Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sweet 16 Baseball Poll

Seven new teams enter the poll this week and Ardrey Kell jumps from No. 5 to No. 1 after a 12-0 start that has placed the Knights into nearly every national poll out there.

Baseball Sweet 16
Rank, School, Class, Record, Prev.
1. Ardrey Kell, 4A, 12-0, 5
2. Waxhaw Cuthbertson, 2A, 7-1, 2
3. Claremont Bunker Hill, 2A, 13-0, 6
4. Providence, 4A, 8-1, 4
5. East Rowan, 3A, 9-2, 1
6. NW Cabarrus, 3A, 9-2, 3
7. Lake Norman, 4A, 9-2, NR
8. Mallard Creek, 4A, 9-3, 7
9. Charlotte Catholic, 3A, 8-2, 9
10. East Rutherford, 2A, 6-0, NR
11. South Caldwell, 4A, 5-1, NR
12. West Mecklenburg, 4A, 8-3, NR
13. South Mecklenburg, 4A, 8-2, NR
14. West Stanly, 2A, 6-3, 13
15. Belmont South Point, 3A, 4-0, NR
16. North Gaston, 3A, 7-0, NR

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Southwestern 4A all-conference wrestling team

SW4A All-Conference Wrestling Team

1st Team 2 nd Team
103- Kush Shah, Butler Alex Marbury, AKHS
112- Michael Bedard, AKHS Chase Pernell, Independence
119- Tyler Medlock, MPHS Ben Asefa, EMHS
125- Tony Ross, MPHS Mason Courter, Independence
130- Casey Belville, Indep Akio Fujiwara, AKHS
135- Michael Basse, AKHS Clayton Trotter, Butler
140- Tom Puckett, Butler Justin Acree, SMHS
145- Nick Estes, Butler Nick Bazelle, EMHS
152- Brian Tiderman, Indep William Crotty, MPHS
160- Jacob Stowe, Butler Payton Hall, AKHS
171- Roy Mewborn, Indep Ivan Alvarez, SMHS
189- Stephen Amoah, Butler KC Aldridge, SMHS
215- Matt Bennett, Butler Jabari Cuffie, Independence
285- Jimmie Gipson, Indep Alexander Crockett, MPHS
Wrestler of the Year- Tom Puckett, Butler
Coach of the Year- Ben Barry, Independence

Friday, March 25, 2011

Butler's Burdick repeats as N.C. girls AP player of the year

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Cierra Burdick entered the season as a nationally touted recruit coming off a state championship and the target of opposing defenses. She ended her career at Matthews Butler short of another title, yet standing once again as the top player in the state.

Burdick has been named The Associated Press 2010-11 women's prep basketball player of the year for North Carolina, earning nine of 13 votes from sports writers across the state in results released Friday.

Kernersville McGuinness' Megan Buckland was second with two votes after helping her team win a sixth straight state championship.

Burdick – who has signed with Tennessee – shared the award with Gastonia Forestview's Shannon Smith as a junior, then became only the third player since 1995 to win the honor twice. She joined Eden Morehead's Amy Simpson (1998, 1999) as the only players to win the award in consecutive years during that span despite facing creative defenses focused on slowing her.

“I definitely saw a lot of box-and-ones and a lot of special defenses,” Burdick said. “In one of the playoff games, I had some girl's armpits in my face the whole game. … The pressure was there because I knew the ball was coming to my hands and my team was relying on me. To come out every night and play my hardest and give it my all is what I tried to do.”

The 6-foot-3 forward averaged 23 points, 15 rebounds, four steals, five assists and five blocks. The honors came steadily all season, as she repeated as the Gatorade player of the year in the state and was ranked as the nation's No. 3 recruit by ESPN. She'll also play in next week's McDonald's All-America game in Chicago.
Butler coach Mark Sanders said Burdick has never stopped working to improve her game, which trickled down to the rest of the team as well.

