Monday, March 31, 2008

N. Meck at Hopewell: Good reason to chill

Bring your blanket, this one should be worth wrapping up for.

Hopewell (11-1), No. 4 in the Observer Sweet 16 baseball poll, will host rival North Mecklenburg (10-1), No. 2 in the poll, at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

They’re tied for the ME-CA 7 4A lead at 4-0.

Hopewell won the Carolina Trust Bank Easter Tournament in Lincolnton last week, and is led by first baseman/pitcher Jack Lane, second baseman/pitcher Adam Waters, outfielder/first baseman Rusty White and outfielder/pither Jonathan Fisher.

North Mecklenburg won its first 10 before losing to Northwest Cabarrus in the final of the Kannapolis Intimidator Classic last week. The top Vikings are pitcher Eric Finley, shortstop Cody Buch, first baseman Steve Pfeiffer and outfielder Aaron Plummer.

-- Cliff Mehrtens

Friday, March 28, 2008

Event to showcase basketball underclassmen

National recruiting analyst Dave Telep has invited 99 of the state's top underclassmen to play against each other in the second annual Carolina Challenge Saturday at Cary Academy. Games begin at 9:30 a.m. and run until about 5.

The players will be mixed onto teams, giving scouts and fans a chance to see some of the best players in the state play against other players at their position.

Telep listed a few players to watch today:

5 Juniors To Watch: John Wall, Mason Plumlee, Ryan Kelly, Lakeem Jackson, Andre Marhold
5 Sophomores To Watch: Reggie Bullock, JT Terrell, Mychal Parker, CJ Leslie, Jarell Eddie
5 Potential Breakout Players: Ian Miller (2010), Jay Canty (2010), C.J. Harris (2009), KJ Sherrill (2009), Melvin Tabb (2010)

The Observer will cover the event and have a full report in Sunday's editions.

