Four new teams move into the Observer’s Sweet 16 this week.
In the boys poll, 3A Statesville (21-3) and 1A Lake Norman Charter (22-4) are in at No. 15 and 16. Lake Norman Charter, located just down the street from North Meck in Mecklenburg County, has won 19 straight games.
In the girls poll, Mallard Creek is in at No. 15 after winning the I-Meck 4A conference tournament. In at No. 16 are the Monroe girls, who have also won 19 straight games after Monday’s 75-36 home win over Albemarle. Asha Jordan led the Redhawks with 25 points, scored all in the first half.
Rk. School (Class) Rec. Prv
1. Olympic (4A) 25-0 1
2. West Charlotte (4A) 25-3 3
3. Hough (4A) 21-5 2
4.. Hunter Huss (3A) 22-3 6
5. Vance (4A) 20-6 5
6. Shelby (2A) 24-3 7
7. Concord (3A) 23-2 4
8. Rock Hill South Pointe (4A) 21-2 8
9. Independence (4A) 23-5 11
10. Cuthbertson (2A) 25-3 9
11. East Rutherford (2A) 22-6 10
12. Ardrey Kell (4A) 23-5 15
13. North Rowan (1A) 25-3 13
14. Providence Day (IND) 25-7 14
15. Statesville (3A) 21-3 NR
16. Lake Norman Charter (1A) 22-4 NR
Dropped out: Freedom (3A, 21-5); East Burke (2A, 23-5). Also receiving consideration: Mallard Creek (4A, 19-8); Harding (3A, 14-10); Hickory (3A, 22-6); Ashbrook (3A, 19-8); Piedmont (2A, 21-5); Monroe (1A, 22-4)
Rk. School (Class) Rec. Prv
1. Myers Park (4A) 28-0 1
2. Providence Day (IND) 27-4 7
3. Ardrey Kell (4A) 25-3 2
4. Porter Ridge (4A) 23-3 3
5. Hickory (3A) 25-2 6
6. Freedom (3A) 23-3 10
7. Harding (3A) 19-4 13
8. Bandys (2A) 25-2 9
9. North Mecklenburg (4A) 24-3 4
10. Alexander Central (4A) 24-4 8
11. Crest (3A) 19-4 11
12. Rock Hill Northwestern (4A) 21-3 5
13. Weddington (3A) 21-6 14
14. East Burke (2A) 23-5 16
15. Mallard Creek (4A) 19-9 NR
16. Monroe (1A) 25-1 NR
Dropped out: Forestview (3A, 20-7), West Rowan (3A, 24-3). Also receiving consideration: Berry (3A, 20-7); Carson (3A, 20-7); Robinson (3A, 23-5); Patton (3A, 19-8); East Rutherford (2A, 20-7); Lincolnton (2A, 22-4); Lake Norman Charter (1A, 22-5) ?
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Four new teams move into the Observer’s Sweet 16 this week.
