Cabarrus

Spiders, Trojans meet for 1st place

The Concord boys' basketball team has had a stranglehold on the South Piedmont conference for the last five-plus seasons, going 55-3 in that span while winning all five league titles.

This season has been more of the same as the Spiders are 10-1 and 5-0 in conference play, having beaten their SPC opponents by an average of 33 points per contest.

Concord and coach Scott Brewer are playing their usual fast and furious style, averaging 91 points per game while suffocating their opponents with their full-court pressure and only allowing 67 points per contest.

Senior guard Jacquise Moore is the leader of the press and the most explosive offensive weapon, but has a lot of help with a handful of guards, like Kendall Knorr, who can rotate in at will without much of a drop-off in play.

But while the Spiders are on their usual roll, Northwest Cabarrus is the next hottest team in the league, having won eight of their last nine after starting the season at 2-4.

The Trojans and coach Daniel Jenkins now sit in second-place alongside A.L. Brown and are looking to keep pace near the top of the league.

Junior point guard Ameer Jackson is the sparkplug for the Trojans, as he leads the team in scoring with 17.7 points and assists with 3.7 and usually has the ball in his hands.

But Jackson and company will have their hands full with the Concord pressure.

The Spiders beat the Trojans 68-40 at home Dec. 14, but the Trojans have lost only once (to Myers Park) since then and have gained a lot of confidence in the process.

Northwest Cabarrus will get one of their most favorable opportunities to challenge Concord Friday night when they host the Spiders.

Concord

The Spiders are on their usual January run, having won their last 10 games, the closest coming in a seven-point win at Central Cabarrus.

For now, the only focus is winning a sixth straight SPC title.

To do that Moore, Knorr and sophomore point guard Darren Black will have to continue to push the frenetic pace and make teams play at their dizzying tempo.

The Spiders also have multiple weapons on the wings that also include Kriston Beasley, Connor Burchfield and senior sharpshooters Patrick Jenkins and Will Vanderburg.

The Spiders don't have a true center, but depend on quickness with Xavier Stywall leading the way inside while B.J. Beecher, Terrance Knox and Robbie Piggott are coming along as a group.

Northwest Cabarrus is playing well, but if the Spiders can force their tempo, the Trojans will have little chance to stay in the game. Expect Concord to roll again.

Northwest Cabarrus

After a slow start, the Trojans (10-5, 5-1) are the best SPC team this side of Concord in recent weeks with big wins at Central Cabarrus and Hickory Ridge so far in the new year.

Jackson leads a solid offense that scores just more than 60 points per game, so keeping the game slow will be key for the Trojans. Jackson and shooting guard Corey Seager, who averages eight points a game, will also be key in handling the pressure and alleviating it with timely three-pointers.

Northwest Cabarrus will also have to limit turnovers and control the boards with seniors David Broome, Tyler Church, Ray Kingston and Arlan Wallace. The experienced quartet must convert easy opportunities if the Trojans break Concord pressure to punish the always gambling, Spider defense.

The Trojans haven't come close to beating Concord since joining the SPC last year, losing all three games in 2009-10 by an average of 23 points.

Northwest Cabarrus will have their best chance at home, but it will take a near perfect effort to win.

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