Rosters for Saturday's Carolina Challenge at Cary Academy in Raleigh
0 Donta Harper 2011 6-4 165 SG Winterville (South Central)
1 Anthony Stitt 2011 6-0 160 PG Matthews (Butler)
3 Bishop Daniels 2011 6-1 150 PG/SG Raleigh (Leesville Road)
4 Carlin Bremner 2011 5-11 170 PG Huntersville (North Mecklenburg)
5 Brennan Wyatt 2010 5-10 160 PG Greensboro (Dudley)
6 Daryl Traynham 2010 5-9 155 PG Charlotte (Vance)
7 Damian Steadman 2010 6-1 170 SG Sanford (Southern Lee)
8 Earl McLaurin 2010 5-8 145 PG Charlotte (Charlotte Country Day)
9 Reggie Price 2010 6-3 175 SG Charlotte (Garinger)
10 Brian Richardson 2010 6-5 165 SG/PG Wilson (Greenfield)
11 Chad Taylor 2009 5-9 140 PG Sanford (Southern Lee)
12 Quddus Bello 2011 6-3 170 SG High Point (Westchester Country Day)
13 Colby Lewis 2009 6-1 180 SG Lewisville (Forsyth Country Day)
14 Damarcus Quinerly 2009 5-9 155 PG Kinston (Kinston)
15 Akeem Richmond 2009 6-1 180 SG Sanford (Southern Lee)
16 Mike Grace 2009 6-0 175 PG Winston-Salem (Mount Tabor)
17 Alex Godette 2009 6-2 170 SG Huntersville (Hopewell)
18 Luke Davis 2009 6-0 180 PG Raleigh (Broughton)
19 Stan Okoye 2009 6-4 190 SF Knightdale (Knightdale)
20 Xavier Humphrey 2009 6-5 180 SG Raleigh (Wakefield)
21 Garrius Adams 2009 6-5 185 SF/SG Apex (Middle Creek)
22 Brandyn Curry 2009 6-1 180 PG Charlotte (Hopewell)
23 Kyle Gaillard 2009 6-7 180 SF/SG Huntersville (North Mecklenburg)
24 Willis Hall 2009 6-5 200 PF Charlotte (Charlotte Christian)
25 C.J. Harris 2009 6-3 165 SG/PG Winston-Salem (Mount Tabor)
26 Ryan Hargrave 2009 6-6 220 PF/SF Taylorsville (Alexander Central)
27 Reggie King 2009 6-2 215 PG Arden (Christ School)
29 Alonzo Sharpe 2009 5-10 170 PG Rocky Mount (Rocky Mount)
30 Ryan Kelly 2009 6-9 195 PF Raleigh (Ravenscroft)
31 John Wall 2009 6-4 170 PG Raleigh (Word of God)
32 Matt Wilson 2009 6-11 215 C Raleigh (Ravenscroft)
33 Mason Plumlee 2009 6-11 6-10 PF Arden (Christ School)
34 Jaron Lane 2009 6-4 175 SF/SG Greenville (D.H. Conley)
35 Reggie Bullock 2010 6-6 185 SG/SF Kinston (Kinston)
36 Jarrick Brown 2010 6-2 160 PG/SG Raleigh (Millbrook)
37 Emanuel Chapman 2010 6-0 145 PG Raleigh (Enloe)
38 Jordan Downing 2010 6-5 185 SF Huntersville (Hopewell)
39 Tevin Friday 2010 6-6 185 SF/SG Charlotte (United Faith)
40 Jay Canty 2010 6-5 175 SF/SG Ragsdale (Ragsdale)
41 Jonathan Frye 2010 6-4 165 SG Greensboro (Northern Guilford)
42 Corey Raley-Ross 2010 6-2 175 SG Gastonia (Gaston Day School)
43 Jonathan Rice 2010 6-5 200 SF Fayetteville (Fayetteville Academy)
44 C.J. Leslie 2010 6-8 190 PF/SF Raleigh (Word of God)
45 Jarell Eddie 2010 6-6 210 SF/PF Concord (Cannon School)
46 Denzel Robinson 2010 6-4 195 SF/PF Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill)
47 Anthony Thomas 2010 6-6 170 SF/PF Winston-Salem (Parkland)
48 Paul Larsen 2010 6-6 210 PF Mooresville (Lake Norman)
49 James Carlton 2010 6-7 205 PF/C Winterville (South Central)
50 J.T. Terrell 2010 6-3 170 SG Burlington (Cummings)
51 John Cannon 2011 6-10 225 C Burnsville (Mountain Heritage)
52 Jacoby Davis 2011 6-1 170 SG/PG Charlotte (Vance)
54 Jervon Pressley 2011 6-8 180 C/PF Charlotte (Waddell)
55 Ian Miller 2010 6-1 160 SG Charlotte (South Mecklenburg)
57 Marquis Rankin 2011 6-0 160 PG Charlotte (Vance)
58 Dezmine Wells 2011 6-3 210 SF/SG Raleigh (Word of God)
59 Jordan Robertson 2011 6-6 180 C/PF Greensboro (Greensboro Day)
60 Eric Mayo 2009 6-5 190 SF Shelby (Shelby)
64 Monroe Faulkner 2011 6-4 170 SF Roxboro (Person)
65 P.J. Hairston 2011 6-5 205 SF/SG Greensboro (Dudley)
66 Marshall Plumlee 2011 6-9 185 PF/C Arden (Christ School)
70 Anthony Williams 2011 6-8 240 C Whiteville (West Columbus)
73 Marcus Wells 2009 6-2 160 PG/SG Durham (Southern Durham)
75 Mychal Parker 2010 6-5 180 SF Greenville (Terra Ceia)
76 Julius Brooks 2009 6-8 210 C/PF Greensboro (Page)
77 Lakeem Jackson 2009 6-5 210 SF Arden (Christ School)
78 Will Carpenter 2009 6-6 200 SF/PF Winston-Salem (Reynolds)
79 Wakefield Ellison 2009 6-5 185 SF Asheville (Asheville)
80 Reco McCarter 2010 6-7 180 SF/SG Goldsboro (Wayne Country Day)
81 Arou Kok 2009 6-10 200 C Raleigh (Ravenscroft)
82 Kevin Powell 2009 6-7 205 SF/PF Fayetteville (Seventy First)
83 Chris Richardson 2009 6-8 245 C Whiteville (Waccamaw Academy)
84 K.J. Sherrill 2009 6-6 215 PF Mount Ulla (West Rowan)
85 Andre Marhold 2009 6-6 205 SF Huntersville (North Mecklenburg)
86 Manny Dias 2010 6-5 190 PF Charlotte (Harding)
87 Tevin Jones 2010 6-7 185 PF/C Raleigh (Enloe)
88 Tashawn Mabry 2010 6-5 200 SF/PF Rocky Mount (Rocky Mount)
89 David Wishon 2010 7-0 230 C Concord (Concord)
90 Earnest Ross 2009 6-5 215 SG/SF Cary (Panther Creek)
95 Jacob Lawson 2011 6-6 210 PF Greensboro (Northern Guilford)
99 Melvin Tabb 2010 6-7 185 PF/SF Raleigh (Enloe)
Bernard Sullivan 2011 6-7 190 PF Huntersville (North Mecklenburg, Injured)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Caldwell, Stith named to All-State teams

West Charlotte High's Christal Caldwell, the ME-CA 7 4A player of the year, was the leading vote-getting among girls players on the 2008 Associated Press All-State team.

