Northwood, Jordan-Matthews square off in 3rd annual UNIFIED basketball game

BY DON BEANE, News + Record Staff
Posted 3/13/20

SILER CITY — In front of more than 800 cheering fans, the Jordan-Matthews and Northwood UNIFIED classes squared off in the third annual basketball game in Siler City on Thursday, March 5 at Justice …

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Northwood, Jordan-Matthews square off in 3rd annual UNIFIED basketball game

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Posted

SILER CITY — In front of more than 800 cheering fans, the Jordan-Matthews and Northwood UNIFIED classes squared off in the third annual basketball game in Siler City on Thursday, March 5 at Justice Gymnasium.

The highlights were plentiful — including Jordan-Matthews pulling out a win on a buzzer-beater by Jordan Lee Stanley — but the real story was the smiles of the participants and the feeling of inclusiveness that events such as these between the two county schools bring.

“I’m so proud of all the kids and elated to see them showcase their abilities in front of such an enormous crowd,” said J-M’s Andrew Poock. “The atmosphere was intense and you could see how both teams fed off the energy and live band.”

Northwood’s Jason Amy agreed.

“What an event for the kids, Andrew and Jordan-Matthews did such a great job and the kids at both schools had a great time,” Amy noted. “It’s hard to put into words what it means to our kids. Events like this makes them feel like stars and that’s what it’s all about.”

Victor Cervantes of J-M was the MVP and led the Jets with 25 points, 37 rebounds and six steals.

Poock pointed out much more than the game, however, including the score keeping of Lars Thrift, the national anthem played like Carlos Santana on the electric Guitar by Christopher Sandin, the cheerleaders who tossed t-shirts to the crowd, the Jets players running through a banner made by Rhakie Matteen’s Art Class while the Chargers raced out through a smoke machine.

“It just goes on and on what people from both schools did to make this special,” added Poock. “Justin Harper had the J-M band sounding perfect throughout the entirety of the game, J-M Hall-of-Famer Reginald Carter coaching, Lane Bray announcing and calling out the names, sizes, favorite college teams when the kids ran out. We also did a jersey swap like in the NBA and held a half-court shot contest at halftime and Christopher Morgan of J-M banked one in. What a great day.”

And it’s not over.

Jordan-Matthews will travel to Northwood on Thursday, April 23 for a softball game in Pittsboro.

“The kids always enjoy this and we are super excited to host it this year,” said Amy. “We are planning some special things to really get the excitement at a high level for our kids playing.”

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