All-Lake Norman News girls’ basketball: Lake Norman Charter, Davidson Day lead honors
Tuesday, Apr. 08, 2014

All-Lake Norman News girls’ basketball: Lake Norman Charter, Davidson Day lead honors

    Ezinne Mbamalu, center, with coaches Bobby Williams and Jessica Martin, is the Lake Norman News girls’ basketball player of the year.
    Lake Norman Charter’s Ezinne Mbamalu is the Lake Norman News girls’ basketball player of the year.
    Davidson Day’s Zakia Vanhoose, left, and Danielle Johnson-Webb are the Lake Norman News girls’ basketball coaches of the year.
  • All-Lake Norman News girls’ basketball

    1st team

    Ezinne Mbamalu, Lake Norman Charter, Sr.: Big South Conference player of the year and All-District 9 second-team pick dominated all season, putting up 16.5 points, 14.6 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game. Winthrop signee.

    Alex Busch, Lake Norman Charter, Sr.: Knights’ all-time leading scorer (1,406 points) had another all-conference season, averaging 16.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and two steals per contest.

    Maya Caldwell, Davidson Day, Fr.: Two-time all-state pick averaged a double-double with 19.1 points, 10. 5 rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block per game.

    Mariah Washington, Hopewell, Sr.: Co-MECKA 4A player of the year led Titans with a career-best 11.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game.

    Julia Brown, Hough, Sr.: Co-MECKA 4A player of the year averaged 12.5 points, 11 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game. She is signed to play volleyball at N.C. State.

    2nd team

    Destiny Barrino, North Mecklenburg, Sr.: All-District 9 third-team and All-MECKA 4A pick led the Vikings in scoring (13.5 ppg) and rebounding (9.1 rpg). Committed to Louisburg College.

    Kelsey Dean, Hough, Sr.: University of Mary Washington commit had another All-MECKA 4A season, leading her team with 16.3 points per game. Also averaged 6.6 rebounds per contest.

    Bryanna Curry, Hopewell, Sr.: Titans’ versatile four-year starter was an All-MECKA pick with nine points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals per game.

    Sierra Wiley, Lake Norman Charter, Sr.: All-MECKA 4A point guard was also team’s defensive stopper, averaging 8.1 points, 5.2 assists and 2.6 steals per game.

    Giselle Verville, SouthLake Christian, Sr.: Eagles’ all-time leading scorer (1,407 points) averaged 17 points per game this season.

After going 63-19 in the last three seasons, Lake Norman Charter girls’ basketball and coach Bobby Williams had the program’s best season to date in their first in class 2A, winning a school-record 26 games and losing only two: to 4A power Hopewell and Lexington in the second round of the 2A playoffs.

The Knights won all 17 Big South 2A/3A conference games, taking the regular season and tournament titles in their first season in the league. Lake Norman Charter also beat Hopewell, Hough, Mooresville (twice), Mallard Creek and North Meck this season.

Hopewell (24-5, 11-3) swept the MECKA 4A regular season and tournament titles in the league’s first season, and made it to the third round of the playoffs before falling to eventual 4A state champion Myers Park.

Hough and North Meck, both 10-4 in MECKA 4A league play, also had strong seasons.

Lincoln Charter (23-3, 12-0) won the Southern Piedmont 1A conference title and their first two playoff games in school history.

Davidson Day was the top private school in the area at the end of the season, going 16-7 and advancing all the way to the NCISAA 2A state title game, falling to Carolina Day School.

Girls’ basketball coaches of the year: Danielle Johnson-Webb and Zakia Vanhoose, Davidson Day The Davidson Day girls’ basketball team felt good about its regular season. The Patriots went 13-6 overall, earning the No. 7 seed in the NCISAA 2A state playoffs.

But the Patriots, led by head coaches Danielle Johnson-Webb and Zakia Vanhoose, peaked at the right time, knocking off St. David’s, No. 2 seed Asheville Christian and No. 3 Northside Christian in the playoffs before falling to No. 1 seed and four-time state champion Carolina Day 57-36 in the state championship game.

Girls’ basketball player of the year: Ezinne Mbamalu, Lake Norman Charter When Ezinne Mbamalu started her Lake Norman Charter girls’ basketball career four years ago, she admits she wasn’t sure what she was doing on the court.

But Mbamalu finished her career as one of the most accomplished players in program. She owns the school record for rebounds (1,428), blocks (372) and steals (279).

The 6-foot-2 Lake Norman Charter senior also shares the record for games played (107) with classmate Alex Busch and finishes second on the all time scoring list (1,402 points) just four points behind Busch.

Mbamalu was at her best in her final season, averaging 16.5 points, 14.6 rebounds, 3.4 blocks and 3.1 steals per game, all while helping her team to a school-record 26 wins.

Mbamalu will continue her academic and basketball careers at Winthrop University.

Jay Edwards is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Jay? Email him at

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