East Mecklenburg's Malik Stith, the Southwestern 4A player of the year, made the boys all-state first team.

Caldwell, a 5-foot-11 junior, averaged 20 points, seven rebounds and three assists to help West Charlotte reach the first N.C. 4A championship game in school history.

Caldwell earned 27 of a possible 34 points from a 17-member media panel to lead the women's team.

She was joined on the first team was repeat first-team selection Kurie Washington of McDowell, Gastonia Forestview's Jessica Capers, Statesville's Keyrra Gillespie and Kernersville McGuinness' Erinn Thompson.

Two Observer-area players made second team: Providence Day's Whitny Edwards and Victory Christian's Candace Wood, the N.C. Gatorade player of the year.

Boonville Starmount's Victor Davila led the boys team, earning 28 of a possible 34 points. Joining Davila, a Virginia Tech signee, on the first team were Wilmington New Hanover's Ty Walker, who has signed with Wake Forest, Kinston's Bo Ingram, Stith and North Henderson's Chris Vanlandingham.

Victor Davila, Boonville Starmount (28), 6-9, F/C, Sr.
Ty Walker, New Hanover County (27), 7-1, C, Sr.
Bo Ingram, Kinston (26), 6-5, F, Sr.
Malik Stith, East Mecklenburg (23), 5-11, G, Sr.
Chris Vanlandingham, North Henderson (23), 6-4, G, Sr.
Reggie Johnson, Winston-Salem Prep (15), 6-9, C, Sr.
Petey Hausley, McDowell County (14), 6-6, F, Sr.
Reggie Bullock, Kinston (12), 6-6, G, Soph.
C.J. Williams, Fayetteville Britt (8), 6-6, G/F, Sr.
C.J. Harris, Winston-Salem Mt. Tabor (7), 6-3, G, Jr.
Christal Caldwell, West Charlotte (27), 5-11, G, Jr.
Jessica Capers, Gastonia Forestview (26), 6-1, C, Sr.
Keyrra Gillespie, Statesville (26), 5-6, PG, Jr.
Kurie Washington, McDowell County (26), 5-8, G/F, Sr.
Erinn Thompson, Kernersville McGuinness (22), 6-3, C, Jr.
Morgan McMinn, North Henderson (21), 6-0, G, Sr.
Candace Wood, Charlotte Victory Christian (15), 6-0, G, Sr.
Jannetta Robinson, Pender County (13), 5-2, PG, Sr.
Anna Freeman, East Davidson (11), 6-0, F, Jr.
Whitny Edwards, Charlotte Providence Day (9), 5-11, G, Sr.

Cardinal Spring Classic schedule set

Six Charlotte-area teams will participate in the Cardinal Spring Classic baseball tournament at Berry High School April 8-10. Berry athletics officials wanted to put on the event to give some of the area's teams who traditionally have not fielded powerhouse baseball teams a chance to play against level competition.

Berry, Gastonia Highland, Harding, Mallard Creek, Waddell and West Charlotte will play in the round-robin event.

Here's the schedule:

Tuesday, April 8: Harding vs. W. Charlotte, 1 p.m.; Waddell vs. Mallard Creek, 4 p.m.; Berry vs. Highland Tech, 7 p.m.

Wednesday April 9: Berry vs. Mallard Creek, 1 p.m.; Harding vs. Highland, 4 p.m.; Waddell vs. W. Charlotte, 7 p.m.

Thursday, April 10: Berry vs. West Charlotte, 1 p.m.; Waddell vs. Highland, 4 p.m.; Harding vs. Mallard Creek, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

N.C. Preps All-State Basketball teams

Here are the N.C. Preps All-State boys and girls basketball teams. The Associated Press all-state team, voted on by the state's media members, and the Observer's All-Area teams will be released later this month and in April.

