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Archer falls short in first big showcase test

Staff Photo: John Bohn Archer High School's Aubrey Overby (5) reaches for an offensive rebound with Charlotte Christian's Ryan Potocnik (33) during the first period of a game in the Hilton Tournament played in Norcross Friday.

Staff Photo: John Bohn Archer High School's Aubrey Overby (5) reaches for an offensive rebound with Charlotte Christian's Ryan Potocnik (33) during the first period of a game in the Hilton Tournament played in Norcross Friday.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Archer High School's Randall Smith (3) drives the ball while covered by Charlotte Christian's Bobby Phills (4) during the first period of the opening game in the Hilton Tournament held in Norcross Friday.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Archer High Schoo's Kelvin Nwanze (14) battles for an offensive rebound with Charlotte Christian players Ryan Potonik (33) and Bobby Phills (4) during the first period of their game in the Hilton Tournament played at Norcross Friday.

NORCROSS -- Charlotte Christian had a little too much firepower and experience for Archer on Friday night. Now Norcross will get a chance at the Knights.

Norcross, a perennial power coming off a fourth Class AAAAA state championships, is used to playing powerful out-of-state teams in showcase events.

It was a completely new experience for a three-year school like Archer, though.

"It was our first time under the lights in an event like this," coach Tim Watkins said. "We'll learn from this and be better for it from now on."

Archer, which made a Cinderella trip to the state tournament a year ago, led by six points early on and was within four points late in the third quarter. But Charlotte Christian (13-5) sprinted away for a 68-47 victory.

After Archer (12-7) cut a deficit that had once been 11 points down to 42-38, Charlotte Christian went on a 19-5 run to put the game out of reach and then coasted to victory.

Archer lost despite an impressive performance from Bryan Hamlet. The junior guard had a game-high 19 points and helped hold down Charlotte Christian junior standout Patrick Rooks, who has committed to Clemson.

"(Hamlet) had a good game on both ends of the court," Watkins said.

Rooks scored just six points, all in the first quarter.

But three other Knights reached double figures, with Ryan Potocnik scoring 15, Trey Phills getting 13 and Ben Richter contributing 12.

With Hamlet scoring seven of the points, Archer led 14-8 before Charlotte Christian used a 14-2 run to go up 22-16.

The Tigers were down 32-25 at halftime and 40-29 in the third quarter before going on a 9-2 run to get back within four points.

Then Charlotte Christian regained control and did so decisively.

"It was a game of runs," Watkins said.

While Hamlet was the only Archer player to get it going offensively, the Tigers enjoyed an edge on the boards and 6-foot-8 junior Aubrey Overby grabbed a game-high eight rebounds. He had six points and Tramique Anderson scored seven.

"It was an honor to be selected to play in an event like this," Watkins said. "We knew that Charlotte Christian was a very good team."

Archer, 7-3 and third behind Shiloh and Berkmar in Region 8-AAAAA, plays at Parkview Saturday and then is at South Gwinnett on Tuesday.

The Norcross-Charlotte Christian clash is the fourth of five games Saturday in the Hilton Invitational. The scheduled start time is 7 p.m.