Monday, February 25, 2013
2013 NCISAA 1A Girls All-State Basketball TeamSarah Best - Wayne Country Day
Janae Dupree - Trinity Christian
Corinthia Lindsay - Trinity Christian
Morgan Medford - Hobgood Academy
Marta Miscenko - Northwood Temple
Lauren Moore - Oakwood
Anna Murr - Grace of Sandford
De'Aira Smith - Trinity Christian
Chishelle Smith - Trinity Christian
Brooke Strickland - Grece Sandford
Yakira Williams - Oakwood
2013 NCISAA 1A Boys All-State Basketball TeamSidy Mohamed - Northwood Temple
Josh Willingham - Community Christian
Keegan Pardon - Hickory Christian
Joshua Newkirk - Word of God
Camden Scott - Word of God
Tyrek Cager - Word of God
TJ Dean - Trinity Christian
Lee Atkinson - Wayne Country Day
Jordan Sharpe - Greenfield
Ashley Williams - Greenfield
Lee Baggett - Freedom Christian
2013 NCISAA 2A Girls All-State Basketball TeamKelly Barnett - Asheville Christian
Gabby Bethel - Fayetteville Christian
Allison Beasley - Carolina Day
Maya Caldwell - Davidson Day
Ivey Carmy - Calvary Baptist
Haley Laughter - Carolina Day
Amy Can Deventer - Cary Christian
Kelly Williams - Halifax
Zaria Wright - First Assembly
Lydia Youngblood - Carolina Friends
2013 NCISAA 2A Boys All-State Basketball TeamTrevor Anderson - Gaston Day
Kriston Beasley - First Assembly
Josh Burton - Westchester
Andrew Carden - Burlington Christian
James Demery - Northside
Justin Jordan - Davidson Day
Tyler Rose - Calvary
Patjo Twagirayezu - Asheville Christian
Michael Taylor - Grace Christian
Zane Waterman - Fayetteville Academy
Keyshawn Woods - Northside Christian
2013 NCISAA 3A Girls All-State Basketball TeamGiGi Bailey - Charlotte Christian
Ja'Da Brayboy - Providence Day
Georgia Brown - North Raleigh
Beth Erb - Charlotte Country Day
Jayla Joyner - Hickory Grove Christian
Ronata Rogers - Greensboro Day
Mickayla Sanders - Cary Academy
Caroline Spurr - Greensboro Day
Tamera Thorpe - Greensboro Day
Jatarie White - Providence Day
Erica Williams - Rabun Gap
2013 NCISAA 3A Boys All-State Basketball TeamJaylen Allen - Christ School
Marcus Bryan - Ravenscroft
Reggie Dillard - Greensboro Day
Harry Giles - Wesleyan
Shannon Hale - Christ School
Christian Hairston - Greensboro Day
Mike Kobani -HPCA
Tyrell Nelson - Metrolina Christian
Theo Pinson - Wesleyan
Rusty Reigel - Charlotte Latin
Jordan Watkins - Providence Day
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
For the first time, Time Warner Cable will broadcast the N.C. Independent Schools boys and girls state basketball championship games live Saturday at Providence Day School.
The games will be carried on Time Warner Cable Special Events channel 520. Additionally, the games will be available the week of February 25 on Carolina On Demand, channels 199 and 1047.
NCISAA High School Basketball Championships – February 23
1A NCISAA Women’s Basketball Championship: 10 a.m.
1A NCISAA Men’s Basketball Championship: 12 p.m.
2A NCISAA Women’s Basketball Championship: 2 p.m.
2A NCISAA Men’s Basketball Championship: 4 p.m.
3A NCISAA Women’s Basketball Championship: 6 p.m.
3A NCISAA Men’s Basketball Championship: 8 p.m.
Time Warner Cable Special Events channels 520, 521, 522 and 1522 are available to all Time Warner Cable digital cable subscribers at no additional charge
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
CMS games ending early: The Southwestern 4A had doubleheaders at two sites Monday and Tuesday during conference tournament week.
Not surprisingly, games started on time and ended earlier than what we generally see during the regular-season. CMS, with new conferences forming next season, really should adopt the doubleheader format for all conferences -- skipping its current set up of two jayvee games followed by two varsity games.
That means either boys and girls play on different days or at opposite sites. Let kids get home earlier.
Monday, February 18, 2013
The NCCA is pleased to announce the North Carolina rosters for the 2013
Carolinas Classic All-Star games to be played March 23, 2013, at Socastee High
School in Socastee, SC, just south of Myrtle Beach, SC. The games will begin at
6:30 P.M. The games will match some of the best senior players from North
Carolina against their South Carolina counterparts.
Three-point shooting and dunk contests will be on display at 7:00 P.M. on March
22 at Myrtle Beach High.
