High School Sports

3 new teams land in a heavily shuffled boys Sweet 16 basketball poll

Kannapolis Brown won the East Lincoln Winter Jam Saturday. The Wonders are 10-0
Kannapolis Brown won the East Lincoln Winter Jam Saturday. The Wonders are 10-0 Special to the Observer

Three new teams join the Observer’s boys basketball Sweet 16 this week, but Carmel Christian remains No. 1.

On Monday, the Cougars were upset 61-57 by Bearden (Tenn.) High in the championship game of the Arby’s Classic, but Carmel (20-1) won the Emerald Coast 16 event in Florida two weeks ago. Bearden was 35-2 last season and lost to Memphis East, then coached by Penny Hardaway, in the Tennessee state finals last season. Bearden (12-3) returned eight players, including 6-10 Tennessee recruit Drew Pember, from the 2017-18 team.

So Carmel Christian, No. 18 in USA Today’s national poll last week, reached the finals in two major holiday events, playing elite competition to get there.

The three new teams in this week are No. 12 Kannapolis Brown, No. 14 Rock Hill Northwestern and No. 15 Hickory.

Northwestern and Hickory have been ranked in recent years, but the Wonders haven’t had a winning season since the 2012-13 season, and this is the most wins Brown has had in a season since a 10-12 finish in 2014-15.

Brown, a 3A school, is 10-0 after beating 4A Mallard Creek 71-65 Saturday to win the East Lincoln Winter Jam championship. The Wonders play Providence (1-10) at home Friday.

Sweet 16 Boys’ Basketball

Rk

Team

Cl

Rec

Prvs

1

Carmel Christian

IND

20-1

1

2

Charlotte Christian

IND

13-1

6

3

Concord Cox Mill

3A

11-1

2

4

Vance

4A

10-1

12

5

North Mecklenburg

4A

9-2

3

6

Independence

4A

7-3

5

7

Ardrey Kell

4A

10-2

11

8

Butler

4A

9-2

4

9

Morganton Freedom

3A

8-0

9

10

Marshville Forest Hills

2A

11-2

8

11

Indian Trail Porter Ridge

4A

8-1

10

12

Kannapolis Brown

3A

10-0

NR

13

East Lincoln

2A

9-1

13

14

Rock Hill Northwestern

5A

12-1

NR

15

Hickory

3A

7-1

NR

16

West Charlotte

4A

6-4

7

Dropped out: Northside Christian (IND, 13-7); Concord First Assembly (IND, 15-4); Olympic (4A, 7-3). Also receiving consideration: Charlotte Country Day (IND, 12-4); Gastonia Ashbrook (3A, 5-1); Maiden (2A, 6-0); East Rutherford (2A, 10-1); Fort Mill (5A, 14-2); Fort Mill Nation Ford (5A, 12-3); North Rowan (1A, 5-0); Queen’s Grant (1A, 7-1); Union Academy (1A, 10-1); Cherryville (1A, 10-1)

Note: The Observer’s Sweet 16 poll is a ranking of the top 16 boys and girls teams in the newspaper’s 162-school coverage-area in North and South Carolina. The poll considers performance, strength of schedule and strength of class. To be considered, teams must play for a recognized state association.

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