“She totally committed herself to getting better,” Sanders said. “Last year we had seniors and she didn't have to be a leader so much. This year, she led by example. The kids saw her putting in the extra time and effort, and some of those kids got on board and started doing extra stuff after school or during the summer.

“When your best player is there in the summer putting in extra time, it's not hard for your other players to be in the gym and putting in work also.”

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wachovia Cup Standings updated through winter sports

CHAPEL HILL -- Wachovia, a Wells Fargo Company, and the North Carolina High School Athletic Association today announced the standings after the winter sports seasons in the Wachovia Cup competitions for the 2010-11 academic year.

The Wachovia Cup award, sponsored by Wachovia and the NCHSAA, recognizes the high schools that achieve the best overall interscholastic athletic performances within each of the state’s four competitive classifications. The Wachovia Cup program is in its 32nd year.

Defending Wachovia Cup champ Cary Green Hope holds on to first place in the 4-A standings with Charlotte Myers Park in second. Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons has moved into first among 3-A schools, with fall leader Charlotte Catholic slipping into second. Salisbury continues to pace the 2-A classification with Carrboro in the number-two slot, while Kernersville Bishop McGuinness moves past Durham North Carolina School of the Arts and Hendersonville to take over the top spot among the 1-A schools.

In the 4-A classification, Green Hope was the runner-up in the state 4-A men's swimming championships, sixth in women's swimming and was also second in women's winter track to tally 322.5 points to 230 for Myers Park, whose only winter playoff points came from an eighth-place finish in men's swimming. Lake Norman is third with 217.5 points, getting to the state semifinals in dual team wrestling, finishing fourth in men's swimming and eighth in women's swimming. Lake Norman is just ahead of Asheville T.C. Roberson with 215 points.

Cardinal Gibbons had an excellent winter season, recording first-place finishes in both 3-A men's swimming and women's winter track in addition to taking fifth place in women's swimming. Gibbons has a total of 437.5 points, 17.5 ahead of Charlotte Catholic. Catholic garnered its winter playoff points in swimming, winning the state title in 3-A women's and finishing second in men's. Chapel Hill, with a pair of third-place finishes in both swimming championships and a trip to the regional finals in men's basketball, has 327.5 points, good for third place. Waxhaw Marvin Ridge is fourth with 325.

Defending Cup champion Salisbury held on to the top spot among 2-A schools, winning the state 2-A women’s basketball championship for the third straight year and recording playoff points in five other winter sports. Salisbury was the top 2-A team in women's winter track, second in men's winter track, third in women's swimming, seventh in men's swimming and a regional qualifier in men's basketball. The classification leader has rolled up 487.5 points to build a substantial margin over Carrboro, which has 342.5 points. Carrboro was the top swim team among 2-A schools in both women's and men's competition.

Pittsboro Northwood, the state runner-up in 2-A men's basketball and a regional qualifier in women's, is third with 240 points. East Lincoln, which also collected playoff points in both men's and women's swimming, is fourth with 237.5.

In the 1-A classification, Bishop McGuinness had an excellent winter and scored playoff points in five sports, including the top finish among 1-A teams in women's basketball for the sixth consecutive year. Bishop was also third among 1-A schools in both swimming championships. Durham's North Carolina School of Science and Math is in second place with a total of 305 points, which includes playoff points in both men's and women's swimming and a second-place spot among 1-A schools in men's winter track.

Hendersonville is third with 275 points and North Rowan has vaulted into fourth after winning the state 1-A men's basketball crown and taking top honors among 1-A teams in both winter track competitions.

Wachovia Cup points are determined by a system based on performance in state-championship events. All schools that finish in the top eight positions (plus ties) earn points. In the playoff events involving teams from more than one classification, Wachovia Cup points are awarded based on the school’s standing against other schools in its own classification. If fewer then eight schools from a classification compete in a sport, only those schools that are represented are eligible to receive the Wachovia Cup points.

