Very quickly, Faith Christian guard Dustin Hendricks hit his career mark Friday night: 1,000 total points.
Soon after that, a night that could have highlighted the senior’s accomplishments all too much resembled the worst part of his career at Faith Christian.
Hendricks might have a millennium worth of points, but after Rocky Mount Academy’s 66-53 victory at Faith Christian School, Hendricks still doesn’t have a win on the hard court against his neighboring rival.
It was Hendricks’ night.
It was Elijah McCadden’s game.
McCadden, an eighth-grader at Rocky Mount Academy, finished with 17 points, 11 assists and 12 rebounds.
“He has got the body control and the vision that you can’t teach,” Rocky Mount Academy coach Scott Dunn said. “Some of the things he does just amaze me. ... He’s mature beyond his age. He hasn’t even begun to understand his potential yet.”
McCadden whipped passes through traffic with his long wingspan, always finding an open teammate. He fueled a second-half run after Faith Christian (10-9, 1-5 Eastern Plains Independent Conference) pulled within one at halftime.
Rocky Mount Academy (7-3, 4-1), led by McCadden on offense and defense at the top of the press, went on an 18-2 run to start the second half and didn’t allow the Patriots to score from the field for the first 6:12.
“We can’t simulate that,” Faith Christian coach Robert Brothers said of the Eagles’ defensive pressure. “They’ve got such long arms, and we tried to show them what (Rocky Mount Academy) were going to do. You’ve got to play against it a little bit in order to face it.”
Faith Christian pulled within five to start the fourth quarter before McCadden scored seven points and the final five of the game for Rocky Mount Academy.
“I usually look to pass first,” McCadden said. “It (has) just always been what I do. I distribute the ball better than I score.”
R.M. Academy 35 Faith Christian 28
Rocky Mount Academy (2-8, 1-2) had won just one game prior to Friday, but the Eagles’ tough schedule finally paid off in the form of their first conference victory.
“We’ve always had that challenge,” forward Katie Gutshall said. “I think it’s better for us because it better prepares us.”
Six different players scored for Rocky Mount Academy and two players scored in double figures as the Eagles led by at least four through the fourth quarter.
Justin Hite can be reached at 407-9951 or firstname.lastname@example.org