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Coleman, NCA Cruise In Home Opener

By Marcus Helton, 12/01/21, 2:30PM EST


The new-look Eagles ran past Springdale Prep.

CAMP SPRINGS, MD - Aside from a brief window in the opening minute - after visiting Springdale Prep (Md.) scored the game’s first basket - National Christian Academy (Md.) was in complete control of Tuesday’s home opener, cruising to an 82-46 victory.

“It was our season opener, so we had to come out with a bang,” NCA 2023 guard Isaiah Coleman said. “We couldn’t let our fans down, you know what I mean? So we came out with a bang; Coach Kenny [Johnson] said he wants to be known as the toughest team in the country, and that’s what we did.”

Coleman scored 20 points in just three quarters to lead the Eagles, while 2022 guard Tekao Carpenter had 10 and 2022 guard Amare Johnson finished with 9 in front of a vocal crowd at New Chapel Baptist Church, where the Eagles are playing their home games this season.

Coleman is coming off a strong spring and summer where he emerged as a national recruit, picking up offers from Georgetown, Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Seton Hall, VCU and Xavier, among others.

The 6-foot-5, 180-pounder had it all working offensively on Tuesday, giving Springdale matchup issues all over the floor.

“I’m trying to become a leader,” he said. “I mean, everybody knows I can score and I can do everything on and off the court; I’m trying to help my teammates be their best. I’m trying to prove my point on the defensive end and get my defense a little better, my handle a little better and explode to the rim more.”

After Springdale 2023 forward Dashaun Johnson scored the game’s opening bucket, Amare Johnson gave his team the lead with a 3-pointer, and the Eagles never trailed again. They led 25-12 after one quarter, 40-20 at the half, and 64-30 after three quarters.

“Defensively we’re trying to get better and really just locking in and being fundamentally sound,” Kenny Johnson said. “So I thought the guys did a good job. We almost reached our deflection goal for the half that we set, so anytime we’re close to that, we know we’re probably in a pretty good position. I thought we did a good job of sharing the basketball tonight, You never know what you’re going to get in your home season opener, but I thought the guys stayed locked in with each other and really focused in.”

2024 wing Paul Gross led Springdale Prep with 20 points, while 2024 guard Kadon Fossett had 9 and 2024 guard Elwyne Wordlaw 8.

“We’re excited about the season and we’re excited to keep getting better,” Johnson said. ”I think that’s a good team that we played; I don’t think the score is indicative of how good that team is - you know, its was a long way to travel getting out here. But we’re just going to make sure that we stay locked in and try to continue to get better.


NCA’s Carpenter impressed with his energy on both ends of the floor, particularly on the defensive end.

“I’m a dog,” he said. “I like to guard the best player on the court - I like to do that. That’s what I love to do, and show everybody that I can do that; lock them down and make them feel like they can’t do nothing against me.”

NCA 2022 Brandon Hilliard and 2023 Turner Harris are athletic wings to keep an eye on, and 2024 guard Devin Minor looked good while playing big minutes at the point in the second half.  He's got very nice vision and quickness in the halfcourt.

National Christian and Springdale Prep are both members of the new Metro Private School Conference.