Points are awarded for all sports as follows: 50 for first, 45 for second, 40 for third, 35 for fourth, 30 for fifth, 25 for sixth, 20 for seventh and 15 for eighth. In the event of a tie, the schools receive an equal number of points based on the number of teams that tie and the number of teams that finish higher in the standings. Five points are awarded for each sanctioned sport in which a school competes.

Wachovia Cup standings are announced three times each school year: once after the fall and then the winter sports, and concluding with the winner after the spring sports season ends in June. The engraved silver cups are presented during NCHSAA Day activities at UNC-Chapel Hill each fall.





1. Kernersville Bishop McGuinness 355

2. Durham N.C. School of Science and Math 305

3. Hendersonville 275

4. North Rowan 260

5. West Wilkes 240

6. Lake Norman Charter 235

7. Pender 200

8. Raleigh Charter 177.5

9. Robbinsville 175

10. Murphy 162.5

11. Goldsboro 160

Southwest Onslow 160

13. Elkin 135

Misenheimer Gray Stone Day 135

15. Monroe 122.5



1. Salisbury 487.5

2. Carrboro 342.5

3. Pittsboro Northwood 240

4. East Lincoln 237.5

5. North Lincoln 215

6. Hillsborough Cedar Ridge 202.5

7. Shelby 180

8. Waxhaw Cuthbertson 172.5

9. Berry Academy 160

10. Hampstead Topsail 157.5

11. Elizabeth City Northeastern 150

Tarboro 150

13. Brevard 142.5

14. Granville Central 140

15. Polk County 137.5

Surry Central 137.5



1. Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons 437.5

2. Charlotte Catholic 420

3. Chapel Hill 327.5

4. Waxhaw Marvin Ridge 325

5. Weddington 232.5

6. West Henderson 205

Concord Jay Robinson 205

8. Winterville South Central 202.5

9. Hickory 197.5

10. Nash Central 182.5

11. Orange 172.5

West Rowan 172.5

13. Northern Guilford 165

14. Concord 150

15. North Iredell 142.5

Asheville 142.5



1. Cary Green Hope 322.5

2. Charlotte Myers Park 230

3. Lake Norman 217.5

4. Asheville T.C. Roberson 215

5. Charlotte Providence 207.5

6. Raleigh Wakefield 195

7. Watauga 192.5

8. Pfafftown Ronald Reagan 187.5

9. Winston-Salem Mount Tabor 185

10. New Bern 172.5

East Chapel Hill 172.5

West Johnston 172.5

13. Apex 170

14. Cornelius W.A. Hough 167.5

15. Raleigh Millbrook 160

-- NCHSAA media release

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Associated Press N.C. All-State Basketball Team

The 2010-11 Associated Press All-State prep basketball teams for North Carolina, as selected by 13 sports writers across the state. With school, position, class and number of votes in parentheses:
¶ ^MEN=
¶ Terry Whisnant, Cherryville, G, Sr. (12)
¶ Tyler Lewis, Forsyth Country Day, PG, Jr. (12)
¶ Deuce Bello, High Point Westchester Country Day, SF, Sr. (10)
¶ Kennedy Meeks, West Charlotte, C, So. (9)
¶ Stilman White, Wilmington Hoggard, G, Sr. (9)
¶ Marshall Plumlee, Arden Christ School, C/F, Sr. (9)
¶ Chris Wilson, Fayetteville Sanford, G, Sr. (8)
¶ Devince Boykins, East Rutherford, G/F, Sr. (7)
¶ John Cannon, Burnsville Mountain Heritage, C, Sr. (6)
¶ Jacoby Davis, West Charlotte, G, Sr. (6)
¶ Braxton Ogbueze, Charlotte United Faith, G, Jr. (6)
¶ Jackson Simmons, Sylva Smoky Mountain, F, Sr. (6)
¶ ^___=
¶ x-Cierra Burdick, Matthews Butler, G/F, Sr. (13)
¶ Megan Buckland, Kernersville McGuinness, G, Sr. (12)
¶ Danielle Butts, South Central Pitt, F, Sr. (12)
¶ Courtney Melvin, East Bladen, C, Sr. (12)
¶ Kristen Gaffney, Morrisville Green Hope, F, Jr. (8)
¶ Zena Lovette, Southwest Guilford, G, Jr. (8)
¶ Jada Payne, Hickory, G, Sr. (8)
¶ Jamie Cherry, West Craven, G, Fr. (7)
¶ Janesha Ebron, South Central Pitt, G, Sr. (7)
¶ Tiffany Mitchell, Charlotte Providence Day, G, Jr. (6)
¶ Lindsay Simpson, Franklin, G, Jr. (6)
¶ Samantha Coffer, Northern Guilford, G/F, Sr. (5)
¶ Ashia Holmes, Salisbury, G, Sr. (5)
¶ Hillary Summers, Fayetteville Village Christian, F, Jr. (5)
¶ Jordan Whitesides, Gaston Day School, G, Jr. (5)
¶ ^___=
¶ x_Unanimous selection.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

