Thursday, January 3, 2008

Lots of names, notes from area high school basketball

Cheek has big holiday tournament

Ardrey Kell sophomore Justin Cheek had a great tournament at the First Charter Bank Classic. He shot 17-for-24 from the floor in three games (70 percent) and was 5-0f-8 from the 3-point line. He had 17 points, 19 points and 9 off the bench.

Cheek, whose sister Joy is a former South Meck star who starts for Duke, did all that playing through an injured ankle.

Kell is led by Alex Watkins who is averaging 10 points and 6 rebounds from the small forward spot. Senior point guard Kevin Davis averages 12 points and five rebounds.

Specialist Matt Helikson is 14-25 (48 percent) from the 3-point line in Kell's last four games.....Kell is playing without starter Jordan Darnell who hurt his ankle and has been out for 5 games. Kell (8-4) is 3-2 without him in the lineup.

Bessemer City's Sellers Hot Start

Bessemer City sophomore Janaura Sellers averages 21 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 6 steals per game.

Her team is 5-5.

Concord Girls Hot Start

The Concord boys are unbeaten and the girls are 10-1.

The Lady Spiders lost to Concord Robinson in the first game of the year when star T.T. Belcher, a Western Carolina signee, played only seven minutes before leaving with an injury.

Concord is 5-0 in South Piedmont conference play, and average 74 points per game.

In winning the Northeast Medical Holiday tournament, Concord averaged 86 points and sophomore Nyshia Hammond (15 points, 10 assists per game) averaged a double-double.

Belcher was tournament MVP after averaging 17 points and 7 rebounds in three games.

Salisbury's boys big sweep

Salisbury 's boys upset previously unbeaten East Rowan in the semifinals en route to winning the Sam Moir Christmas Classic at Catawba College.

Salisbury was 3-6 going into the tournament and have now won four in a row. The turning point in the teams' season was the dismissal of its leading scorer and 6-foot-8 Division I prospect for violation of team policies.

In the past six games, 6-5 junior Brandon Abel has averaged 22 points and 12 rebounds, surpassing his season averages of 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Hopewell's Curry Gets Offer

Hopewell is 10-3, 1-0 heading into Friday's game at Central Cabarrus. Junior guard Brandyn Curry leads the team averaging 17.2 points, 5.5 reounds, 4.5 assists and 3.1 steals.

During the Bojangles' Shootout last week at Marvin Ridge High, Curry got a scholarship offer from William & Mary.

Hopewell has five players averaging double figures, including Curry; sophomore guard Jordan Downing (13.5 points, 4.5 rebounds); and junior guard Alex Godette (13.1 points, 2.1 assists);

Vance has strong Christmas Showing

Vance's boys finished third at a holiday tournament in Florida. Freshman guard Jacoby Davis (14 points, 3 assists) leads the team in scoring along with senior All-Observer star Anthony McClenny (12 points, four rebounds).

While in Florida, Daryl Traynham a 5-7 sophomore guard and 6-7 sophomore forward DeAndre Tillman drew major recruiting interest from South Florida coaches, Vance coach Will Robinson said. Traynham's family moved to Charlotte from Maryland recently.

Vance plays rival Mallard Creek tonight on the road. Should be an instant rivalry since Mallard was formed last fall with many Vance students.

North Iredell's Morrison Nears Milestone

North Iredell's girls are 7-2 and 5-1 in conference play, losing only to powerhouse Statesville.

Junior Santana Morrison could score her 1,000th career point tonight against East Rowan. Averaging 18 points and 12 rebounds, Morrision has 983 career points.

East Rowan star breaks school scoring mark

East Rowan's boys (10-1) beat South Rowan 71-66 in the Sam Moir tournament third place game.

Star Justin Vanderford is averaging 25 points and broke the school career scoring mark with 30 against Salisbury in the semfinals. He now has 1,357 career points and broke his bother, Alstin's, career mark.

