Josh Dominguez and Tyrell Nelson took very different paths to get where they are on the basketball court.The Metrolina Christian seniors have spent a lot of time together over the past two seasons, playing on the Metrolina team and the same Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) squad, the Charlotte Jets.But they will take different paths after this year when Dominguez – a 6-foot-4, 205-pound, wing player – will attend Wingate University. Nelson – a 6-foot-7, 235-pound post player – will go to Gardner-Webb. For right now, though, they are one of the most dynamic basketball duos in the state.Dominguez, 17, grew up in the Metrolina Christian system and has attended the school since sixth grade. He averages 23 points, five rebounds and three assists per game. Nelson, 17, was somewhat of a late bloomer. He transferred from Olympic High after his sophomore season; he is now putting up 21 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks per game.Their success on and off the court has brought them closer as teammates and friends.“Josh and I spend a lot of time together,” Nelson said.He said he first met Dominguez in the summer of 2011 on the Jets’ AAU team.“We have just about all the same classes, go to practice, and even spend the night and travel together in AAU ball. We have a lot in common and have had the same goals (college basketball scholarships). So we’ve gotten to very close. I think that all has translated onto the basketball court.”The chemistry between the Metrolina Warriors’ duo all started last season, when Dominguez and Nelson led a balanced lineup that included seniors Calvin Davis, Joe Morgan and Ross Rushing. The team went 20-10 overall – including 10-4 in the Metrolina Athletic Conference (MAC) – behind only NCISAA 2A state champion, Northside Christian (31-1).Their season ended in a loss to NCISAA 3A state runner-up Greensboro Day (31-4), but coach Michael Wilson and his Warrior team knew they would bring a lot of momentum into the 2012-13 season.The Warriors’ supporting cast has had ups and downs. Alec Bross – a 6-foot-1 senior forward averaging 10 points and five rebounds – has proven to be the most consistent player; senior point guard Wesley Funderburk is averaging 3.7 points and Aaron Stokey, 1.8.The team has been plagued by turnovers, with 408 miscues through their first 22 games – an average of 19 giveaways per contest.“There’s no secret that our biggest challenge is taking care of the ball,” Wilson said. “We have continued to work on valuing each possession, but also used guys like Bross and Nelson to bring the ball up at times to alleviate the pressure.”Metrolina Christian (13-9, 4-3) is in position to make another run at postseason play. They were in sole possession of third place as of Jan. 18. And the Warriors will need everyone at their best as play continues.Dominguez has scored 20 points or more in 16 of his 22 games, with four 30-plus-point outbursts including a career-best 34 points in a win over Village Christian, and most recently, a 33-point explosion in a win over Gaston Christian.Nelson has been just as consistent with doubles figures in all 22 games – including 16, 20-plus point scoring nights; a 34-point, 12-rebound effort in a critical win over Covenant Day; and a 30-point, 18-rebound performance in a victory over South Lake Christian.Dominguez and Nelson have also learned to use screens and pick-and-roll plays to make teams make decide who to stop on any given play. And they constantly push each other in one-on-one drills in practice.“I don’t think there is any team out there that can stop both of us,” Nelson said. “So we just have to keep playing our game and trusting our teammates to make plays.”
Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
Metrolina Christian seniors give team a spark
Dominguez, Nelson headed to college teams after this season
Tyrell Nelson, left, and Josh Dominguez also play on the same AAU team, the Charlotte Jets. COURTESY OF MICHAEL WILSON
Metrolina seniors Terrell Nelson, left, and Josh Dominguez are a leading basketball duo. Nelson will play basketball next year for Gardner Webb. Dominguez is headed to Wingate University. COURTESY OF MICHAEL WILSON
Jay Edwards is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Jay? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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