Stephen Clay - Hendersonville
K.J. Cooper � North Edgecombe
Ryan Daughtery � Princeton
Justin Glover � Jordan-Matthews
Justin Johnson - Cherryville
Reggie Johnson � Winston-Salem Prep (1A POY)
Dominique Holliday � Pamlico
Ricky Krainiak � Camden County
Cameron Lovelace - Cherryville
Robbie Reid � Mount Airy
E.J. Abrams-Ward - Thomasville
Marcus Wright � Winston-Salem Prep


Devon Atkinson � Farmville Central
Nate Blackburn - Graham
Jarod Conard � Pisgah
Victor Davila � Starmount
Anders Jacobson � First Flight
Eric Mayo - Shelby
Matt McCall � West Bladen (2A POY)
C.J. Melvin - Clinton
Jamere Pugh - Southern Vance
Keith Rendleman � East Lincoln
James Terrell - Cummings
Chris Vanlandingham � North Henderson


Darius Antrum � Hunter Huss
Jeremy Atkinson - Fike
Reggie Bullock - Kinston
P.J. Hairston - Dudley
Wakefield Ellison - Asheville
Donovan Ingram � Kinston
Tashawn Mabry � Rocky Mount
Danny Nieman - Concord
Josh Pittman � Trinity (3A POY)
Akeem Richmond � Southern Lee
K.J. Sherrill � West Rowan
Justin Vanderford � East Rowan


Garrius Adams � Middle Creek
Brandyn Curry - Hopewell
C.J. Harris � Mount Tabor
Petey Hausley - McDowell
Hunter McClintock � Northern Durham
Alex Murray � Terry Sanford
Tim Plummer - Apex
Titus Robinson � East Mecklenburg
Earnest Ross � Panther Creek
Malik Stith � East Mecklenburg
Melvin Tabb - Enloe
Ty Walker � New Hanover (4A POY)
C.J. Williams � Jack Britt


Becca Bolton � Chatham Central
Jenna Harris � Hiwassee Dam
Tkela Holloway - Louisburg
Jazmine Kemp � East Bladen
Shontel Mallory - Weldon
Katie Paschal - Williamston
Secily Ray � Thomasville
Jannetta Robinson - Pender
Maggie Ronan � Bishop McGuinness
Muriel Seabrooks - Pender
Erinn Thompson � Bishop McGuinness (1A POY)
Tori Welch � Mount Airy


Kiki Allen - Graham
Veronica Cannady - Bunn
Whitney Culler � North Surry
Lakessa Daniel � Northwest Halifax
Anna Freeman � East Davidson (2A POY)
Jennifer Hailey � Forest Hills
She-Heria Hipp � Salisbury
Chelsea McGowan - Croatan
Morgan McMinn � North Henderson
Gerrisha Moore � Edenton Holmes
Paige Murray � First Flight
Lindsay Wright � East Lincoln


Jean Best � Beddingfield
T.T. Belcher - Concord (3A POY)
Brittany Billups � Eastern Wayne
Jessica Capers � Forestview
Jolysa Connor - Waddell
Keyrra Gillespie - Statesville
Nyisha Hammonds � Concord
Kelley Harrow � Hickory
Karsyn Jarrett - Hickory
Kelsey McCorkle � South Central
Monique Spry � Beddingfield
Helen Terry - Dudley


Chrystal Caldwell � West Charlotte
Jazmine Cooper � South View
Ali Ford � Freedom
Tiara Gause � Westover
Jasmine Gill - Page
Kristin Hanzer � Wakefield
Shatara Jackson - Laney
Tequila Jones - Westover (4A POY)
Whitney Long � Leesville Road
Trumae Lucas - Grimsley
Kurie Washington � McDowell
Asia Williams - Hillside

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

SW4A baseball race tight, intense

Southwestern 4A baseball is a lot like the NBA’s Western Conference.

A ton of good teams, all capable of beating each other.

One good week, and you’re sniffing the conference lead.

A slow week, and you could be in sixth place.

It’s that fluid.

Heading into tonight’s games, Myers Park, Ardrey Kell and Butler were tied for the lead with 4-1 conference records. Providence (3-2), South Mecklenburg (2-3) and Weddington (2-3) aren’t far behind.

It makes every conference game important. The teams have proven the games are competitive, with late-inning rallies, nerve-racking pitching duels and talent at every school.

There are 14 conference games, so the standings will juggle all spring.

It is making a great race, and should promise an exciting conference tournament.

