Fortunately for Central Cabarrus, the play of senior Mason Spease isnt all about his outside jump shot.A scorching start to the season had Speases averaging 14 points per game. Though his shooting touch has strayed in recent weeks, Speases rebounding ability and defensive play makes him as valuable as ever to the Vikings.After 15 games, he was grabbing seven rebounds a game, the second highest average on the team. The 6-foot-1 guards prowess on the offensive boards also allows him to put points on the scoreboard while he looks to regain his jump shot.The thing hes improved on the most is his defense, said Central coach Brian King. It wasnt where it needed to be. His lateral defense has really improved, thats why he doesnt come off the court much. Now, hes extremely important to us.Spease has had some of his best games against some of Charlottes best teams. In Centrals season opener against South Mecklenburg, Spease knocked in four three-pointers while recording a then career-best 22 points.I didnt really know what to expect, said Spease. Our point guard was injured and I had to start at point guard. I came out made my first shot and it gave me a lot of confidence.On Dec. 10, in a 65-52 win against Porter Ridge, Spease set a new career-high with 28 points.Two days later, Spease had a night to remember against Olympic, a team ranked nationally. Despite feeling ill, Spease made his first three shots and five 3-pointers in the second quarter on his way to 22 points.Against county rival Hickory Ridge, Spease nearly logged a triple-double. He scored 14 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and registered eight assists in a Viking victory.After the turn of the year, Speases shot fell astray. After a couple of poor outings in which he had trouble finding the bucket, King pulled Spease aside and broke down his jump shot for him.Apparently, I was going back to old habits, said Spease. I was turning my feet, not squaring up to the basket. Ive been knocking down more shots in practice.His outside shooting is what earned him a spot on the varsity roster as a sophomore two years ago. By the time the second round of conference games came that season, Spease was in the starting lineup.Spease scored a season-high 17 points in a win over Mount Pleasant and 12 against Robinson. He felt pretty good going into his junior year, but King was taking the year off while he and his wifes triplets were being born.Attributing it to a growth spurt and some weight training that altered his shot, Spease had a poor shooting year last season. He averaged eight points a game and Central Cabarrus struggled through a disappointing season.In the offseason, Spease stepped up his basketball workouts and the number of AAU games he played. Not only did it get him ready for the season, but he also drew the attention of Newberry College coach Dave Davis, a former coach at Pfeiffer University.Spease worked out with the Newberry team in the fall. He says he is entertaining an offer to play there next year.
Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013
Central Cabarrus guard Mason Spease proves his value isnt just shooting
Central Cabarrus senior guard Mason Spease started the year averaging 14 points and seven rebounds a game. COURTESY OF BRIAN KING
The Spease file This is what Central Cabarrus senior basketball player Mason Spease prefers: Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day? Valentine’s Day. Point or shooting guard? Point guard. Candy or gum? Candy. Brushing or flossing? Brushing. Between-the-legs or behind-the-back dribble? Between the legs. Talking or texting? Talking.