Twins use connection to lead Chargers

Cox Mill High juniors Jordan and Justin Peace say they have a "sixth sense" on the basketball court.

The 16-year-old identical twins say they know where each other is going to be and regularly execute a defensive trap or offensive fast-break together with just a split second of eye contact.

"People always say twins speak their own language," said Justin, who's younger by a minute. "I think Jordan and I do that through our body language.

"I feel I can always tell what he is feeling and thinking with just a quick glance at each other, and I know he feels the same way."

Born one minute apart, they look and play so much alike that it's hard for their coaches to tell them apart.

"I still have trouble figuring out which one is which," said Cox Mill basketball coach Brad Hinson. "I'll be telling Jordan something and it's really Justin, or barking instructions at Justin when it's really Jordan. But they just take it in stride and listen. I usually don't have to tell them something twice ... either of them."

Jordan and Justin, who both stand 5-11, have taken on big roles for the Chargers in their first varsity basketball season. They worked their way through the junior varsity program since arriving as part of the school's first freshman class.

Jordan is the starting point guard, averaging more than seven points, three assists and three steals per game, while Justin is the team's sixth man who provides offense and defense: he is the team's second-leading scorer with 10.4 points per game and also gets two steals per contest.

Both twins are a part of a Charger backcourt that also features senior Jenaro Harris, who leads the team with 11 points per game.

While both the Peace twins are still establishing their roles on the Cox Mill team, they said they are used to the way they play with each other.

"Jordan has always been the point guard, and I have always been the shooting guard, and our dad told us that when we were little boys," Justin said. "It's funny how it's still like that today."

The Peace twins' energy, their intelligence and "their intensity and passion for the game," as Hinson put it, has set a different tone in Cox Mill's third season.

The Chargers have their first winning record (11-10, 4-7 in South Piedmont Conference play heading into their Feb. 3 game against Jay M. Robinson) and still have a chance at their first playoff appearance in the program's short history.

In the process, Cox Mill has defeated A.L. Brown, Central Cabarrus, Hickory Ridge and Northwest Cabarrus, each for the first time. Hinson said that's helped them to a team that goes into each game expecting to win.

Both Jordan and Justin said helping the Chargers reach the postseason for the first time would be something special.

"I feel like this week is what we've waited and worked for our entire life," Justin said. Heading into last Friday, the difference between third and seventh place in the SPC was only two games, which means everything can change with one win or loss. The top five teams make the playoffs.

With road games against Central and Northwest Cabarrus in their final week of the regular season, and then the SPC tournament, it's sure to be an exciting and unpredictable finish.

"We all want to remembered as the first team to make the playoffs, to win the conference and so on," Jordan said. "We all want our names to be remembered as players who made Cox Mill basketball."