East Rowan starter Trey Holmes missed the Christmas tournament with a broken finger. He returns for Tuesday.

Cannon's Eddie sets hot pace

Concord Cannon sophomore forward Jarell Eddie passed the 1,000 career point mark during a Dec. 11 game against Hickory Grove. Eddie is currently 25 rebounds shy of 700 for his career.

He has led his team to a 10-3 record and was named to the All-Tournament team at the AROD Basketball Classic in Miami last month. He currently has scholarship offers from Virginia Tech, Clemson, and Miami.

Fort Mill Boys Rolling

Fort Mill's boys, the defending S.C. 4A champ, beat the state's No. 1 ranked 3A team JL Mann 60-44 in the finals of the Hilton Oceanfront Resort Tournament at Hilton Head.

Fort Mill plays Nation Ford for the first time in school history tonight. Fort Mill has won 17 straight games dating to last season and lost only one game all of 2007's calendar year.

Chalmers Rogers, a 6-7 center, leads Fort Mill, averaging 17 points and 9 rebounds.

York Girls Strong Start

The York (SC) girls are 8-3. The team lost to S.C. 3A No. 1 JL Mann at the Beach Ball Holiday tournament and two S.C. 4A No. 2 Spartanburg. York, ranked No. 8 in the S.C. 4A poll, is ranked for the first time in 4A in three years.

Sophomore Erika Shannon is averaging 17.3 points in her past four games. Senior Nicole Anderson, a 6-3 center, tore her Achilles' four months ago and was expected to miss the season. She's on pace to play early next month.

Hickory Ridge's Respectable First Year

Hickory Ridge's girls coach Tony Walters is excited about his team, a first-year school that is 7-5 overall and 5-1 in its past six games.

Akysia Resper, a sophomore guard, averages 15 points, 7 rebounds, 7 steals and 6 assists. Junior Ashleigh English averages 13 pionts, 4 rebounds and 4 steals.

Three of the team's five losses are by six points combined. Two more are to unbeaten Concord.

Sun Valley's Magical Start

Former East Meck assistant Keith Mason led his first Sun Valley boys team to the 10th anniversary Union Carolinas Medical Center tournament championship last week.

Before this year, Sun Valley has never made it to the championship game.

Sun Valley (6-4) has won five of its past seven games and has four players who average double figures.

Lake Norman Captures Holiday Title

Lake Norman Wildcats are now 8-2 after winning the Statesville Record & Landmark Holiday Tournament at West Iredell High School.

The Wildcats defeated the North Iredell Raiders 59-57 in the Semifinals and the Statesville Greyhounds 68-58 in the Championship. The Wildcats were led by three All-Tournament performers.

Senior Point Guard Alex Hayes averaged 7 points and 5 assists throughout the tournament. Senior center Nathan Bowers averaged 18.5 points per game, 11.5 rebounds per game, and 2.5 blocks.

Sophomore Forward Paul Larsen, who was named MVP of the tournament, averaged 19 points per game, 12.5 rebounds per game, and 2 blocks per game.

Larsen is averaging 19 points and 12 rebounds for the season and is shooting 70 percent from the floor. He has 8 double-doubles in 10 games.

Concord's Boys Roll On Without Big 2

After graduating all-everything stars Dee Bost and Lance Lewis, the defending 3A champs were expected to fall off a bit.

New coach Scott Brewer has the Spiders off to an 11-0 start after winning the Northeast Medical Holiday tournament over 10-2 Kannapolis Brown.

Concord plays at Marvin Ridge Friday and averages 87 points and is winning by nearly 40 points per game. Four players average double figures, led by senior Danny Nieman (15.7 points, 8.2 assists).

The all tournakment team was from Northwest John Hathcock, from Kannapolis Jacob Neuman, and Jeremy Jones, from Concord Jimmy Drye, and Roger Smith. The Tourney MVP was Danny Nieman.

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Langston Wertz Jr.
lwertz@charlotteobserver.com

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