2013 Carolinas Classic Teams
North Carolina Women
J'Kyra Brown Rocky Mount HS
Whitney Bunn Bunn HS
Amanda Cofer Northern Guilford HS
Briana Day Millbrook HS
Amber Donier Laney HS
Kerri Fulp East Surry HS
Kenya Hailey Southeast Guilford HS
Mykia Jones Millbrook HS
Terri Rogers Eastern Alamance HS
Ashley Williams Green Hope HS
Coaches: Sherri Tynes (Laney HS), Tim Krotish (Eastern Alamance HS)
North Carolina Men
Ty'Quan Bitting Mount Tabor HS
Darren Black Concord HS
Clay Byrd East Burke HS
BJ Gladden Olympic HS
Devont?raham Broughton HS
Isaiah Hicks Webb HS
Nigel Holley New Hanover HS
Ria'n Holland South View HS
Tyrone Outlaw Person HS
Tarique Thompson Hoke County HS
Coaches: Tony Marshburn (Northside-Jax HS), Frank Maennle (Swain County HS)
Friday, February 15, 2013
Here are the MAC all-conference teams as voted on by coaches. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools coaches meet Saturday to select their all-conference teams. The Observer will announce its choices Sunday.
Girls: Hannah Adamczyk – Hickory Grove; Catherine Casey – Westminster Catawba; Cassidy Crawford – First Assembly Christian School; Catherine Crouch – Covenant Day; Amanda Dobner – Hickory Grove; Veronica Dzuik – SouthLake Christian; Kianna Funderburk; Hannah Griffin – Hickory Grove; Jayla Joyner – Hickory Grove; Nora Logan – Metrolina Christian; Morgan Mosteller – Covenant Day; Nina Okoroji – Gaston Christian School; Giselle Verville – SouthLake Christian; Zaria Wright – First Assembly
Boys: David Airing – Covenant Day; Kriston Beasley – First Assembly; Nate Cantadore – First Assembly; James Demery – Northside Christian; Dustin Dodd – Hickory Grove; Josh Dominguez – Metrolina Christian; Stefan Fundic – First Assembly; Keith Griffin – Hickory Grove; AJ Jackson – Westminster Catawba; Luke Morrison – Northside Christian; Tyrell Nelson – Metrolina Christian; Phillip Reed – Northside Christian; Jalen Sanders – SouthLake Christian; Keyshawn Woods – Northside Christian
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
A23 West Charlotte
A30 at Mallard Creek
S6 Greensboro Page
S13 at Mt Tabor
S20 at Richmond Sr.
O4 at E Meck
O11 Myers Park
O18 at Rocky River
O25 Porter Ridge
N8 at Independence
A23 W. Meck
A30 at Providence
S6 N. Meck
S12 at Harding
S20 at Olympic
S27 at Independence
O11 Rocky River
O25 at Garinger
N1 Porter Ridge
N8 at Myers Park
S6 at W. Meck
S12 at Vance
S27 at Butler
O4 at Rocky River
O11 Porter Ridge
O18 at Independence
O25 East Meck
N1 Myers Park
A23 S Meck
A30 at N. Meck
S12 W. Meck
S20 at Hough
S27 East Meck
O4 at Porter Ridge
O25 at Myers Park
N1 at Rocky River
A30 at Ardrey Kell
S6 at S. Meck
S20 N. Meck
S27 Rocky River
O11 at Butler
O18 at Porter Ridge
N1 at Garinger
N8 East Meck
A23 Mt Tabor
A30 at Piedmont
S12 at S. Meck
S20 at Sun Valley
O11 at Garinger
O18 Myers Park
O25 at Butler
N1 at East Meck
N8 Rocky River
A23 at Richmond Sr.
A30 S. Meck
S6 Sun Valley
S13 at Huss
S20 at Marvin Ridge
S27 at Myers Park
O11 at E. Meck
N8 at Porter Ridge
Sarah Billiard, Covenant Day girls: 15
points, on 7-for-7 shooting, plus 21 rebounds, nine blocks and three
assists in a 62-38 Metrolina Athletic quarterfinal tournament win over
Metrolina Christian. Covenant plays a semifinal Thursday.
Brooke Brown, Charlotte Latin girls: 21 points, seven rebounds in 58-34 win over Cannon.
Caleb Davis, Vance: 19 points, six rebounds, four assists, three steals in 72-49 win over Hopewell. Vance will host West Charlotte in the I-Meck 4A championship game Thursday.
