↑CMS Basketball: Boys’ teams from Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools were mostly dominant in the playoffs’ first round. No. 30 seed Ardrey Kell might have pulled off the biggest upset, winning 76-56 at No. 3 seed Mount Tabor.
↓Playoff rematches: Myers Park’s girls beat Butler 53-40 to win the Southwestern 4A championship last Friday. It was their third meeting this season. Myers Park beat Southwestern 4A rival Porter Ridge in the first round Tuesday. The Mustangs’ reward? A fourth game against Butler in Thursday’s second round.
↑West Charlotte: Coach Baronton Terry has proven to be a successful postseason coach. The Lions have reached the N.C. 4A Western Regionals six of the past seven seasons and played for two state titles in that run. This year’s team, decimated by graduation, entered the playoffs at 13-10 but beat Watauga by 30 Tuesday. It plays at Hoke County (19-7) Thursday.
Three To Watch
DJ Little, Butler: Sophomore guard has been on a tear. He made seven 3-pointers in the Southwestern 4A championship game win over Myers Park and was named tournament MVP. He followed that with a team-high 22 in a 40-point win over Lake Norman in Tuesday’s first round.
Ardrey Kell coach Mike Craft: Led team to the 2015 N.C. 4A championship, but lost experience with graduation. This team is 13-13, but it upset Mount Tabor on Tuesday. Earlier this season, Ardrey Kell earlier ended Charlotte Catholic’s dream of an unbeaten season. In the first meeting against Catholic, Ardrey Kell lost by two.
B.J. Mack, Charlotte Catholic: 6-7 freshman has scholarship offers from ACC, SEC schools and interest from Power 5 programs. He’s an interior anchor for a team that has nine seniors. If he can rebound for the Cougars experienced guards, anything’s possible.
Thursday’s Key Games
Berry (21-7) at Butler (22-5), 7:30 p.m.: Butler, the Southwestern 4A champion, has won nine straight. Berry lost to Charlotte Catholic in the SoMeck 8 championship but has won four of five. Berry is led by senior Jael Scott.
Butler girls (20-8) at Myers Park (21-5), 6 p.m.: Two-time N.C. 4A champion Myers Park will be without three players, dismissed for violating team rules. The Mustangs have won six straight. Led by Rinnah Green, Butler hunts an upset.
Ardrey Kell (13-13) at Independence (20-7), 7:30 p.m.: Independence senior guard Marcus Thomas and junior center Justyn Hamilton have been imposing since Christmas. They combine to average 28 points and 13 rebounds. Ardrey Kell is smaller and younger.
Berry girls (21-4) at Ardrey Kell (22-6), 6:30 p.m.: Here’s another conference matchup in the playoffs. Ardrey Kell beat Berry 56-47 last Friday to win the SoMeck 8 title. Chase Muhammad led the Knights with 28 points. Ra’shika White scored 21 for Berry.
Langston Wertz Jr.