United Faith picked for ESPN Rise National Basketball Event

Charlotte's United Faith school is one of seven boys and four girls teams picked for the third ESPN Rise National High School Invitational. The event runs March 31-April 2 at Georgetown Preparatory School’s Hanley Center for Athletic Excellence in Bethesda, Md.

The pairings haven't been announced, but click here to view teh schedule. All games will be televised live in HD by ESPN’s networks.

All NHSI telecasts on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will also be available online through and

Findlay Prep from Henderson, NV will attempt to hold onto the boys championship title for the third year. This year’s field features teams from five different states including championship-game participants from the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland (IAAM), Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA), North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association (NCISAA) and the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA).

Tournament teams were selected by a selection committee whose decision, in part, was based on the ESPN RISE Fab 50 rankings during the 2010-2011 high school basketball season. Team eligibility criteria also included that participating schools must be four-year high schools, independent or public, and have their respective governing body's permission to participate.

ESPN RISE National High School Invitational Teams:

ESPN RISE NHSI – 2011 Boys Tournament

High School
‘10/’11 Record
ESPN RISE FAB 50 Ranking

Montrose Christian

Oak Hill

Findlay Prep

Winter Park


United Faith Christian

John Carroll

ESPN RISE NHSI – 2011 Girls Tournament

High School
‘10/’11 Record
ESPN RISE FAB 50 Ranking

Archbishop Spalding

Hollywood Christian

Riverdale Baptist

Dr. Phillips FL 31-2 44

Monday, March 21, 2011

South Point football coach Devine to Clover? Ron Massey retires at Kannapolis

The Gaston Gazette is reporting that longtime Belmont South Point football coach John Devine will be named as the new coach at Clover Tuesday.

Devine has been head coach at South Point since 1996. He is 137-55-1 in 15 years and has won two state championships. Former Clover coach Jet Turner left late last month to take a similar job at his hometown of Sumter, S.C., at Wilson Hall High.

Massey announced his retirement last week from Kannapolis Brown, one of the state's most storied programs. Massey came to Brown in 2000 from Kings Mountain. His teams were 120-32 and were state runners-up in 2008. In nine of 11 years, Massey's teams were conference champions or co-champions.

VIDEO: Providence-Independence baseball

Providence vs. Independence baseball:

VIDEO: Providence-South Meck lacrosse

Providence vs. South Mecklenburg boys lacrosse highlights:

Ardrey Kell coach Bagwell gets 100th win with Knights

Ardrey Kell baseball coach Hal Bagwell notched his 100th win at the school last week.

Bagwell's team is 9-0 this season heading into Tuesday's game at Southwestern 4A rival Butler.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Live thoughts and observations from Saturday's state championships

Click here for scoring updates from today's games


-- West Charlotte has a huge crowd at the game, Lions from the '60s, '70s, '80s and '90s. Former star basketball player Thad Bonapart, who won two state championships in Chapel Hill in 1991 and '92 is among the crowd.

