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Hough High No. 1 in girls’ national soccer poll

By Langston Wertz Jr.
lwertz@charlotteobserver.com

Hough’s girls’ soccer team, which won the N.C. 4A championship, finished No. 1 in the National Soccer Coaches Association poll.

The Huskies, who also won the Observer’s Sweet 16 championship, finished the season 25-0-2, winning their second state championship in three years. Hough played in its third straight state championship. After winning the 2012 title, Hough finished second in the national coaches poll.

• Providence Day, which won the N.C. 3A Independent Schools championship, finished No. 14 in the national poll. The Chargers were 16-0-3.

Basketball

Jason Crawford is the new girls’ basketball coach at Independence. He is an English teacher and was the junior varsity softball coach last spring.

• Charlotte Catholic will be host school for the first McGuire Invitational tournament at Belmont Abbey on Dec. 22-23. The tournament, which will feature Catholic schools from North Carolina and New York, honors the 50th anniversary of legendary coach Al McGuire’s final season at Belmont Abbey.

Committed teams are Charlotte Catholic, Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons, Xavier (N.Y.) and Cardinal Spellman (N.Y.). Xavier is the reigning N.Y. Catholic A league champions.

• Ardrey Kell point guard Devin Cooper was named most valuable player of last week’s Southeast Summer Showcase at Forsyth Country Day. … Myers Park’s Zaqwaun Matthews was another camp standout and he’s receiving college interest from Cincinnati, Virginia Commonwealth and Villanova.

• Lake Norman Charter senior Alex Busch signed with Belmont Abbey this spring. She is the the Knights’ all-time leading scorer (1,406 points) and was an All-Big South Conference pick after averaging 16.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and two steals last season.

Busch was also all-conference in the outfield in softball. She hit .434 with five home runs, 26 RBIs and was a second-team All-Observer pick.

Softball

Alexander Central set state records for team batting average (.480) and hits (442) in a single season. Vada Sherrill, the N.C. Gatorade Player of the Year, set a record with 60 runs scored. Taylor Wike set another with 64 RBIs.

Alexander Central is No. 2 in MaxPreps national poll. The Cougars won the Observer’s Sweet 16 championship, which was announced last week.

Baseball

Providence (44) and Ardrey Kell (45) finished among the nation’s top 50 teams in the final MaxPreps poll of the season. Providence eliminated rival Ardrey Kell in the N.C. 4A quarterfinals last season before falling to eventual champ West Forsyth in the state semifinals. West Forsyth finished 38th in the national poll.

Track and field

Several Observer-area athletes won events at the New Balance Outdoor National Championships last week in Greensboro.

• Cherryville’s Trentavis Friday (200); Mallard Creek’s 400 relay (Kyle Horton, Vernon Grier, Cravont Charleston, QuaShawn Cunningham); Myers Park’s Bryanna Hames (girls’ discus); Berry girls’ 800 sprint relay, emerging elite (Destiny Campbell, Alysa Dempsey, Maya Grier, Tatiana Mills)

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