Into the Dispatch vault: John Wall, C.J. Leslie end Norlina's perfect season
Five years ago today, unbeaten Norlina Christian went up against No. 1 Word of God in the second round of the NCISAA 1-A state tourney at Cary Academy.
The Holy Rams, led by junior John Wall and sophomore C.J. Leslie, made short work of No. 8 Norlina, winning 99-43.
Wall, the future No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft, scored 16 points and current N.C. State junior Leslie had 14.
"If we all recruited like they do, we could all be good, too," longtime Norlina coach Johnny Watkins said after the game.
"A small school like Norlina, if they follow the rules, has no chance of ever winning the state title," added Watkins. "Because you've got teams that get the good players they want and need, and they're good every year."
Word of God jumped out to a 16-0 lead, forcing 10 first-quarter turnovers. The Holy Rams had 17 dunks and 20 layups on the game, leading 55-15 at halftime.
Raymond Dunn led Norlina with 28 points. Dunn went on to star at Vance-Granville, where in 2010 he collapsed on the court during a game and died.
Word of God went on to win the state title, finishing 30-3 on the season.