-- West Charlotte wearing its maroon uniforms and 6-8 sophomore Kennedy Meeks looks like an the Empire State Building dropped into Concord walking out for warmups and the captains meeting. He towers over Millbrook.

-- The Lions wore their maroon uniforms for their 1999 state championship win and then coach Gosnell White wore a tan suit. Current Lions coach Baronton Terry is in a tan suit and West Charlotte wears maroon....if you're into omens. 

-- Lions lead 13-8 after first quarter but West Charlotte is struggling on offense. The Lions defense held Millbrook without a field goal for more than half the first quarter. Jacoby Davis, the Lions leading scorer, has two fouls but is still on the floor. 

-- With Davis on the bench, West Charlotte advances its lead to 36-19 at halftime. Reserve Mark Blackmon hit a few big 3s and Mike Brown hit another with less than five seconds left. Millbrook is scoring just over one point per minute in the 16-minute first half

-- Halftime stats: West Charlotte shooting 52.2 percent and Millbrook shooting 22.9 and 0-for-6 on 3-point shots. Kennedy Meeks has 9 points and 10 rebounds for the Lions and Mike Brown has 11 points and six assists.


-- In pregame the height differential is noticeable. East Rutherford has one started taller than 6-foot: 6-31/2 senior Devince Boykins. Northwood has four: 6-2 guard Juan Young, 6-5 forward John Wieldnad, 6-5 guard Chris Forbes and 6-6 forward Antonio Farmer. And the first two players off the bench for Northwood are 6-4 forward Brandon Williams and 6-6 guard Mark Goods

-- East Rutherford looking bad early down 10-5 until Devince Boykins, one of the best athletes I've seen in awhile, throws down a wicked one handed dunk that gets a huge -- HUGE -- East crowd going. East's shots start going in and it ties Northwood at 15 to start the second. Right now, all the momentum is with East

-- East struggling from the floor, making just 37.5 percent of its shots. Normally a good 3-point team, East is 3-for-12. Worse star forward Devince Boykins (8 points, 3 rebounds) picked up his third foul in final minute of first half. Extra worse, East cannot stop Northwood guard Juan Young (13 points)

-- East Rutherford rallied all throughout the season to win close games and rallied in the fourth quarter to win this one. East did it without star Devince Boykins playing much of the third, but he came through in the fourth with a pair of fierce dunks and some free throws in a 58-56 win. East only made 3-of-8 free throws in the final minute but played superior defense to hang onto a six point lead and win the 2A state final

-- Eastern most outstanding player Juan Young (15 points 5 assists); Western most outstanding player T.J. Watkins (13 points, 5 rebounds). Charlie Adams Championship MVP Devince Boykins (16 points, 9 rebounds)


-- The first thing you noticed about the girls 2A championship game between Salisbury and East Bladen was Salisbury was just so much faster. Salisbury had won the past two championships, one of them against East Bladen, and the Hornets consistently beat East Bladen down the floor.

-- Love the older Salisbury fan who sits courtside playing his trumpet.

-- Most teams are nervous when they get to the state finals, at least a little. You're playing at the Smith Center, a big gym and in front of a big crowd. But no Salisbury. Before the start of the second quarter, during a TV timeout, Ashia Holmes started dancing beside the official at midcourt as they waited to inbound the ball. She had the biggest grin. Of course it helped that Salisbury was leading 21-10 at the time.

-- Trailing by double-digits margins most of the game, East Bladen girls coach Patty Evers stuck in little used reserve Melissa Macon, a strong shooter. Macon averages less than three points per game but she made 3-of-4 3-point attempts in the second quarter -- in a three-minute span -- to get her team back in the game. Down 35-26 with less than a minute, however, Salisbury got a jump shot from Jessica Helig then a steal and layin from Ashia Holmes for a 39-26 comfortable halftime lead.

