The biggest question going into this season is who will challenge Concord in the SPC.
Central Cabarrus and Hickory Ridge look to have the best shot on paper, but A.L. Brown, Jay M. Robinson and Northwest Cabarrus have enough talent to make some noise, while Cox Mill and Mount Pleasant are still adjusting to the competition at the 3A level.
Coach: Shelwyn Klutz.
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2009-2010 record: 13-9.
The Wonders always expect to contend for an SPC title, and this year there is no reason to believe they can’t after finishing second to Concord last year.
Guard Tevin Jones will lead the team. He will have a lot of help with Damien Washington and Michael Carr on the perimeter, while senior Chandler Reynolds leads a young but deep frontcourt.
Tevin Jones: Senior averaged 18 points per game for Wonders last season.
Coach: Brian King.
2009-2010 record: 18-9.
The Vikings were one of the most improved teams in the state, going from four wins in 2008-09 to a second-place finish in the SPC.
The Vikings have even greater expectations this year, with their top two players, point guard L.C. Cooks and forward Aaron Johnson, back to lead the team
L.C. Cooks: The star guard averaged 19 points per game and should have another good year.
Coach: Scott Brewer.
2009-2010 record: 27-6.
Concord is loaded in the backcourt, but what the Spiders have in the backcourt they lack in the frontcourt, as only Xavier Stywall returns as an experienced post player. Brewer hopes Terrence Knox and Robbie Piggott will add size down low.
Jacquise Moore: One of the best players in the area; he averaged 15 points per game last year.
Coach: Brad Hinson.
2009-2010 record: 2-22.
The Chargers endured a tough first season, going 0-14 in the SPC. But things are looking up this year as coach Brad Hinson and company return a veteran group, led by point guard Kassan Nicholson. Senior forwards Devin Horner and Jeff Sumter should also contribute. The Chargers have nowhere to go but up.
Kassan Nicholson: Senior will look to push for the Chargers.
Coach: Roberto Machado.
2009-2010 record: 12-13.
The Ragin’ Bulls have gotten progressively better in their three seasons. The Ragin’ Bulls hope to take the next step and challenge for an SPC title. Hickory Ridge has the talent and experience with nine seniors back including guard Quinton Wimbush, point guard Travis Baucom as well as forwards Danny Book and David Worth to lead the pack.
Quinton Wimbush: All-SPC player averaged 17 points last year.
Jay M. Robinson
Coach: Joe Pike.
2009-2010 record: 9-12.
The Bulldogs struggled to be consistent last year; now a young but more experienced Robinson team looks to get over the hump. Junior Elijah Hampton will lead the way. Shooting guard Ross Gadd and forward Brody Koerner provide experience. How well the Bulldogs do could depend on the development of point guard Kevin Anvenberger and post players Leonard Woody and Rayshawn Bostick.
Elijah Hampton: 6-foot-4 guard averaged 21 points per game last year.
Coach: Michael Johnson.
2009-2010 record: 5-16.
The Tigers struggled with the move from 2A to 3A last year. This season, they hope their second trip through the SPC will yield better results.
Mount Pleasant, which lacks overall size, will push the ball and press full-court most of the time to even the playing field. The strength of the team is inside, with under-sized forwards Mitchell Swaringen and Desmond Leach and center David Redden.
Mitchell Swaringen: Senior will need to step up for Tigers to be competitive.
Coach: Daniel Jenkins.
2009-2010 record: 13-11.
The Trojans were a factor last year, finishing third in the SPC. Northwest hopes to build on that with a solid team coming back. Point guard Ameer Jackson will lead an offense with capable options in Corey Seager on the wing and forward David Broome in the post. How effective Broome and center Ray Kingston can be in the post in place of All-SPC forward Tyler Honeycutt will be big for the Trojans.
Ameer Jackson: The 5-foot-8 junior is the top returning scorer.