The standings:
Myers Park ... (4-1 conference, 8-2 overall)
Ardrey Kell ... (4-1, 7-2)
Butler ............ (4-1, 7-2)
Providence ..... (3-2, 3-5)
South Meck .... (2-3, 5-3)
Weddington ... (2-3, 7-3)
East Meck ..... (1-4, 1-7)
Independence... (0-5, 3-7)

-- Cliff Mehrtens

Friday, March 21, 2008

Your primer on Bruce Hardin

Providence Day football fans, here’s all you need to know about your new coach.

Bruce Hardin has won at every high school he’s coached.

Won large.

The 27-year veteran comes from Marvin Ridge, a first-year team minus any seniors, in which he squeezed a 4-8 record and state playoff berth. That’s coaching.

He won at Kannapolis Brown, West Charlotte, Providence and Harding. He’s seen just about every situation a coach can see, and thrived.

Hardin, who also had college stints at the Citadel and Army, knows X’s and O’s. He also knows people.

He is tough, fair and compassionate.

Now, he joins the Charlotte Independent School Athletic Association, which for the past decade or so has been dominated by Charlotte Latin and Charlotte Country Day.

The league’s profile just jumped a few levels.

It’ll be August before you know it. -- Cliff Mehrtens

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Bruce Hardin new coach at Prov. Day

From Staff Reports

Providence Day School’s Athletic Director, Barbara Fricke, is pleased to announce the appointment of Bruce Hardin as Head Coach of the Varsity Football Team.

Bruce has a distinguished career including 27 years of Head Coaching experience with an Overall Record of 287-94. His teams have won 2 State Championships, 3 State Runner-ups, 24 State Playoff Appearances and 17 Conference Championships. He has been Head Football Coach at Marvin Ridge, Providence, A.L. Brown, West Charlotte, and Harding High Schools. In addition Coach Hardin has served as an Assistant Coach at The United States Military Academy and The Citadel.

Bruce earned his Bachelor of Science Degree from Appalachian State University and his M.Ed. from the University of North Carolina. Throughout his career he has also served as Athletic Director and faculty member in the Department of Physical Education. He has been selected as Coach of the Year by Union County (2007) and NCHSAA (1997). NCHSAA also honored him as Athletic Director of the Year in 1999. He has served as Head Coach of the East-West All Star Game and the Carolinas’ Shrine Bowl Game.

“I am anxious to join the Providence Day School community and am looking forward to working with the students, faculty, and parents.” said Coach Hardin after being named head coach. “

“I am excited about the football program's future under Coach Hardin,” said Barbara Fricke, Athletic Director. “He is an outstanding teacher/coach and will bring experience and excitement to Providence Day School.”

Founded in 1970, Providence Day School is an independent, coeducational, Transitional Kindergarten (TK) through Grade 12 college preparatory school. Recognized as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the United States Department of Education in 2003, Providence Day School exists to inspire in its students a passion for learning, a commitment to personal integrity and a sense of social responsibility.

Charlotte Pro-Am All-Star rosters announced

The 16th annual Charlotte Pro-Am All-Star Classic game is March 29 at Providence Day School. Admission is $7.

The girls game tips at 1:30 p.m followed by the boys at 3.

Here are the East All-Stars boys: Kelvin Drakeford, Concord Cannon, 6-4, G/F; Bruce Woodall, Greensboro Day School, 6-1, G; Quinn Nelson, Providence Day, 5-11, G; Lee Branscome, Hickory Grove, 6-2, G; Will Reigel, Charlotte Latin School, 6-5, G/F; Shane Williams, Victory Christian School, 6-6, F; Hjalti Fridriksson, Gaston Day School, 6-8, F/C; Andre Cornelius, Victory Christian School, 5-8, PG; Seth Curry, Charlotte Christian, 6-2, G; Justin Huntley, Mooresville, 6-4, G/F; Taylor Jacobson, Charlotte Catholic, 6-6, F; Nick Trull, Hickory Grove, 6-2, G
Coach: Bobby Moran-Charlotte Catholic

