Teams To Watch
Lost 6-9 Isaiah Whaley to transfer, but 3 starters back from state finalist
Senior sharpshooter Ray Kowalski is one of four starters back
Cox Mill boys
Senior starters Messiah Baptiste and Corey Cline have tons of young talent joining them
3 senior starters return for deep team that reached N.C. 3A regionals last season
Won 54 games in past three seasons. Breanna McAdams (6-0, Sr, F) is a key returnee
East Gaston girls
Three starters back, including 5-6 senior Brooklyn Armstrong (10 ppg, 4 spg)
Hickory Ridge girls
Returns five starters, led by all-conf. guard Laura McManimen (13.6 ppg)
Moving back from 4A; 3 starters, including Daniel Spencer (18 ppg), return
South Iredell girls
North Piedmont 3A champs lost all-conf. Julia Scoles (22.5 ppg)
Rock Hill South Pointe girls
Deep team expected to challenge for state title
Lost All-American Stephanie Watts, but 13 players back from state semifinalist
Players To Watch
Lavar Batts Jr.
Nationally ranked star is jet quick with improving jumper
Nationally ranked talent is top N.C. player in 2018 class
South Pointe girls
Averaged 15.6 ppg for Region III 3A power
One of 3 starters back; averaged 5 ppg, 14 rpg
Marvin Ridge boys
Athletic, football star averaged 10 ppg in hoops last season
Central Cabarrus girls
Averaged 19 ppg, 6.5 apg last season
Hickory Ridge boys
All-conference star averaged 16.4 ppg last season
Expected to take lead role for powerhouse
Ranked among the state’s best in his class; versatile
NW Cabarrus boys
All-conference star averaged 13 ppg, 9 rpg last season
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▪ Central Cabarrus’ girls will have a sterling backcourt in Mahaley Holit and Kasey Rowden (10.1 ppg). That pair will help make Vikings a favorite to win the South Piedmont 3A. … Cox Mill 6-4 freshman Caleb Stone-Carrawell is the son of former Duke star Chris Carrawell.
▪ Kenyon Weaks begins his second season at Central Cabarrus with four starters back from a 7-16 team.
▪ The state’s top players in the Class of 2018 (Concord’s Rechon Black), 2019 (Cox Mill’s Wendell Moore) and 2017 (Robinson’s Lavar Batts) are all from Cabarrus County and all play in 3A.
▪ Rock Hill South Pointe, the reigning Region III 3A boys’ champ, returns three starters – Pete Branham (12 ppg), Quay Brown (10 ppg) and Nick McCloud (10 ppg). …Sun Valley (12-14 last season) has two Division I recruits in point guard Hughston Finklea and forward Anthony Brown.
Langston Wertz Jr.