Cabarrus

Game of the week: Concord at Brown

Concord and A.L. Brown are only seven miles apart, but for the past five years the Spider and Wonder basketball teams have seemed to be farther apart.

Concord has not only won the last four consecutive South Piedmont Conference regular season and tournament titles, but has also beaten their archrival 11 straight times in the span.

"Concord has been on a tremendous run over the last few seasons," said A.L. Brown basketball coach, Shelwyn Klutz. "But we've been right there behind them."

While the Wonders haven't figured out how to beat their rivals recently, they have gotten off to a solid start at 8-2 overall and a perfect 4-0 in SPC play.

Senior guard Teven Jones has been exceptional, averaging more than 25 points per game to lead his team, but the Wonders need to get him more consistent help.

The Spiders, in the meantime, seem to have been clicking on all cylinders, winning 11 games in a row after dropping their season opener to Mount Tabor.

Concord (11-1, 4-0) is averaging more than 90 points per game in its usual frenetic, full-court style of game that allows them to go 10 players deep on a regular basis.

Senior Jacquise Moore, who's averaging 14 points per game, leads the Spiders as the "front man" on the vaunted Concord press, while junior Kendall Knorr is contributing nearly 20 points per game for the potent offense.

But while recent history is on the Spider's side, you can throw conventional wisdom out when these two rivals play.

Concord

After winning an average of 27 games per season the last five years, the Spiders look every bit as good as they ever have.

Concord's backcourt is loaded with talent, beginning with one of the state's best trios in ultra-quick point guard Darren Black, and talented wings in Knorr and Moore.

But it doesn't end there as shooters Kriston Beasley, Connor Burchfield, Patrick Jenkins and Will Vanderburg can come in within instant offense and not much of a drop-off in overall play.

Concord's only possible weakness is inside, where an undersized unit led by forward Xavier Stywall uses hustle and quickness to get the job done. Stywall needs the "beef" and help of B.J. Beecher, Terrence Knox and Robbie Piggott to make this team complete.

The Spiders can score with anyone, having topped 100 already four times this year, and that is what they will try to do to A.L. Brown.

If Concord can establish its break-neck pace, the Wonders could have an uphill battle on their hands.

But in this rivalry, anything can happen, and the Spiders will be ready for a hard-fought game if that's what it takes.

A.L. Brown

The Wonders want to make a run at an SPC title, and to do that at some point they will have to go through Concord. Friday night, might be one of their better chances as they host the Spiders, where they have come close to beating them the last three seasons losing by less than five points each year.

Jones will have to be at his best, which he has most of the year, but the guard can't do it all for the Wonders.

Parish Smith, Braxton Waddell and Keeon Johnson need to help out inside against a small Spider frontcourt.

Brown will need to try to slow down the game and not try to get in a track meet with the Spiders. If the Wonders can play a medium pace, they could be in the game in the fourth quarter. If they try to run with Concord, it could be a long night for Kannapolis.

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