West All-Star boys: Cameron Lovelace, Cherryville, 6-2, G; Thomas Berlacher, Providence High, 6-2, F; Titus Robinson, East Mecklenburg, 6-7, F; Rodreius Moore, West Charlotte, 6-3, G/F; Kevin Davis, Ardrey Kell, 6-0, G; Danny Nieman, Concord, 6-2, G; Jarrett Evans, East Mecklenburg, 6-6, F; Josh Humphrey, Butler, 6-4, G; Lamar Bradbury, Providence, 6-4, F/C; Anthony McClenny, Vance, 6-2, G; Malik Stith, East Mecklenburg, 5-11, G; Chez Thomas, Garinger, 6-8, F/C
Coach: Donald Kirby-West Meck

Girls East All-Stars: Kiara Williams, Victory Christian, 5-7, G; Britny Edwards, Providence Day, 6-1, F; Whitny Edwards, Providence Day, 5-11, G; Caroline Fogle, Hickory Grove, 5-5, G; Alexus Byrd, Victory Christian, 5-7, G; Candace Wood, Victory Christian, 6-1, G/F; Maggie Sullivan, Charlotte Christian, 6-2, F/C; Brady Ross, Kannapolis Brown, 5-11, F; Justine Drake, Sun Valley, 5-7, G; Cameron Sealy, East Gaston, 5-7, G; TT Belcher, Concord, 5-11, F; Justine Spring Drake, Sun Valley, 5-7, G
Coach: Crystal Carpenter Rhodes-Hickory Grove

Girls West All-Stars: Sade Mungo, Garinger, 5-9, G; Devonna Allgood, North Meck, 6-2, F; Jackie Marshall, North Mecklenburg, 5-7, G; Kurie Washington, McDowell, 5-8, G/F; Raven Johnson, Vance, 5-5, G; TaKesha Littlejohn, West Charlotte, 6-0, C; Carlisa Haggler, West Charlotte, 5-9, F; Nicole Blackwell, West Mecklenburg, 5-10, F/C; Jeanette Oxner- Monroe, 5-9, G; Willette Oxner, Monroe, 5-9, F; Monet Fernandes, East Mecklenburg, 5-11, F/C; Kanesha Brown, South Mecklenburg, 5-8, G/F
Coach: Reginald Mobley- West Charlotte

Langston Wertz Jr.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Observations from N.C. 4A championships

Observations from special correspondent Alex Bass from Saturday's N.C. 4A finals in Raleigh:


The West Charlotte girls and East Mecklenburg boys, certainly, appreciate their fans support � what few of them made the trip to Reynolds Coliseum for each team�s first appearance in a N.C. basketball state final. The low turnout was disappointing particularly given the eligibility issues both schools have endured this school year. Playing on the sport�s biggest stage would seem to offer Lions and Eagles partisans something about which to celebrate. Many others, though, seemed not to agree.

Cheerleaders� positions along both baselines are too close to the court. A seated cheerleader who extended her leg completely was prone to be in bounds. These situations interfere with players� abilities to run along the baseline when inbounding the basketball and create safety hazards for players diving out of bounds.

The MEAC (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) tournament finals � played Saturday in Raleigh � could not hold a candle to the battles of the bands and cheerleaders waged during the West Charlotte-Westover game. Brass blared on both coliseum ends for the duration of halftime. The cheerleading squads held back-and-forth stunt exchanges, and moved within three feet of each other before one squad was asked to retreat. Then, everyone just kept going�and going�and going.

West Charlotte did not convert a field goal until 3:36 remained in the first quarter. The Lions did not make a basket from the final stanza�s 5:28 mark until 28.5 seconds remained. The final stats credited West Charlotte with just two fast break points, and the Lions did not convert an outside shot until 1:24 before halftime. West Charlotte, still, led 44-37 early in the fourth quarter.

The Lions, who shot 38 percent from the field for the game, missed numerous first half layups. West Charlotte�s inability to score precluded it from applying any significant full court pressure until 30.1 seconds before the break. Westover spent the majority of the first half in zone defenses conceding outside shots.

Westover coach Gene Arrington was a member of the Herman Boone-coached football team documented in the movie �Remembering the Titans.�

East Mecklenburg, trailing 39-33 at the third quarter�s three-minute mark, netted seven points in 30 seconds among nine consecutive points in one minute to take the lead for good. Apex�s Tim Plummer picked up his fourth foul before the Eagles� Titus Robinson slammed home a rebound (2:52) before stealing the next inbound pass and dunking for another deuce. Jeremy Ingram followed with a three-pointer. East Mecklenburg closed the stanza on a 16-2 run.

