Kishawn Pritchett has quickly adjusted to his new surroundings at Lake Norman High.Although seeing the size of his graduating class jump from around 10 at Mooresville Christian to nearly 500 has been a big change, he’s also seen his role on the basketball court evolve.“Last year, everyone that started was a senior,” said Pritchett. “As a freshman, I wasn’t looked to score. Now, I have to score much more.”Lake Norman coach Brandon Jolly said Pritchett, who he labeled as a natural scorer, didn’t waste time picking up the Wildcat offense. The sophomore led the team with 13 points per game as it got off to a 7-2 start, the team’s best since winning the 4A state championship in 2010.“He’s a vital part of what we do,” said Jolly. “He’s doing a little bit of everything right now, which is great for us.”Pritchett’s all-around game has impressed Jolly.“He’s just a difficult match-up,” he said. “He can take a bigger guy off the dribble, being an adept ball-handler, or he can take a smaller guy down into the post. He shoots it well from the perimeter. He just does so many things.”Pritchett is second in assists and blocks for the Wildcats. The 6-foot-4, 193-pounder also leads the team in steals.“He’s showing how well-rounded a player he is,” said Jolly. “And he’s only going to get better.”Pritchett’s versatility has benefitted him playing a hybrid power forward for the Wildcats, a team that usually plays with four players on the perimeter and only one man in the middle.“He just knows how to put the ball in the basket,” said Jolly. “He’s got the green light to shoot it from the perimeter. But he has the ability to play inside and use his post game.”Pritchett credits that to working on developing his skills growing up. Being one of the tallest children in his age group, he was often asked to play center since picking up the sport as a 6-year-old.Despite being labeled a big man early, he would often work on his ball-handling and shooting to become a more complete player.Jolly said that work allows the 15-year-old to make it seem almost effortless on the court.“The game comes easy to him,” said Jolly, adding that Pritchett doesn’t take that for granted. “But he puts in a ton of work. He gets up a lot of shots on his own. He’s always at the Y working out.”Playing defense the way the Wildcats like to has been more of a challenge for Pritchett, who has been a starter all year for Lake Norman.“Our philosophy, our terminology allows us to do a hundred different things – man-to-man, zone, how much you pressure the ball, how much you pressure the passing lane,” said Jolly. “Everything we do was almost foreign to him.”Chemistry with his new teammates didn’t take as long to develop, or rekindle. Pritchett went to school at Brawley Middle, a Lake Norman feeder school, and attended basketball camp at the school for a few years, so he knew many of his current teammates.That, along with his strong play, has quickly earned his teammates’ trust.“Even though he’s one of the young guys, a lot of them are looking toward them,” said Jolly.Lake Norman, which has eight players averaging double-figure minutes, has also had help from 6-foot-9 center Troy Warren.The senior, who missed a couple of early games, averaged 12 points per game going into the Statesville Record & Landmark Tournament last week.Brandon Lee (nine points per game), Hunter Seacat (seven per game) and Cooper Scoles (seven points per game) have also contributed for the Wildcats.Jolly is glad to see the program rebounding after winning eight games in each of the past two years. Lake Norman’s two early-season losses were by a combined five points.“It’s things we’re doing that’s beating us right now,” said Jolly. “It’s correctable stuff that we can really focus in during practice to try to correct it.”Pritchett and Jolly both want to get Lake Norman back into the playoffs for the first time since winning the 2010 state championship. They also hope the Wildcats will make an impact in the I-Meck this year.A key for that to happen will be to get the ball into Pritchett’s hands more often.“I don’t think we’re doing a good enough job of doing that,” Jolly said.
Wednesday, Jan. 02, 2013
Sophomore’s scoring ability helps him fit in
Kishawn Pritchett, a Mooresville Christian transfer, leads Lake Norman in scoring
Kishawn Pritchett's transition to Lake Norman High has been seamless. The sophomore led the Wildcats to a 7-2 start with his 13 points per game. SERGIO TOVAR - email@example.com