When you get down to it, Myers Park High’s girls basketball team had two goals this season: to return to the NCHSAA 4A championship game. And to win it.
The Mustangs accomplished the first part of their championship equation Saturday in the N.C. 4A Western Regional final, dispatching previously unbeaten and nationally ranked Northwest Guilford 58-38. Myers Park will play Southeast Raleigh in next week’s state final in Chapel Hill.
Myers Park is only the second girls 4A team from Mecklenburg County to reach back-to-back finals. West Charlotte got there in 2008 and 2009, winning in ’09 behind state player of the year Christal Caldwell.
Next week, Myers Park (28-1) can repeat and make history.
“It felt great the first time, and doing it a second time would feel even better,” said N.C. State recruit D.D. Rogers. “We don’t look at rankings or anything. We just focus on ourselves, and right now we’re close to our goal.”
Myers Park is ranked No. 6 nationally by USA Today. Northwest Guilford (28-1) is No. 11. But the game appeared to be a mismatch from the opening tip. The Mustangs eliminated any drama early, limiting the Northwest Guilford Vikings to 2-for-17 shooting and 12 turnovers in the first half. The Mustangs led 35-11 at halftime.
Northwest Guilford entered the game averaging 60 points and had a low of 44. Before Myers Park coach Barbara Nelson emptied her bench with three minutes left, Northwest was stuck on 31.
“It was good defense,” Nelson said. “I’ve felt like in the last month we have spent more time on defense than on offense. We’ve gone back to putting tape on the floor and saying, ‘You’re not getting to where you need to be.’”
Rogers had nine points, 12 rebounds, five blocks, two assists and a steal. But the game belonged to point guard Aliyah Mazyck, a Southern Cal recruit who had 30 points, three rebounds and two assists. Mazyck said a Northwest Guilford player began the game by saying some things that upset her.
“She was talking junk,” Mazyck said. “She was saying a lot of things, personal stuff, and I didn’t like that. It makes me angry, and I play well when I get angry.”
Rogers and Mazyck have never lost to a Mecklenburg County team. They’ve lost to Southeast Guilford, West Forsyth and nationally ranked Blackman (Tenn) twice. Their record is 118-4 .
“They didn’t lose in the playoffs last year, and this year so far they haven’t lost in the playoffs,” Nelson said. “If they can win next week, I think that would be a pretty epic career.”
Western Regional All-Tournament Team
Hayley Barber, NW Guilford; Morgan Pointer, NW Guilford; McKenna Haire, Myers Park; Chanin Scott, Myers Park; D.D. Rogers, Myers Park; and Aliyah Mazyck (MVP), Myers Park.