A bigger East Mecklenburg team attempted nearly 25 percent (7-29) of its first half shots from beyond the arc. The Eagles, who trailed 30-29 at halftime, had eight points in the paint to Apex�s six over the first two quarters, while East Mecklenburg scored 18 of its 43 second half points in the paint.

Apex allowed 99 total points in its two Eastern regional games before surrendering 72 to East Mecklenburg. The Eagles scored 34 points off 23 Apex turnovers. East Mecklenburg shot 56.5 percent (13-23) from the field after intermission compared to 31 percent (9-29) before halftime.

East Mecklenburg and Apex took advantage of their chances at the free throw line. The Eagles converted 23-29 (79.3 percent) to the Cougars� 18-23 (78.3 percent).

One rule change to consider for next season is the elimination of the alternating possession arrow in favor of the jumpball. It is a travesty for the outcome of a tied ball to be determined by who did/did not gain possession on a previous tied ball � which may have come at a less significant juncture of the game. Westover led West Charlotte 51-49 inside of two minutes to play when a tied ball was awarded to the Wolverines. Westover guard Tiara Gause netted a pair of free throws after which the Lions never pulled even.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Former Garinger/PD star Goode shines in college

Former Garinger and Providence Day star Jeremy Goode, the Observer's player of the year in 2006, is having a solid career at NCAA Division I Mount Saint Mary's (MD).

Goode is the team's second leading scorer (14.3 points per game) and also averages a team-high six assists. He scored a game-high 23 points in the Northeast Conference semifinals Sunday to move Mount Saint Mary's within one win of its first league tournament title since 1999.

Goode, a sophomore point guard, will lead Mount Saint Mary's into tonight's 7 p.m. conference championship game with Sacred Heart. The game will be televised on ESPN2. The winner gets a berth in next week's NCAA Tournament.

Langston Wertz Jr.

Monday, March 10, 2008

NCISAA baseball polls

N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association baseball polls:
1. Charlotte Christian 5-0
2. Wesleyan Christian Academy 2-0
3. Forsyth Country Day 0-0
4. Providence Day 1-1
5. Ravenscrot School 1-0
1. SouthLake Christian 1-1
2. High Point Christian 0-0
3. Fayetteville Academy 1-0
4. Harrells Academy 0-0
5. Metrolina Christian 3-1
1. Lawrence Academy 3-0
2. Wayne Country Day 0-0
3. Kerr Vance Academy 1-1
4. Ridgecroft School 0-0
5. Faith Christian School 0-1

Saturday, March 1, 2008

N.C. Regional basketball pairings



CHAPEL HILL-- The North Carolina High School Athletic Association's regional
basketball tournaments will get underway this week as the state's prep teams
continue the road toward the state championships.

Sectional winners from the East will be going to Greenville for the 18th
straight year, for the Eastern Regionals. The men's games will be played at
Minges Coliseum on the campus of East Carolina University,
while the women's contests are set for J.H. Rose High School. In the west,
teams will be going to Winston-Salem for the fifth consecutive time. Finals
will be played at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum, both in the
coliseum and the annex, after earlier round games at North Forsyth High
School for men and Atkins High for women.

University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina, the city of Greenville and
the Greenville Convention and Visitors Bureau are the Eastern Regional
primary sponsors.

The winners from the regional tournament games will advance to the state
championship contests. The 94th men's championships and the 37th renewal of
the women's finals will be held at the Dean E. Smith Center on the
University of North Carolina campus and Reynolds Coliseum at North Carolina
State University, scheduled for March 15. The 1-A and 3-A finals will be at
the Smith Center while the 2-A and 4-A championships are set for Reynolds

On Monday, March 10, a press conference for the state championships will be
held at the Radisson Research Triangle Park. The head coaches of each of the
competing teams and other school officials will on
hand to preview the upcoming games.


Eastern Regionals-Men
Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum, East Carolina University

Class 1-A
Thursday, March 6, 7 p.m.: Perquimans (21-5) vs. Pamlico (18-6)
Thursday, March 6, 8:30 p.m.: Jones (21-4) vs. Plymouth (18-2)
Saturday, March 8, 5 p.m.: championship

Class 2-A
Friday, March 7, 7 p.m.: West Bladen (27-2) vs. South Lenoir (16-12)
Friday, March 7, 8:30 p.m.: Southern Vance (16-8) vs. Farmville Central
Saturday, March 8, 7 p.m.: championship