Gabe Devoe, Shelby: 34 points in 67-60 win over East Rutherford to clinch the top seed in the South Mountain Athletic Conference tournament.
Myicha Drakeford, Harding girls: 22 points, six assists, four rebounds, two steals in 68-29 win over Garinger. Harding will host Berry Thursday in the ME-GA 7 championship game.
Jessica Gaston, West Charlotte girls: 24 points and 22 rebounds in 56-50 overtime upset of Mallard Creek. In her past four games, Gaston is averaging 22 points and 20.5 rebounds.
Deion Lane, Independence: 15 points, 13 rebounds in 71-56 win over Myers Park that locked up the Southwestern 4A conference title for the Patriots outright. Jeffery Dennis had 16 points and five rebounds for the Patriots.
Sidney Lawson, Rocky River: 13 points in upset win over Ardrey Kell. The win ended Ardrey Kell’s seven-game win streak and knocked the Knights out of the Southwestern 4A championship race.
Aliyah Mazyck, Myers Park girls: 23 points, three rebounds, two assists in 77-38 win over Independence that sealed the outright Southwestern 4A championship. Rydeiah Rogers had 11 points, 12 rebounds and four steals for the Mustangs, who have won 35 straight regular-season games.
Jevon Patton, Olympic: 23 points for Trojans in 70-48 win over Berry. No. 1 in the Sweet 16 and No. 19 in USA Today, Olympic has a 33-game home win streak and a 58-game conference win streak.
George Paul, Harding: 21 points off the bench in a 74-49 win over Garinger.
Mark Pollack, Charlotte Catholic: 19 points, 10 rebounds, five assists in 67-61 win over East Gaston.
Divonnie Powell, Central Cabarrus girls: 28 points, 10 rebounds, six steals, four assists in 47-39 win over Cox Mill.
Phillip Reed, Northside Christian: 19 points, nine rebounds in 90-37 win over Gaston Christian. Luke Morrison had 13 points, 10 rebounds, and Keyshawn Woods had 10 points, seven assists, three rebounds and three steals.
Rusty Riegel, Charlotte Latin: 23 points, 10 rebounds in 73-56 win over Cannon. Teammates Joe Baynard (17 points, six assists, five rebounds) and Louis Tonon (14 points, five rebounds) also had big games.
Casey Rieger, Providence girls: 14 points, 11 rebounds, four steals and three assists in 47-39 win over East Meck. East’s Daisy Buckman had 18 points.
Brandon Roddy, Monroe: 26 points, four assists in 84-41 win over Central Academy.
Matthew Spears, Country Day: 10 points, nine rebounds, four steals and three assists in 53-39 upset over rival Charlotte Christian.
Jatarie White, Providence Day girls: 19 points, nine rebounds in 41-32 loss to Heathwood Hall (S.C.).
Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/02/12/3851484/high-school-basketball-update.html#storylink=cpy
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
West Charlotte All-American Kennedy Meeks was the only N.C. player selected for the Jordan Brand All-Star Classic April 13 in Brooklyn, NY.
The game features 22 of the nation's top senior high school basketball players, including national No. 1 Andrew Wiggins (undecided), No. 2 Jabari Parker (Duke), No. 3 Andrew Harrison (Kentucky), No. 4 Julius Randle (undecided) and No. 5 Aaron Harrison (Kentucky).
