Independence (14-1, 5-0 Southwestern 4A) at Rocky River (11-3, 4-1), Tues, 7:30: Here is a huge Mecklenburg County showdown stuffed with at least six Division I recruits. Rocky River has won eight of its last nine games and can gain a share of first place. Independence has won five straight and is beginning to look a legitimate contender for its first state championship since 1997. And the Patriots play Myers Park (11-4, 4-1) at home Friday in another big game.
Charlotte Latin (8-6, 0-0 CISAA) at Providence Day (14-7, 0-0), Tuesday, 7:30: The Chargers have won five straight CISAA conference championships and are 44-2 over that time. But Providence Day begins the chase for No. 6 in a bit of a slump, having lost three of its past four games. The Hawks have won two straight. Latin senior shooting guard JP Smith is averaging 18 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals over his team’s past six games. Latin is 4-2 in that stretch.
Charlotte Christian (12-5, 0-0 CISAA) at Charlotte Country Day (12-7, 0-0), Tues, 7:30: These conference rivals both have won two games in row and both beat 3A state power Raleigh Ravenscroft last week. Christian plays at Providence Day Friday and Country Day plays at Concord Cannon. All four teams are among league title favorites.
Carmel Christian MLK Showcase, Mon (Jan. 15): Some good match-ups on tap at Carmel Christian Monday, including a couple public-private games between playoff contenders (Marshville Forest Hills-Country Day at 1; Carmel Christian-Lincoln Charter at 4). Former Hopewell player Mark Billups is a senior making a homecoming with Hargrave (VA) Military, which plays Rabun Gap (GA) at 2:30. And Duke recruit Joey Baker and Fayetteville’s Trinity Christian School plays Asheville Christian at 5:30.