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Providence Day boys’ basketball coach Brian Field has been at the school for 14 years. He thinks this season’s team, which begins the season ranked No. 1 in the Observer’s Sweet 16 poll, are the most talented group the school has assembled in that time.

With undefeated regular seasons, but still without a state title, the Myers Park Mustangs girls basketball team could be suffering from its own success.

The Independence boys’ basketball team won 24 games last year, more than the three previous seasons under coach Preston Davis combined. Senior Deion Lane wants to prove that last season wasn’t a fluke.

The Charlotte Catholic girls’ swimming team has dominated the state like no other team in any sport, winning the past 12 N.C. titles (from 1A, 2A, 3A).

For Jerry Castro and his North Lincoln cross country and track teams, there is no offseason.

The Hough wrestling team had a banner year last season. They won nearly every event they competed in, including the Jim Hayes Invitational, the Mecklenburg County tournament, the Pirate Invitational, the Husky Duals, I-Meck conference championship and the 4A West Regional title.

Charlotte Observer Area Basketball Schedules

The Charlotte Observer’s 2013-14 preseason Sweet 16 boys high school basketball poll.

The Observer’s preseason Sweet 16 girls high school basketball poll for 2013-14.

Destiny Barrino, North Mecklenburg, 5-8, Sr., G: Was I-Meck 4A Player of the Year last season after averaging 12.5 ppg, 7 rpg, 5 spg, 2 apg

Connor Burchfield, Concord, 6-4, Sr., G: Charlotte Observer all-region star averaged 20 ppg, 6 rpg last season.

Myers Park at Ardrey Kell, Nov. 22: The two top public school teams in Mecklenburg County are no longer in the same conference, but the rivalry should still burn hot.

High Point Wesleyan Christian at Northside Christian, Nov. 25: UNC signee Theo Pinson and the N.C. 3A private school state champions visit the two-time N.C. 2A state champions.

Inside look at the Observer area’s 4A girls and boys prep basketball teams

Watts, who has put up gaudy stats, is ranked among the nation’s top 10 juniors by some recruiting services.

Concord: Spiders are deep with three double figure scorers back (Connor Burchfield, Greg Childress, Jerry Burk). Freshman Ty-Shon Alexander is among the state’s best in his class and already has an offer from Charlotte. The Spiders are legitimate threat to win a 3A state title.

DeVoe, who’s related to former NBA coach Alvin Gentry and former ACC and NBA star David Thompson, hopes to carry Shelby to the state title game. He’s rated among the top 100 players in the country.

Four senior Division I recruits look to pace Knights

The Observer previews area boys’ and girls’ 2A basketball

Charlotte Latin boys: Hawks were 22-7 last season and return three starters and a slew of strong newcomers, including 6-foot-2 junior guard Anthony Bilas, the son of former Duke forward and ESPN analyst Jay Bilas. College recruits Rusty Reigel and Joey Baynard have started every game since they were freshman. Experience counts.

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