Name Pos Hgt Wgt High School (School Location) College
Tyler Ennis PG 6-2 180 St. Benedict’s Prep (Newark, NJ) Syracuse
Aaron Harrison SG 6-5 205 Travis H.S. (Ft. Bend, TX) Kentucky
Kasey Hill PG 6-0 170 Montverde Academy (Montverde, FL) Florida
Kuran Iverson SF 6-8 200 Fishburne Military School (Waynesboro, VA) Memphis
Rondae Jefferson SF 6-7 215 Chester H.S. (Chester, PA) Arizona
Kennedy Meeks C 6-9 275 West Charlotte H.S. (Charlotte, NC) North Carolina
Bobby Portis PF 6-9 225 Hall H.S. (Little Rock, AR) Arkansas
Julius Randle PF 6-9 225 Prestonwood Christian Academy (Dallas, TX) Undecided
Wayne Selden SG 6-5 220 The Tilton School (Tilton, NH) Kansas
Chris Walker C 6-10 195 Holmes County H.S. (Bonifay, FL) Florida
Andrew Wiggins SF 6-7 205 Huntington Prep (Huntington, WV) Undecided
Name Pos Hgt Wgt High School (School Location) College
Joel Embiid C 7-0 230 The Rock School (Gainesville, FL) Kansas
Aaron Gordon PF 6-8 210 Archbishop Mitty H.S. (San Jose, CA) Undecided
Andrew Harrison PG 6-5 210 Travis H.S. (Ft. Bend, TX) Kentucky
Dakari Johnson C 6-10 250 Montverde Academy (Montverde, FL) Kentucky
Matt Jones SG 6-4 180 DeSoto H.S. (Dallas, TX) Duke
Marcus Lee C 6-9 200 Deer Valley H.S. (Antioch, CA) Kentucky
Jabari Parker SF 6-8 220 Simeon Career Academy (Chicago, IL) Duke
Noah Vonleh PF 6-8 220 New Hampton School (New Hampton, NH) Indiana
Troy Williams SF 6-7 190 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, VA) Indiana
Nigel Williams-Gos PG 6-3 180 Findlay Prep (Henderson, NV) Washington
James Young SF 6-6 210 Rochester H.S. (Rochester, MI) Kentucky
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Here are invitees for the 2013 Carolinas Challenge. The event is put on by ESPN national analyst Dave Telep, who is based in the Raleigh area.
Each year, Telep invites more than 80 of North Carolina's top underclassmen to Raleigh for a day of basketball and basketball instruction.
Area invitees this year include:
Shelton Mitchell, PG, Cuthbertson (class of 2014)
James Demery, SG, Northside (2014)
Torin Dorn, SG, Vance (2014)
Keyshawn Woods, SG, Northside (2014)
Gabe DeVoe, PG, Shelby (2014)
Jordan Watkins, SG, Providence Day (2014)
Nehemiah Mabson, PF, United Faith (2014)
Shaun Thompson, SF, Victory Christian (2014)
Giovanni Mack, PG, Providence (2014)
Trey Foster, PG, West Charlotte (2014)
Austin Harris, SF, West Charlotte (2014)
Troy Henderson, PF, Gaston Day (2014)
Austin Dasent, PG, Northside (2014)
Marcus Johnson, PG, Evelyn Mack (2014)
Rusty Reigel, SG, Charlotte Latin (2014)
Malik Massey, SG, Vance (2015)
Steven Santa-Ana, SG, Ardrey Kell (2015)
Luke Maye, PF, Hough (2015)
Daemar Jones, Rocky River, PF (2015)
Lucas Johnson, SF, Kennedy Charter (2015)
Kishawn Pritchett, Lake Norman (2015)
Derek McKnight, Gasotn Day, G (2015)
Trevor Anderson, Gaston Day, G (2015)
Raekwon Long, C, Garinger (2016)
Jalen Sanders, PG, North Rowan (2016)
Jeremy Spencer, SF, Providence (2016)
James Lewis, PG, East Gaston (2016)
Click here for the complete list
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Tuesday’s Top Performers
Jordan Barber, Weddington: 20 points, four steals in 67-55 win over Porter Ridge. Teammate Brandon Watts had 15 points, six rebounds, four steals and three assists.
Damir Bosewell, Cannon: 26 points in a 67-52 upset win over Charlotte Christian. Knights scored six points in the fourth quarter. Clemson recruit Patrick Rooks led Christian with 17 points.
Clay Byrd, East Burke: 31 points in 61-47 win over West Caldwell (15-4, 9-2). East Burke improved to 17-4, 10-1
Jessica Gaston, West Charlotte girls: 21 points, 25 rebounds in 47-44 upset win over Sweet 16 No. 14 Hough.
