Mike Helms and his Cuthbertson basketball team were so close they could taste it, falling just three points short of a 2A state championship in a 58-55 loss to Kinston.But while the Cavaliers have experience from their 31-2 season a year ago, Helms says they have to live in the now.“Our biggest challenge this year is to stay grounded, stay focused on the tasks at hand, every week,” Helms said. “If we try to be the same team we were a year ago, then we have wasted a year. We have to be even better.”Cuthbertson is off to a 9-0 start this year with all-state point guard Shelton Mitchell leading the way. He’s averaging 22 points per game, on a team that is averaging 77 points per game while giving up only 48.Mitchell, who is being recruited by North Carolina, N.C. State, Clemson and Wake Forest, has a lot of help from senior Isiah Cureton, Emmitt Afam and Lucius McMillon.But before they start thinking about a state title, the Cavaliers could have a few other championships in their path, including the Rocky River conference and even the HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational in Raleigh this week (Dec. 26-29).“Our kids have been excited to get to Raleigh and show what we can do from the minute we got that invitation,” Helms said. “It’s a chance to measure ourselves against some of the best teams in the state and in the country.” The holiday tournament schedule:Cuthbertson Boys: High SchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational (at Broughton High), Dec. 26-29: The team is on a mission this year and in a high-profile tournament. The 6-foot-3 junior point guard and his team want to show they can play with anyone.Piedmont Boys: Lee County Christmas Tournament (at Lee County High), Dec. 27-29: The Panthers have started strong with wins over Marvin Ridge, Sun Valley and Weddington and will go to 6-foot-5 senior forward Brady Meggs (19 ppg, 7 rpg) to help them make a run in this event.Sun Valley Boys: CMC Northeast Holiday Classic: The Spartans have fought their way back over .500 after a slow start with solid wins over Providence and Rocky River, and they hope they can keep things going at Cox Mill.Weddington Boys: CMC Northeast Holiday Classic: The Warriors have been up and down this season but have the talent, led by Brandon Watts (13 ppg, 6 rpg) and hope to make a run in the Cox Mill tournament. Girls: CMC Northeast Holiday Classic: The Weddington girls have gotten off to a good start and will look to Stephanie Watts (20 ppg, 8 rpg) to help make them a factor here.Parkwood Boys: CMC Northeast Holiday Classic: The Rebels have struggled so far this season and will hope to gain a little momentum at the Cox Mill event. Girls: CMC Northeast Holiday Classic: The Rebels have impressed so far, particularly post-Emry Tsitouris (23 ppg, 14 rpg), who gives them a chance to play with anyone on the inside. Other local schools off this week: Central Academy (boys and girls), Cuthbertson Girls, Forest Hills (boys and girls), Marvin Ridge (boys and girls), Metrolina Christian (boys and girls), Monroe (boys and girls), Piedmont (girls), Porter Ridge (boys and girls), Sun Valley (girls), Union Academy (boys and girls).
Monday, Dec. 24, 2012
Union County school hit tournament season
Cuthbertson looking to measure its play against the best
Cuthbertson High junior basketball point guard Shelton Mitchell, who is a high major college recruit, will be a key player during the holiday tournament season.
Jay Edwards is a freelance writer for the Union News. Have a story idea for Jay? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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