Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Here's why Wednesday's West Charlotte-Vance tilt is Meck Co game of the year so far

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.