Marcus Graves, Independence: 22 points, five assists in 72-49 win over South Mecklenburg. Sabres played without 6-foot-9 center Malcom Mathews.
Brianna Hamrick, Harding girls: 18 points, eight rebounds and two blocks in 59-48 win over Charlotte Catholic. Myicha Drakeford added 17 points, five rebounds and four blocks.
Dre Howell, Mooresville: 18 points, 12 rebounds, six assists in a 67-48 win over Hopewell. Teammate Raphael Montgomery had 13 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks.
Jada Huntley, Porter Ridge girls: 22 points for Porter Ridge, No. 6 in the Sweet 16, in a 51-48 overtime win over No. 11 Weddington. Weddington’s Stephanie Watts had 20 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Luke Maye, Hough: 18 points, 11 rebounds in 58-53 upset win over West Charlotte.
Rusty Riegel, Charlotte Latin: 26 points, six rebounds, four steals in 73-62 upset over No. 16 Providence Day.
Brandon Roddy, Monroe: 24 points, three assists, two steals in 80-38 win over West Stanly.
Steven Santa-Ana, Ardrey Kell: 23 points for Knights in 68-60 win over Butler. Ardrey Kell, No. 13 in the Sweet 16, has won six straight games.Butler’s Channing Stribling (22 points, three rebounds, three assists) and Riley Ferguson (18 points, seven rebounds, four steals) had big games.
Chelsey Thomas, South Meck girls: 18 points, five rebounds, two assists in 53-46 win over Independence.
Jatarie White, Providence Day girls: 25 points in 39-22 win over Charlotte Latin
Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/02/05/3836272/charlotte-area-high-school-basketball.html#storylink=cpy
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Wednesday night at West Charlotte, the Lions will host Vance in the game of the year so far in Mecklenburg County.
West Charlotte is No. 2 in the Observer's Sweet 16 poll. Vance is No. 4. These two have one of the best rivalries across all sports in Mecklenburg County. Put this rivalry up there with Independence-Butler football, Ardrey Kell-Providence baseball, the best of the best.
And this one means quite a bit.
The Lions (17-3, 9-1 I-Meck 4A) were upset Tuesday night 58-53 at Hough. West Charlotte, which has been nationally ranked for much of the season, had not lost to a N.C. team until then.
Were the Lions looking ahead to Wednesday's game? Maybe. It was originally scheduled to be played on a Saturday a couple weeks ago at Waddell, but an inclement weather event in Charlotte postponed the game and forced a move back to West Charlotte, which means some fans may not be able to get in. West Charlotte's gym is small, much smaller than Waddell's, but it will be loud and rocking Wednesday.
Vance (16-3, 9-1) has a chance to grab a share of first place all to itself. Vance has won eight straight games and if it can stop the Lions Wednesday, the Cougars would have the inside track to the title.
Vance would be favored to win games at North Meck and Hopewell after Wednesday, and if it could win those, it would play West Charlotte, at home, on Thursday Feb. 14 for the outright championship. West Charlotte, meanwhile, has Lake Norman and then a tough game at Sweet 16 No. 14 Mallard Creek before the Vance finale.
So Wednesday's game is huge for both teams -- and given their rankings, rivalry and everything else -- this is easily the top game in the county so far this year.
Anson Senior's Bunyon Tyson leads all scorers in the Charlotte Observer's coverage area at 26.7 points per game.
Recently, he had one of the better dunks of the season against Weddington.
View it above.
Click here to see Observer area leaders in scoring, rebounding and assists for boys and girls.
Monday, February 4, 2013
In a winless season, Providence junior point guard Giavonni Mack is having a wonderful season. He recently scored his 1,000th career point against Independence.
Mack is one of the top 10 scorers in the Observer's coverage area.
This season, Mack and the Panthers are 0-14. Providence has a 15-game losing streak dating to last year and hasn’t won in 345 days.