-- Salisbury 6-4 freshman guard Brielle Blair is going to be a big problem for the rest of North Carolina for the next three seasons. She may be the best player on the best girls team in state. Blair had a game-high 20 points and two rebounds.

-- What Salisbury did to East Bladen's defense was clinical. The Hornets ran them on the fast break and East's players were tugging at their shorts in the first quarter. When Salisbury built a lead, East Bladen had to abandon its zone defense and play man-to-man, and the Hornets guards -- namely Ashia (10 points, 10 rebounds, 7 steals, 4 assists) and Ayanna Holmes (8 points, 6 rebounds, 11 assists, 6 steals) -- made sure to find the mismatch where bigger Salisbury players were matched up with smaller East players in the post. Salisbury outscored East Bladen 28-8 in the first half in points in the paint. That advantage remained in the second half. Salisbury outscored East 58-14 in the paint for the game.

-- The Eastern MVP was Jazmine Kemp was East Bladen (12 points, 8 rebounds). The Western MVP was Ashia Holmes (10 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 7 steals). The Kay Yow championship MVP was freshman Brielle Blair (20 points, 2 rebounds)

-- In closing, let me say this: this is one of the five best girls basketball teams I've ever seen. I would take this Salisbury team against any 2A girls team in history. This season, a full strength Butler was better, but the Bulldogs lost two starters -- one to injury and one to suspension -- and there's no doubt who the best team is now. I'd like to see Salisbury play NCISAA 3A state champ Providence Day, but I don't think there's anybody else in the state that can play with them.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

West Charlotte presale of tickets to Saturday's state championship game

West Charlotte is selling tickets to Saturday's N.C. 4A state championship basketball game today, Thursday and Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the school. Tickets are $9 in advance.

Information? 980-343-6060.

West Charlotte (27-2) plays Raleigh Millbrook (22-9) in the N.C. 4A state final at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill Saturday night.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

United Faith's Ogbueze commits to Florida

United Faith junior point guard Braxton Ogbueze has committed to Florida, Falcons coach Shaun Wiseman told the Observer.

Ogbueze, 6-foot-1, transferred from Vance to United Faith before the academic year began. He averaged nearly 19 points and four assists, leading United Faith to a third straight N.C. 1A Independent Schools state championship game.

United Faith was ranked nationally for much of the season. ESPN ranks Ogbueze the nation's No. 43 overall player in the junior class and No. 6 nationally at his position.

Wiseman said Ogbueze chose the Gators over Baylor, Texas, Oklahoma, Wake Forest, Virginia and Clemson.

News 14 to televise all of Saturday's basketball state championships

Time Warner Cable and News 14 Carolina will televise all eight boys and girls state championship games Saturday from Chapel Hill (2A and 4A) and Raleigh (1A and 3A).

The boys 4A game between West Charlotte and Raleigh Millbrook will be shown live on News 14 Carolina (channel 14 on Time Warner Cable systems) Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

The 1A, 2A and 3A championships will be televised live on Time Warner Cable digital channels 519 and 520.  All games will be streamed live on  All championship games will also be available for viewing anytime beginning Monday, March 14, on Carolina on Demand – digital channels 199 and 1047.

Here are the game times and channel locations:

Channel 519

All games telecast from Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh.

1A women– noon




1A men– 2:30 p.m.




3A women – 5 p.m.




3A men—7:30 p.m.




Channel 520

All games telecast from Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill.

2A women--noon




2A men– 2:30 p.m.




News 14 Carolina

All games telecast from Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill.

4A women – 5 p.m.




4A men – 7:30 p.m.




Friday, March 4, 2011

Michigan basketball star dies after game-winner

A sad reminder to live every day like it's your last: Michigan high school basketball star Wes Leonard saved a perfect season for Fennville High with a game-winning layup, then collapsed on the court during the ensuing celebration and later died.