• Sun Valley boys’ basketball coach Keith Mason had to be awfully proud watching his daughter Friday night against Rocky River. Karli Mason, a freshman, had 20 points, four rebounds and three steals. She probaby caused her father to be late for his boys’ pregame meeting, too.
• Just when I think Mecklenburg County basketball can’t get any better, this is shaping up to be a powerhouse season. A lot of insiders thought last season would be down, and Olympic, West Charlotte, Hough and Northside Christian turned it into (another) championship season chock full of memories. There are more strong teams now and more strong players than last season.
• Note to the tournament organizers: Loving all the great holiday tournaments around here, but next year let’s try to have them on different dates. It hurts the crowd – and the media coverage – when everybody tries to hog the same dates.
↑ Northside Christian: Boys up to No.14 in MaxPreps national ranking
↑ Eleah Parker, Northside Christian girls: She’s 6-foot-4 and leads the nation in blocks per game (9.5) and rebounds (20.0)
↑ Harding girls rebounding: Rams have two of the state’s top 15 in average rebounds: Brianna Hamrick (14.3 rpg) is ninth; Cecile Sadler (13.5) is No. 13. Myicha Drakeford averages 11.5 rebounds, too. Drakeford ranks No.4 in the state in scoring (25.8).
↑ Devonte Fuller, Hickory: Scored 45 points in a season-opening 85-76 loss to Newton-Conover on Dec.3. He made 14 of 24 shots and 12 of 13 free throws. He also had 10 steals and eight rebounds. Fuller had 27 points in Hickory’s second game, a loss to Statesville.
Top Upcoming Matchups
East Mecklenburg (4-1) at No. 5 Olympic (4-0), 7:30 p.m. Tuesday: Olympic beat Hopewell on Friday to win its 34th straight game. The teams hadn’t met for nine years. Tuesday night, Olympic will play a team with which it is much more familiar. The Trojans beat East Mecklenburg 75-62 in a hotly contested first-round playoff game last February. The Eagles won their first four games before losing Friday at No.8 North Mecklenburg.
No. 11 Harding girls (3-1) at No.5 Mallard Creek (5-0), 6 p.m. Tuesday: By winning four road games, Mallard Creek is showing its mettle and has zoomed up from No.12 in the Observer’s Sweet 16. This is a rematch of the Mavericks’ 65-63 win Nov.25. The Rams are two-time reigning N.C. 3A champs, but they have moved up to 4A this season.
No. 15 Independence (3-3) at No.4 Hough (4-1), 7:30 p.m. Tuesday: After losing to No.1 Providence Day, Hough has bounced back with easy wins against Mooresville (72-46) and Lake Norman Charter (55-29), and is at home Tuesday to face a Patriots team that is battle tested. Independence has played four ranked teams in its first six games.
No. 1 Myers Park girls (6-0) at No.15 North Mecklenburg (4-2), 6 p.m. Tuesday: Two preseason conference favorites meet. Myers Park hasn’t been playing complete games but has been winning. North Mecklenburg has lost two in a row – to East Meck and No.10 Lake Norman Charter – and hopes to spring a huge upset to get back on track.
United Faith (6-1) at Legacy Charter (S.C.), 7 p.m. Tuesday: Coach Muggsy Bogues’ Falcons team, which has won four straight, will go to Greenville to face one of the South Carolina’s top private school teams. Legacy Charter has beaten area power Kennedy Charter and national power Arden Christ School this season. It will try to avenge a 61-52 loss suffered at United Faith on Nov.19.
No. 2 West Charlotte (3-1) at Berry (4-0), 7:30 p.m. Wednesday: Berry has won four games by 23 points, specializing in the close win. Berry is also holding its opponents to slightly more than 50 points per game. The Lions are averaging triple digits. Something will give in this huge rivalry game.
Players of the week
Jatarie White, Providence Day girls: South Carolina recruit had 31 points, 15 rebounds and two assists in the No.1 Chargers’ 47-42 win against Durham Academy on Saturday.
Rachel Camp, East Rutherford girls: Virginia Tech signee had 30 points, 11 rebounds and five steals in last week’s 67-57 win against Kings Mountain.
Ken Gorham, Mallard Creek: Junior had 20 points, 16 rebounds, three steals and two blocks in a 61-44 win at Asheville Reynolds on Saturday.
Darryl White, Harding: Had 26 points, including 5-for-8 on 3-point attempts, in a 56-51 win against Vance. In the first four games, White is averaging 25.5 points. Teammate Teyon Henry averages 17.