The losing is hard, but Mack is still having a remarkable season. Despite a knee sprain he suffered Dec. 11 against Sun Valley, in Providence’s seventh game of the season, Mack averages 24.6 points, third-most in the Observer’s 133-school coverage area in North and South Carolina. Before he got hurt, he was averaging close to 30 points. And because no other Providence player averages more than nine, other teams always make sure to focus on the Panthers’ 5-foot-9 junior point guard.
“He’s been tackled, double-teamed, face-guarded aggressively,” said Mack’s father, Patrick. “You name it, they’ve done it.”
Mack is playing through some pain in his left knee, determined to help his team get that elusive win.
“It’s plenty tough,” he said. “You work all off-season to prepare for this and you don’t want to be this bad. I knew we’d have a tough season, but I didn’t think we’d be 0-14 right now. I thought we’d have some wins, but you know what? It makes you work harder and become better leaders and become more vocal, to let the team know you’re not giving up. All you can do is look back and say ‘I played my heart out.’ You try to stay positive.”
Three years ago, just before Mack came to school, Providence shared the 2010 Southwestern 4A conference regular-season championship with Ardrey Kell, led by 6-foot-6 star forward Terrance Hampton. The Panthers finished 18-9 and lost to Winston-Salem’s Mount Tabor High in the playoffs.
Since then, however, the bottom has fallen out.
“It’s almost been the scenario where everything bad that could happen has happened,” Panthers coach Myron Lowery said.
Some talented kids have moved out of the Panthers zone. One player who led the Panthers in rebounding last year and was second to Mack in scoring is academically ineligible this season. Another player who would have started left for Charlotte Christian after his family received an inheritance and was able to fulfill a dream of a private school education.
There’s also been a rash of injuries.
“We’ve never been the most talented team anyway,” said Lowery, whose team boasts current Los Angeles Laker and former North Carolina Tar Heel and national college player of the year Antawn Jamison as its most famous alum. “You take a team like (Sweet 16 No. 2) West Charlotte (or No. 1 and nationally ranked) Olympic, you can take a few players and they’ll be able to withstand it for awhile. We can’t do that, and this all happened at one time, but that’s part of coaching high school. You don’t recruit. You take what shows up at the door, and sometimes you go through these peaks and valleys. We’re just in a valley at this particular moment.”
Independence coach Preston Davis can relate. He played on a state championship team at Independence, his alma mater, in 1997, but when he went back to coach there four years ago, the program was in shambles.
The Patriots won 15 games in the four seasons before this one. Twice in those four years, Independence only won two games. Last year, the Patriots were 2-23.
Davis said the key to getting through it is by continuing to work hard and developing your players. He said it helps to catch a break and get a special talent, like Lowery has in Mack.
“It’s a daily grind and a process,” said Davis, whose current team is 10-4 and has won six straight games. “It’s really hard from a coaching perspective. You worry more about the kids losing confidence. I was talking to one of my buddies I coached with in Florida and I said, ‘It seems like when you’re going through that season that you’re working as hard as other coaches, but you’re not getting the results.’ It’s frustrating. But I kept telling my kids that one day we’d get better. It’s a daily commitment to getting better.”
Davis thinks that Providence is on the right track. He notes the Panthers are playing close games. Independence beat Providence 63-55 last Friday, for example. And Davis believes Mack is a bona fide star.
“Giavonni’s a smart point guard, man,” Davis said. “He doesn’t force the issue, and he makes the right decisions for his team. It’s tough when you’ve got a guy that skilled who is smart, too. He can create for his teammates. He can make the open shot. He’s pretty complete.”
Lowery said that Mack – who is getting serious recruiting interest from Division I Mount Saint Mary’s, Marist and N.C. Central – is also pretty humble, too.
“You would never know if he’s averaging two points or 25 points,” Lowery said. “He’s as humble as can be.”
Lowery said despite the double-teams and triple-teams, Mack has stayed upbeat through his career.
“He has a knack for scoring, and he’s deceptively quick,” Lowery said. “I haven’t seen a guard that can really guard him. He can single-handedly take over a game.”
