The Beach Ball Classic tournament is always one of the premier high school hoops tournaments in the country. This year is no different as some of the country's top players and teams will compete beginning the day after Christmas at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.
Concord is one of 16 teams hailing from 11 different states that all boast championship caliber rosters.
No team from North Carolina or South Carolina has won the tournament since Eau Claire (S.C.) won it all in 1986.
Winning a few games in Myrtle Beach would be a major accomplishment for most teams.
"We've gotten better every game," Concord basketball coach Scott Brewer said. "I think we're ready for anything. I don't anybody is going to scare us or intimidate us."
The Spiders have faced as hard a schedule as any team in the state with five of their first six opponents combining for a 148-5 record a season ago. While Concord (3-3) has taken their lumps, they do have wins over defending 4A state champion Mount Tabor and Salisbury.
The tough schedule will continue in the tournament as the Spiders take on host Myrtle Beach in their first game. The Seahawks, 6-0 this season, won the 2007 3A state championship.
Concord will need more consistent play from its point guard in freshman Darren Black and sophomore Kendall Knorr, if they want to play better.
Junior wing Jacquise Moore is probably as good as any 3A player in the state and has lots of help in Xavier Stywall, C.J. Gridine and Jalen Cannady. Shooters Griffin Templeton and Will Vanderburg could also give Moore and company more room to operate.
The Beach Ball Classic is never short on teams that have consistently won at the highest levels of high school basketball. This year, from Wisconsin to Maryland to Nevada to Virginia back to the Carolinas, the 16-team field is as good as ever.
Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.): 2009 state champions have three at least three Division I recruits.
Bishop O'Connell (Arlington, Va.): won four state titles in last eight years.
Cedar Hill (Cedar Hill, Texas): Averaging 28 wins per season this decade.
Mount St. Joseph's (Baltimore, Md.): Won more than 20 games for the last 14 straight seasons.