Riding a three-game winning streak and coming off a decisive 80-56 win over a strong Hough team last week, West Charlotte boys’ basketball coach Baronton Terry said his Lions still aren’t where he wants them to be.
“We’re up and down,” said Terry, whose team is 11-2, tied for first place in the MECKA 8 Conference and plays at A.L. Brown on Friday. “We generally don’t peak until February, so I’m just waiting.”
Last season, West Charlotte reached the N.C. 4A Western Regionals for the fifth time in six years. Terry led the Lions to the N.C. 4A state championship in 2011. They were state runner-up in 2012. This year’s team is led by 6-7 center Simeon Carter, who is averaging 16.4 points, 10.2 rebounds and four blocks. Guard Isaiah Blackmon averages 16.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.3 steals.
West Charlotte’s losses came to N.C. regional power North Mecklenburg (14-1), ranked No. 6 in MaxPreps’ overall state rankings, and Maryland power Latin (16-4), which is ranked No. 14 in its state. West Charlotte is winning, overall, by nearly 20 points per game.
“We’re winning,” Terry said. “So it could be worse. We’re starting to turn the corner, I think. We’ve got everybody healthy for the first time and we’re starting to peak. It’s getting close to February so we’re getting close to where we want to be.”
• Myers Park’s girls (11-1), ranked No. 13 nationally by MaxPreps, will face No. 16 New Hope Christian, out of Thomasville, on Saturday. The teams will meet in the Gray Collegiate Academy MLK Classic on Saturday in Columbia. Myers Park-New Hope will play at 6:30 p.m. Myers Park’s boys play Gray Collegiate Academy at 7:30 p.m.
New Hope (21-1) is coached by former Wake Forest standout Delaney Rudd. His daughter, Lucky, a 5-9 guard, is the team’s star.
• Charlotte United Christian plays at Durham Mount Zion on Friday. Former Garinger 7-foot center Raekwon Long, a junior, plays for Mount Zion. ESPN ranks Long 10th best nationally at his position and No. 6 overall in North Carolina in the class of 2016.
• Weddington’s Stephanie Watts and Ardrey Kell’s Steven Santa Ana have been named to the N.C. Coaches Association all-star team. Each player will play in the N.C. vs. S.C. all-star game in March.
• Hough’s Luke Maye and Northside Christian’s Rayjon Tucker received nominations for the McDonald’s All-American game.
• Ardrey Kell coach Mike Craft said a big reason why his team is on a 13-game win streak and is No. 50 in USA Today’s national poll and No. 1 in the Sweet 16 is his team’s post play. Rhyle Scott, MVP of the big Hoodies House Tournament last month, and Josh Freund are combining to average 20 points and 14.5 rebounds per game.
• During Friday’s home game with Concord, Hickory Ridge will try to recruit possible bone marrow donors to the national Be The Match registry. Hickory Grove girls coach Tolonda Rose lost her brother, Todd Kevin Rose, who died in October 2012, two years after he was diagnosed with leukemia. Marrow donors are needed to help those afflicted with leukemia, lymphoma and sickle cell anemia. Patients are most likely to match someone of similar ethnic background.
Todd Rose worked for the Hendrick Automotive Group and it is providing players and coaches from both schools with special warm-up shirts and coaches shirts for Friday’s game. Info: 704-454-6556 or 704-921-3578 and bethematchfoundation.org/goto/cure