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Myers Park hopes 3rd time’s the charm

By Langston Wertz Jr.
Langston Wertz Jr.
Langston Wertz Jr. writes about videogames, gadgets, golf and sports for The Charlotte Observer and Charlotte.com.

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    Players of the Week

    Sarah Billiard, Covenant Day girls : 18 points, 11 rebounds in Tuesday’s win over Gaston Christian; 28 points, 21 rebounds, six steals in Friday’s win over Metrolina Christian.

    Torin Dorn, Vance: 32 points, 11 rebounds in a win over Robinson on Friday; 24 points, five assists in a one-ponit loss to Sweet 16 No. 1 Hough on Tuesday.

    Connor Burchfield, Concord: 32 points in a win over East Rowan on Friday; 37 against North Rowan earlier in the week.

    Luke Maye, Hough: 30 points against Vance on Tuesday; 29 points, 18 rebounds, three assists in a win over Hopewell on Friday.

    Emry Tsitouris, Parkwood girls: 21 points, 17 rebounds against Monroe on Tuesday; 30 points, 14 rebounds in a 71-28 win over Mount Pleasant on Friday.

    Stephanie Watts, Weddington girls: 32 points, 16 rebounds, nine assists, nine steals in a win over Cuthbertson on Friday; 25 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists in a win over Piedmont on Tuesday.

    This week’s top games

    West Charlotte (12-5, 6-2 MECKA 8) at North Mecklenburg (15-2, 6-2), 7:30 p.m. Tuesday: Hough (13-3, 7-0) owns wins over both of these teams, and the loser will have a hard time catching the Huskies for a league title. West Charlotte beat North Meck easily at home earlier this season. This is one of the county’s top rivalries and is the Mecklenburg County game of the week.

    Weddington (18-1, 5-0) at Sun Valley (9-9, 3-2 Southern Carolina), 7:30 p.m. Tuesday: Weddington struggled a little in a close win over Cuthbertson on Friday and travels to face a hot Sun Valley team. Sun Valley has won three in a row and 4-of-5 games after Friday’s 77-63 win over then second-place Anson Senior. Malcolm Cumberbatch led Sun Valley with 21 Friday.

    Ardrey Kell (14-4, 7-1) at Olympic (16-2, 6-2 SoMeck 8), 7:30 p.m. Wednesday: This is the third meeting this season between the teams, who have become hot rivals. Olympic is two games behind Berry (15-2, 8-0) in conference play and cannot afford another league loss. Ardrey Kell, which has already lost to Berry, can’t afford a loss and drop two games back either.


Myers Park’s girls are nationally ranked and rolling. The Mustangs win by an average of more than 25 points per game. Only one of their 16 wins has been by fewer than 12.

As the Mustangs roll to what looks like a certain Southwestern 4A conference title – a blowout win over second-place Rocky River on Friday gave Myers Park a two-game lead with five conference games to play – Myers Park second-year coach Barbara Nelson admits she’s a little concerned with what will happen to her team if it finds itself locked in a tight playoff battle next month.

“That’s why we began to create these little games within the game,” she said after Friday’s win. “We have a certain number of turnovers they can have, or there’s a certain number of offensive rebounds they can give up. Nobody can play perfect, but everyone has to try to play their best. It’s really about trying to stay focused on the little things.”

Myers Park has lost two games in the past two seasons, both disappointing playoff losses for a nationally ranked team expected to reach the state championship game.

This season, the Mustangs are again nationally ranked, again favored to reach the big game. Nelson and Myers Park are hoping that they get it right on this third try.

“We set that as a goal at the beginning of the year,” she said, “and now we’ve got to be willing to do the little things and have some luck. Last year’s team could’ve (won the state championship) but fell short. The team two years ago, I’m sure that team could’ve won it and they fell short. It’s not out of the realm of possibility for this year’s team to win, but falling short of it isn’t impossible either. We’ve got to show up every day and do our jobs every day and let the chips fall where they may. Hopefully, they fall our way.”

• It appears the MECKA 8 conference is the area’s toughest. The league changed names this year and added a few new teams, but state powers North Meck and West Charlotte and new state power Hough seem to have tough nights every night. West Charlotte was upset by Robinson on Tuesday and just escaped Mallard Creek on Friday.

• Over the years, I’ve often noted how late CMS basketball games start, particularly during the week. Area schools have done a much better job this season. I’ve heard about this issue much less frequently than in the past. I still think boys’ and girls’ games should be separated by location or game night, but kids are getting home earlier than in the past. That’s a good thing.

Wertz: 704-612-9716; Twitter: @langstonwertzjr
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