Area Girls’ Leaders
|Jatarie White||Providence Day||22.9|
|Avery Locklear||South Rowan||22.0|
|Maya Caldwell||Davidson Day||21.75|
|Rachel Porter||West Charlotte||21.3|
|Eleah Parker||Northside Christian||20.75|
|Zharia White||Mallard Creek||20.2|
|Alex Busch||Lake Norman Charter||19.5|
|Brielle Blair||North Rowan||19.0|
|Te’Ja Twitty||R-S Central||18.0|
|Parker Tompkins||Davidson Day||18.0|
|Jasmine Rivers||Anson Sr.||17.3|
|Madi Suddreth||Alexander Central||17.2|
|Aliyah Mazyck||Myers Park||16.8|
|Eleah Parker||Northside Christian||20.0|
|Ezinne Mbamalu||Lake Norman Charter||16.0|
|Lynsey Corriher||South Rowan||14.3|
|Cassidy Chapman||South Rowan||13.3|
|Te’Ja Twitty||R-S Central||13.0|
|Karleigh Wike||East Rowan||12.8|
|Moriah Green||Bible Baptist||12.8|
|Destiny Barrino||North Mecklenburg||12.0|
|Parker Tompkins||Davidson Day||12.0|
|Salem Cuthbertson||Char. United Christian||11.8|
|Jessica Gaston||West Charlotte||11.7|
|Kelli Fisher||East Rowan||11.6|
|Amanda Dobner||Hickory Grove||11.5|
|Maya Caldwell||Davidson Day||11.5|
|Jaida Robinson||Anson Sr.||11.0|
|Hannah Billiard||Covenant Day||10.8|
|Joi Tapper||West Mecklenburg||10.8|
|Mary Katelyn Nethery||Bible Baptist||10.8|
|Zharia Brown||Hickory Ridge||10.5|
|Sarah Billiard||Covenant Day||10.4|
|Rydeiah Rogers||Myers Park||10.3|
|Avery Locklear||South Rowan||10.0|
|Alexandra Dawes||South Iredell||10.0|
|Ja’yon Leak||Northside Christian||7.5|
|Jamie Ellis||Marvin Ridge||5.4|
|Kiera Dowell||Charlotte Latin||5.2|
|Lekia Hall||South Iredell||4.3|
|Zahria Alderson||Anson Sr.||4.3|
|Chantel Williams||Mallard Creek||4.0|
|Taylor Wike||Alexander Central||4.0|
|Tierra Dameron||Bessemer City||4.0|
|Sylvetta Bost||South Rowan||3.7|
|Jasmine Gray||West Meck||3.6|
Girls’ games start at approximately 6 p.m. followed by the boys
22 Ft. Academy at Kennedy Charter
Albemarle at Chatham Central
Alexander Central at Watauga
Australia at Providence Day
Bandys at Fred T. Foard
Bunker Hill at South Iredell
Cannon at Greensboro Day
Charlotte Latin at Charlotte Catholic
Chase at Shelby
Cherryville at Stuart Cramer
Chesterfield at Anson
Christ the King at Pine Lake Prep
Clover at Ashbrook
Community School of Davidson at Charlotte Christian
Concord at East Rowan
Covenant Day at Metrolina Christian
Cox Mill at Northwest Cabarrus
Davidson Day at Gaston Day
East Burke at East Rutherford
East Lincoln at South Point
East Mecklenburg at Olympic
East Wilkes at North Iredell
Fletcher School at Charlotte United Christian
Forsyth Country Day at Charlotte Country Day
Garinger at East Gaston
Gaston Christian at SouthLake Christian (Boys only)
Gray Stone Day at Cabarrus Home Educators
Harding at Mallard Creek
Hickory Ridge at Central Cabarrus
Hopewell at Lake Norman
Independence at Hough
Kings Mountain at Burns
Marvin Ridge at Nation Ford
Myers Park at North Mecklenburg
Newton Conover at St. Stephens
North Gaston at Lincolnton
North Hills Christian at Grace Academy (at Crew Road Rec Center)
Northside Christian at Concord First Assembly
North Stanly at West Montgomery
Parkwood at Buford
Piedmont at Forest Hills
Piedmont Charter at Bessemer City
Queens Grant at South Davidson
R-S Central at Draughn
South Rowan at West Rowan
South Stanly at North Moore
Sun Valley at Providence
Union Academy at East Montgomery
United Faith at Legacy Charter (S.C.)
Victory Christian at Wesleyan Christian
Weddington at Forestview
West Iredell at Maiden
West Lincoln at North Lincoln
Westminster Catawba at Hickory Grove
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