarters.

“They made the shots we didn’t make,” Luther said. “Ultimately, we got to make shots.”

Zane Caudle racked up 22 points and Chase Whitaker had 12 points for Providence Grove. The Patriots didn’t convert enough on free throws, drawing Luther’s concern.

Uwharrie Charter Academy’s Jordan Harrison lays the ball up against Providence Grove’s Zane Cheek, right, during the PAC Tournament championship game. PJ WARD-BROWN/NORTH STATE JOURNAL

UCA and Providence Grove split two regular-season meetings, with the road team winning each of those.

UCA won 72-43 at home against sixth-seeded Wheatmore in the tournament quarterfinals before going to second-seeded Trinity and pulling out a 66-57 victory.

Providence Grove, which received a bye in the quarterfinals, survived a 73-72 overtime semifinal scare from visiting Randleman, the No. 4 seed.

Luke Thomas tallied 24 points, Caudle had 17 points and Michael Fee added 10 points in the semifinal. The Patriots had won the first outright boys’ basketball regular-season conference championship in school history.

Randleman’s Lucas Gneiting and Dylan Wheatley both had 15 points, Baylor Petty notched 13 points and Christian Long scored 12 points in the semifinal.

By Randolph Record