A packed house including one VIP witnessed Sylvan Hills’ 74-64 home victory over Mills University Studies on Friday.
University of North Carolina head coach Roy Williams dropped in on the action to catch a glimpse of Bears junior guard and five-star college recruit Archie Goodwin.
Goodwin did not disappoint with a game-high 35 points, while point guard Dion Patton added 16 and forward Larry Zeigler scored 10.
“He said it was as physical a game as he had seen in a long time,” Bears coach Kevin Davis said of Williams. “We’ve had two back-to-back like that. But you have to be able to adjust to how the game’s being called.
“If they’re not calling the close fouls and letting you play, you have to adjust to that.”
The Bears (12-3, 4-0) are in sole possession of first place in the 5A-Southeast Conference and are the only team still unbeaten in league play. They have also found their way to the top of the 5A rankings in the weekly VYPE basketball polls.
The Comets used a zone defense in the first half before switching to man-to-man in the second, which picked up the overall tempo. The Comets pulled to within five points before the Bears recovered to close strong.
“It wasn’t a big run,” Davis said. “I think it was more the pace of the game in the second half. That’s kind of Mills’ style, to go at it toe-to-toe like that. They were in a zone and got behind, so that forced them to go man, and that right there will make the tempo faster.”
Williams, in his eighth year at UNC, became well known first as coach at the University of Kansas where he led the Jayhawks to 14 straight NCAA tournament appearances, including four tripsto the Final Four. He compiled a 418-101 record at Kansas before returning to his alma mater to coach the Tar Heels in 2003.
Williams is 205-58 at North Carolina with national championships in 2005 and 2009. His overall record is 623-159.
Williams entered the Sylvan Hills gymnasium in the closing minutes of the girls game and stood at the top of the home bleachers.
“He was really impressed with how hard we played as a unit,” Davis said. “To me, he didn’t say anything about any of the other guys – I know he said some things to the people sitting around him, but to me he just mentioned how hard we played.”
As for Goodwin, who has already visited the UNC campus, Williams noted that the standout was still able to score over 30 points despite a number of shots that fell short.
“He just kind of felt like there were a couple of shots that didn’t go that he could tell normally did for Archie,” Davis said.
“And he still came away with over 30 points. I think his 6-9 wingspan and his ability to control the ball, with either his right or left hand, these are things special to Archie and what makes all these big programs to be interested in him.”