This season, Lowery got a group of kids who put together a pair of middle school championship seasons at Robinson Middle. One of those Robinson kids starts – 6-2 freshman post Jeremy Spencer is second on the team in scoring (9.5 ppg) and first in rebounding (6.1). Four more start on a promising junior varsity team. Another freshman, 6-3 Jonathan Davenport, from Crestdale Middle, starts on varsity. He’s third in scoring (6.1 ppg) and third in rebounding (4.0).
“It’s coming back around,” Lowery said, “but it’s going to take a year or two. I just hope we can build up where G gets some kids around him, so everyone is not focusing on him 100 percent of the time. With that, he could put up some bigger numbers.”
Mack wants all that, too, but even more, he wants to help Providence win now.
“I’m pretty confident we’ll get a win, and not just one,” he said. “We’re getting better. We’ve been close. The thing coach stresses most is having guys execute. We’re doing that more and more. So this (losing) streak will end. We’re going to get some wins. It’s a matter of time, of us not giving up on coach and keep buying into what he’s teaching and coaching. If we do that, I really think we’re going to be all right.”
Wertz: 704-612-9716; twitter: @langstonwertzjr
Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/01/10/3778346/providences-giavonni-mack-24-ppg.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy
Ardrey Kell is back in the Observer’s Sweet 16 poll.
The Knights, who began the year 12-0, suffered a three straight losses in early January. Since then, Ardrey Kell has won five straight games, including last week’s win over Southwestern 4A leading Independence, which fell from No. 11 to No. 15 this week.
Ardrey Kell sophomore Steven Santa-Ana leads teh team in scoring at 18.4 points per game and Tate Small adds 15.1 points and 7.3 rebounds. Santa-Ana is second in rebounding at 6.0.
No. 1 Olympic remained its spot and West Charlotte moved from No. 3 to No. 2.
In the girls poll, Alexander Central’s girls beat Hickory 72-70 Friday for their second win over Hickory in three games. Hickory won by 31 in a Christmas tournament but Alexander Central won two Northwestern 3A/4A conference games. It’s the first time Hickory has been swept in league play by any team since 2004.
Hickory fell from No. 5 to No. 10.
Also, Ardrey Kell dipped from No. 2, where it had been all season, to No. 4 after a second loss to No. 1 Myers Park. Private school power Ardrey Kell moved to No. 2 and North Mecklenburg jumped to No. 3.
Rk. School (Class) Rec. Prv
1. Olympic (4A) 18-0 1
2. West Charlotte (4A) 17-2 3
3. Concord (3A) 16-1 5
4. Vance (4A) 15-3 7
5. Freedom (3A) 15-3 6
6. Hough (4A) 15-4 2
7. Huss (3A) 16-3 8
8. Shelby (2A) 17-3 9
9. East Rutherford (2A) 15-4 10
10. Cuthbertson (2A) 17-2 4
11. Hickory (3A) 17-3 14
12. Rock Hill South Pointe (4A) 16-1 16
13. Ardrey Kell (4A) 17-3 NR
14. Mallard Creek (4A) 15-5 12
15. Independence (4A) 15-5 11
16. Providence Day (IND) 21-5 13
Dropped out: Rock Hill (4A, 15-5).
Rk. School (Class) Rec. Prv
1. Myers Park (4A) 20-0 1
2. Providence Day (IND) 21-3 3
3. North Mecklenburg (4A) 17-1 4
4. Ardrey Kell (4A) 18-2 2
5. Bandys (2A) 18-1 6
6. Porter Ridge (4A) 14-3 7
7. Freedom (3A) 18-2 8
8. West Rowan (3A) 18-1 9
9. Rock Hill Northwestern (4A) 16-2 12
10. Hickory (3A) 18-2 5
11. Weddington (3A) 16-4 15
12. Alexander Central (4A) 18-3 13
13. Foard (3A) 13-6 NR
14. Hough (4A) 12-5 10
15. Forestview (3A) 14-5 NR
16. Crest (3A) 13-3 11
Dropped out: Carson (3A, 16-4); East Burke (2A, 14-4)