Lake Norman & Mooresville

The year in review: 3 teams grab state titles

As another school year wraps up, so does a great year for Lake Norman sports.

Three area teams won state championships during the 2009-10 school year - East Lincoln boys' cross country, Lake Norman boys' basketball and North Mecklenburg girls' soccer.

In the fall, the East Lincoln cross-country squad, coached by Melvin Morrison, took the program's first state title. Three runners placed in the top nine scoring positions at the 2A cross-country championships to propel the Mustangs to the championship.

The team was led by Southern Piedmont Conference runner of the year Brather Cline, who placed fourth overall at the meet.

The Mustangs finished second at regionals by one point, but were able to get it all together for the championships.

In March, a second area team won a state title when Lake Norman was crowned 4A state boys' basketball champions.

The Wildcats, coached by Brandon Jolly, finished the season 26-3 and took the championship by beating then-undefeated Fayetteville's Sandford 63-46.

Lake Norman was able to overcome a 41-40 deficit going into the fourth quarter by outscoring Sanford 23-5 the rest of the game.

The team was led by center Paul Larsen, who was named most valuable player. Larsen scored 18 points to go along with eight rebounds.

Lake Norman finished second in the I-Meck behind Hopewell, whom they lost to twice in the regular season, and they had a loss to eventual conference tournament champions West Meck in the tourney's semi finals, but they won when it mattered to take the state title.

Just a few weeks ago, a third team championship came to the area, when North Mecklenburg took home the 4A girls' soccer championship.

After a 1-1 tie, the Vikings, coached by Neil Roberts, forced penalty kicks. North Meck outscored Wilmington's Hoggard 7-6 to take the championship.

Sophomore goalkeeper Emily Rusk, who was named the game's most valuable player, came up big for the Vikings, stopping two Hoggard penalty kicks. Lisa Myers, the team's eighth kicker, score the title-winning PK.

Roberts' team, which finished the season 21-3-2, dominated the regular I-Meck season, winning the conference title, before easing through the playoffs.