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Gaston Day back in league race

By Langston Wertz Jr.
Langston Wertz Jr.
Langston Wertz Jr. writes about high schoool sports for The Charlotte Observer and

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    Players of the week


    Gabe DeVoe, Shelby: 42 points and 12 rebounds from Clemson recruit in a 77-71 over arch rival East Rutherford Friday in front of a sold-out crowd. DeVoe combined with teammate Mon’Darius Black to make 15-of-16 free throws in the final eight minutes.


    Akela Branch, Albemarle: 19 points, 17 rebounds, five blocks and five steals in a 69-50 win over South Stanly.

    CJ Bryce, North Mecklenburg: 26 points, 17 rebounds, four assists in 70-43 win over Hopewell. Bryce made 10-of-11 free throws.

    Khayleb Connelly, South Mecklenburg: 24 points in a 64-54 win over West Meck.

    Ezinne Mbamalu, Lake Norman Charter: 21 points, 25 rebounds, four blocks in a 67-17 win over Stuart Cramer.

    Hunter Seacat, Lake Norman: 19 points, 16 rebounds in a 104-31 win ovrer South Iredell.

    Blake Waud, Weddington: 20 points, 18 rebounds in a 103-52 win over Anson. Jordan Barber (20 points, eight assists, four rebounds) and Chris Trevisan (10-for-12 shooting, 23 points, five steals, four assists) also had strong games.

    Langston Wertz Jr.


    This week’s top games

    Ardrey Kell at Olympic, Monday, 7:30 p.m.: Olympic (17-2, 7-2 SoMeck 8) has had so much success in the past five years that the current Trojans don’t really know what not being in first place in the conference feels like. But the Trojans are two games behind Berry (16-2, 9-0) and one game behind Ardrey Kell (15-4, 8-1). So basically, the Trojans’ conference hopes ride on Monday’s home. And it’s probably a safe bet that there won’t be any available seats in the gym seats by tipoff.

    West Charlotte at North Mecklenburg, Monday, 7:30 p.m.: With Hough (15-3, 9-0 MECKA 8) two games up on both West Charlotte (13-5, 7-2) and North Meck (16-2, 7-2), this rivalry game takes on even more importance. No other team in the league has a winning record in conference play, so this is a three-team race to the title. Monday’s loser is almost certainly out. West Charlotte has another huge game at Hough Friday

    United Faith at Gaston Day, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.: Gaston Day (16-10, 5-2) upset Victory Christian on Friday and now trails Victory and United Faith (17-6, 7-1) by one game for the conference lead.

    Charlotte Catholic girls at Harding, Wednesday, 6 p.m.: Both teams are tied for second place in the SoMeck Conference, one game behind Ardrey Kell.

    Langston Wertz Jr.

One big shot threw one big wrench in the Southern Piedmont Conference championship race Friday night.

Gaston Day’s Derek McKnight hit a running 3-point jumper with four seconds left to beat Victory Christian in double-overtime. The shot set off a wild court-storming celebration at Gaston Day and, more important, the 63-60 win vaulted the Spartans back into the Southern Piedmont championship race.

Gaston Day now trails conference co-leaders Victory Christian and United Faith by one game. Gaston Day hosts United Faith on Tuesday and plays at Hickory Christian on Friday. Victory Christian visits United Faith on Friday.

Gaston Day can sweep its final two games and get a share of the conference championship if United Faith were to beat Victory Christian.

• Providence Day is 19-3 and No. 2 in the Observer’s Sweet 16, but coach Brian Field likes that his team is winning off the court, too. The Chargers’ 11 players take 13 AP courses and their combined semester report cards showed 25 As, 29 Bs, 14 Cs and no Ds or Fs.

• Myers Park coach Wes Hepler said he has dismissed star guard Austin Dasent for the season. He declined to say why, saying Dasent, a Division I prospect, had a bright future and he wished Dasent well. Myers Park upset Butler on Friday in its first game without Dasent.

• Cherryville honored its 2004 basketball team Friday. The ’04 team went 23-0 in the regular-season and 11 of the 12 players were at the game Friday with Highland Tech. That ’04 team lost in the regional championship game, a place the current team hopes to go. Cherryville (17-2) beat Highland Tech 83-60. Cherryville got 17 points from freshman center Yung Sherrill and the team made 10 3-point shots.

• Central Cabarrus freshman girls point guard Mahaley Holit looks like a future star. She has been consistent all season, playing on the big varsity stage, and I suspect she has a Division I future. Friday, she led Central Cabarrus to a 66-57 win over rival West Rowan. Holit finished with 27 points and 10 assists. West Rowan sophomore Khalia Hall had a career-best 28.

• Speaking of freshman, Concord has a special one in 6-foot-3 guard Ty-Shon Alexander. Alexander had a team-high 26 points in a 74-67 win over Cox Mill on Friday.

• Myers Park girls star Aliyah Mazyck missed Friday’s game with Butler while recovering from a concussion. Freshman McKenna Haire got the start for the nationally-ranked Mustangs. Haire is heavy into cross-fit and classes at basketball factory Accelerate Basketball. Haire shot 250 3-point shots the day before Friday’s games, where Haire and Myers Park beat Butler 69-39 Friday.

• Watauga upset Sweet 16 No. 8 Freedom on Friday, ending the Patriots’ chance at an unbeaten season. Jay Harrill had 34 points and Cam Baker had 14 in a 75-64 win. Freedom fell to 17-1.

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