Parkland junior point guard Camian Shell (3) celebrates with senior forard Kamden May (12) after the Mustangs defeated previously undefeated Mount Tabor on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020 in Winston-Salem, N.C. (Winston-Salem Journal/Andrew Dye) 20200125w_spt_parkland

The final buzzer went off at Tom Muse Gymnasium, and a small crowd rushed to midcourt.

More than 50 people — including a few cheerleaders — circled several players from the Parkland boys basketball team.

This win meant something to Omari Bolden, a 6-foot-2 junior captain for the Mustangs. Parkland defeated Mount Tabor 70-63 in front of a packed house on Friday night. Bolden scored a game-high 20 points, Denoris Warlow pitched in 17 and Camian Shell added 16 to propel the Mustangs to first place in the Piedmont Triad 3-A with six conference games remaining.

Mount Tabor, previously undefeated and ranked as the top team in NCHSAA Class 3-A by MaxPreps, was undefeated no more.

"It meant a lot. It's what we work for — all through preseason," said Bolden, pausing as Coach Travis Holcomb-Faye of Parkland interrupted for a brief embrace. "Just every day coming in and believing that we are one of the best teams in the state, regardless of what everybody thinks."

The victory became possible in the final minute. Mount Tabor led until there was 1:09 left to play. The Mustangs (15-1, 4-0 Piedmont Triad 3-A) surged ahead 60-58 on a layup and-1 from Chase Rorie.

Parkland ended the game scoring six points on free throws in the final seconds — Wardlow and Shell combined for three to extend the Mustangs' lead to 67-61 with :21 left. That came after what Coach Andy Muse of Mount Tabor thought was the ejection of Jakob Moore, the team's 6-foot-7 senior who scored seven points in the loss. Muse said Moore "came unglued" after a referee's call. It was deemed a disqualification, Muse later said.

Muse called it a "heck of a high school game."

"This is the first time adversity has hit this team, and we didn't handle it too well," said Muse, whose team plays its next conference game against Southwest Guilford on Tuesday. "So we've got to learn from it and get better, or we don't learn from it and won't get better.

"You know, the sun's going to come up tomorrow. It's not the end of the world — we're 17-1. The conference season is a long season."

It was quite a road for Parkland — its only loss of the season was in the Frank Spencer Holiday Classic in late December, to West Stokes in overtime.

Tight games have hardly been rare for the Mustangs this season. There were two one-point games against Reynolds, and a 56-49 road win over Radford (Va.) on Jan. 11.

Holcomb-Faye said the win over the Spartans (17-1, 3-1), which the team faces again on Feb. 11 at Spartan Gym, was significant.

"I don't think we've been getting a lot of coverage from the publications — everybody's been writing us off," said Holcomb-Faye, whose team plays Greensboro Smith, now tied for second place in conference standings with Mount Tabor, on Tuesday. "Tabor's getting all this pub, everybody's thinking they're the greatest thing ever.

"It meant a lot for the boys. I just told them to come out and show them that they're not the giants everybody thinks they are. And to come out there and beat them."

Parkland 70 Mount Tabor 63

Mount Tabor;13;17;15;18;—;63


Mount Tabor: Gunner Walters 14, Daniel Fulp 14, Shaylen Woodberry 12, Jakob Moore 7, Davis Blackwell 6, Jashaun Torrence 6, Jordan Hunter 4.

Parkland: Omari Bolden 20, Denoris Wardlow 17, Camian Shell 16, Chase Rorie 8, C.J. Banner 3, Ramaj Williams 3, Kamden May 2, Scott Walker 1.  

Records: Mount Tabor (17-1, 3-1 Piedmont Triad 3-A), Parkland (15-1, 4-0).


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