Class 3-A
Tuesday, March 4, 7 p.m.: Kinston (25-4) vs. Northern Vance (24-1)
Tuesday, March 4, 8:30 p.m.: Greensboro Dudley (27-2) vs. Greenville D.H.
Conley (24-3)
Saturday, March 8, 1 p.m.: championship

Class 4-A
Wednesday, March 5, 7 p.m.: Fayetteville Terry Sanford (26-3) vs. Apex
Wednesday, March 5, 8:30 p.m.: Apex Middle Creek (27-2) vs. Fayetteville
Jack Britt (26-4)
Saturday, March 8, 3 p.m.: championship

Eastern Regionals--Women
J.H. Rose High School, Greenville

Class 1-A
Wednesday, March 5, 7 p.m.: Williamston (27-0) vs. Pender (28-3)
Wednesday, March 5, 8:30 p.m.: East Bladen (26-3) vs. Cape Hatteras (23-3)
Saturday, March 8, 3 p.m.: championship

Class 2-A
Thursday, March 6, 7 p.m.: Graham (29-1) vs. Kill Devil Hills First Flight
Thursday, March 6, 8:30 p.m.: Red Springs (24-4) vs. Raleigh Cardinal
Gibbons (20-7)
Saturday, March 8, 5 p.m.: championship

Class 3-A
Friday, March 7, 7 p.m.: Winterville South Central (28-0) vs. Greensboro
Dudley (22-7)
Friday, March 7, 8:30 p.m.: Wilson Beddingfield (25-1) vs. Eastern Alamance
Saturday, March 8, 7 p.m.: championship

Class 4-A
Tuesday, March 4, 7 p.m.: Fayetteville Westover (27-2) vs. Raleigh
Millbrook (26-4)
Tuesday, March 4, 8:30 p.m.: Wilmington Laney (22-6) vs. Raleigh Wakefield
Saturday, March 8, 1 p.m.: championship

Western Regional-- Men
North Forsyth High School, Winston-Salem

Class 1-A
Tuesday, March 4, 7 p.m.: Thomasville (20-2) vs. Hendersonville (24-3)
Tuesday, March 4, 8:30 p.m.: Albemarle (24-4) vs. Winston-Salem Prep (29-6)
Saturday, March 8, 11 a.m.: championship at Annex

Class 2-A
Wednesday, March 5, 7 p.m.: Boonville Starmount (19-7) vs. Canton Pisgah
Wednesday, March 5, 8:30 p.m.: East Lincoln (24-6) vs. Shelby (25-3)
Saturday, March 8, 4 p.m: championship at Joel Coliseum

Class 3-A
Thursday, March 6, 7 p.m: Trinity (28-1) vs. Asheville (19-10)
Thursday, March 6, 8:30 p.m.: Hickory (27-3) vs. Kernersville Glenn (20-8)
Saturday, March 8, 6 p.m.: championship at Joel Coliseum

Class 4-A
Friday, March 7, 7 p.m.: Winston-Salem Mount Tabor (26-3) vs. Charlotte Z.B.
Vance (26-5)
Friday, March 7, 8:30 p.m.: East Mecklenburg (22-8) vs. North Mecklenburg
Saturday, March 8, 8 p.m.: championship at Joel Coliseum

Western Regional -- Women
Atkins High School, Winston-Salem

Class 1-A
Wednesday, March 5, 7 p.m.: Robbinsville (21-7) vs. Kernersville Bishop
McGuinness (24-6)
Wednesday, March 5, 8:30 p.m.: Chatham Central (26-2) vs. Avery (20-7)
Saturday, March 8, 3 pm: championship at Annex

Class 2-A
Thursday, March 6, 7 p.m.: Salisbury (27-1) vs. East Rutherford (25-4)
Thursday, March 6, 8:30 p.m.: Mitchell (24-3) vs. East Davidson (25-4)
Saturday, March 8, 5 p.m.: championship at Annex

Class 3-A
Friday, March 7, 7 p.m.: Statesville (25-2) vs. Gastonia Forestview (29-0)
Friday, March 7, 8:30 p.m.: Concord (28-2) vs. Franklin (23-6)
Saturday, March 8, 7 p.m.: championship at Annex

Class 4-A
Tuesday, March 4, 7 p.m.: McDowell (25-3) vs. North Mecklenburg (24-5)
Tuesday, March 4, 8:30 p.m.: West Charlotte (27-2) vs. Greensboro Grimsley
Saturday, March 8, 1 p.m.: championship at Annex