Prep Insider Blog

Boys Basketball Team Capsules: Lincoln County

Lincoln Charter’s boys basketball team won the NCHSAA 1A state championship last season and returns starters (left to right) Kody Shubert, Levontae Knox, Jehlon Johnson, London England and Jackson Gabriel
Lincoln Charter’s boys basketball team won the NCHSAA 1A state championship last season and returns starters (left to right) Kody Shubert, Levontae Knox, Jehlon Johnson, London England and Jackson Gabriel

Here are previews for boys basketball programs in the Observer’s coverage area in Lincoln County. The profiles were put together by Observer correspondent Jay Edwards.

To see more county previews, visit this link

EAST LINCOLN

Head Coach: Jonathan Hancock (1st year as East Lincoln basketball coach)

Coaching Career Record: 324-233.

2016-17 Record: 19-9 (11-3 in the Southern District 7 (SD7)).

2017-18 Conference: South Fork 2A Conference (new).

Returning Starters (4): Colson Leach, Sr., G (6-2); Sidney Dollar, Jr., G (6-4); John Bean, Jr., F (6-2); Alden Horne, Jr., G (6-2).

Other Key Returnees: Christian Parks, Sr., F (6-3). Key Newcomers: Kabian McClendon, Sr., F (6-5) (West Lincoln transfer).

Outlook: Former Mallard Creek coach, reigning MECKA 4A conference coach of the year, Jonathan Hancock, takes over an East Lincoln team that has averaged 23 wins over the last five seasons. Hancock inherits an experienced Mustang squad with four starters back, led by senior, Leach (17 ppg), and juniors in Dollar (11 ppg), Bean (8 ppg) and Horne (7 ppg). Add in 6-foot-5, West Lincoln transfer, Kabian McClendon (20 ppg, 10 rpg) and you have an East Lincoln that expects to win the South Fork 2A conference and make another playoff run (advanced to the 3rd round last year).

--JAY EDWARDS

LINCOLN CHARTER

Head Coach: Brad Gabriel (5th year as Lincoln Charter basketball coach).

Coaching Record: 101-28 at Lincoln Charter.

2016-17 Record: 31-3 (14-0 to win the South Piedmont 1A Conference (SPC 1A)).

2017-18 Conference: South Piedmont 1A Conference.

Returning Starters (5): Kody Shubert, Sr., PG (5-11) (Presbyterian commit); Jackson Gabriel, Jr., SG (6-2); London England, Sr., G/F (6-4); Levontae Knox, Jr., G/F (6-3); Jehlon Johnson, Sr., F (6-8).

Other Key Returnees: Josh Haudek, Sr., F (6-4); Zeke Mayfield, Sr., G (6-0); Axel Holm, So., G (6-0); Kendrick Davis, Sr., G (6-0). Key Newcomers: Demitri McCall, So., G (6-4); Trian Barnes, Sr., G (6-2); Hunter Herrick, Jr., G (6-2).

Outlook: The defending 1A state champions have the rare luxury of returning all five starters and their top nine players from a year ago. Coach Brad Gabriel says this group is even "hungrier," to repeat as state champions with their dynamic backcourt in Shubert (20 ppg), Gabriel (18 ppg), England (11 ppg) and Knox (12 ppg) leading the way. But the Eagles know nothing is going to come easy as they will now have a target on their back in every game.

--JAY EDWARDS

LINCOLNTON

Head Coach: Robert Cowie (20th year as Lincolnton basketball coach).

Coaching Career Record: 294-179.

2016-17 Record: 25-2 (13-1 in the Southern District 7 (SD7)).

2017-18 Conference: South Fork 2A Conference.

Returning Starters (2): Robbie Cowie, Sr., F (6-5); Chris Robinson, So., G (5-10).

Other Key Returnees: Tyshawn Harris, Sr., G (5-9); Skylar Evans, Sr., G (6-2); Lane Hoover, Sr., G (5-9). Key Newcomers: Malcolm Derr, Jr., G (6-0); Demetrius Ford, Sr., G (6-2).

Outlook: Lincolnton has won 47 games in the last two seasons, including a 25-2 mark a year ago. While the Wolves have a lot to replace, Coach Cowie has some firepower to work with, led by Robbie Cowie (13 ppg) and Robinson (11 ppg), to battle for their 2nd straight league title (won SD7 conference title last year) and make another playoff run (advanced to the 3rd round last year).

--JAY EDWARDS

NORTH LINCOLN

Head Coach: Tremayne Booker (4th year as North Lincoln basketball coach).

2016-17 Record: 5-18 (2-12 in the North Piedmont Conference (NPC)).

2017-18 Conference: South Fork 2A Conference.

Returning Starters (4): Luke Johnson, Sr., SG (6-2); Lance Bailey, Sr., PG/SG (5-11); Nick McKinney, Jr., PG (5-8); Will Thornhill, Sr., SF (6-0).

Other Key Returnees: Hunter Blackburn, Jr., G (6-2); Jarrett Bolick, Jr., G (5-10). Key Newcomers: Nick Moyer.

Outlook: North Lincoln hasn’t won more than six games in a season in the last four years. But Coach Booker has the most experienced team in his tenure with four starters back, led by senior guards, Bailey (14 ppg), Johnson (14 ppg) and Thornhill (12 ppg). The Knights have the talent to have their 1st winning season since the 2011-12 season, finish in the top half of the South Fork 2A and make the playoffs, all of which would be big accomplishments for a program that seems to be on the rise.

--JAY EDWARDS

**Note: West Lincoln did not respond to our request for boys’ basketball preseason information.

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