Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thursday's top performers (and a few from Wed.)

SOFTBALL
-- Annie Pearson, a 7th-grader at Covenant Day, pitched a no-hitter in a 16-0 victory against Victory Christian. Covenant Day scored nine runs in the first inning.
Madeline Tackeberry, Jillian Donahoe, Anna Barcley, Emma Biggerstaff and Pearson had two RBIs apiece.

-- West Charlotte's Latesha Davis was 4-for-4, with two home runs, a triple, double and nine RBIs in a 17-2 victory against Berry.

-- Charlotte Latin clinched the Charlotte Independent Schools Athletic Association title with a 9-2 victory against Concord Cannon. The Hawks (16-3, 7-0 conference) banged out 15 hits, including two each by Myers McGarry and Katie Sheild.

BASEBALL
-- David Johnson was 2-for-2, including a triple, and scored three runs in Garinger's 8-3 victory against Berry. Winning pitcher Garrett Moore threw a complete game, and held Berry scoreless the first six innings. Garinger's Joshua Heidel had two RBIs.

-- Charlotte Catholic's Danny Vliet pitched his second straight shutout - 4-0 against West Mecklenburg - to improve to 4-2. Vliet, a senior, pitched a four-hitter.

-- Sun Valley's Chris Timberlake, a sophomore, was 4-for-4 with three doubles in an 8-6 victory against Porter Ridge.

GIRLS' SOCCER

-- Gaston Day's Lulu Brase and Erin Meyer-Cuno scored two goals apiece in a 5-0 victory against Davidson Day in the SPAA conference semifinal.

- Cliff Mehrtens

Lincolnton's Turner wins prestigious Clary Medal

Morgan Leigh Turner (Lincolnton High) and Michael Richard Bass (Fairmont) won the fourth annual Clary Medals awarded by the N.C. High School Athletic Association.

They will be recognized at the NCHSAA¹s annual meeting May 7 at the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill.

The Clary Medal recognizes an outstanding male and female student-athlete, who will each receive a $1,000 college scholarship.

To be eligible, a student must be a senior at an NCHSAA member school, participate on at least two teams, maintain at least a 3.2 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale, and demonstrate excellence in athletic participation, extra-curricular activities and community service.

Turner participated in cross country and track for four years each while playing soccer and basketball for two seasons apiece. She was a four-time conference champion and conference Runner of the Year in cross country and finished sixth or better in the state championship meet all four years.

In outdoor track, she is a two-time state champion in the 3200 and set school, county and conference records in the 800 and 1600 as well as the 3200.

She was elected Lincolnton¹s homecoming queen in the fall and is a member of the National Honor Society.

She has also worked with Special Olympics and has participated in week-long church mission trips with World Changers every summer since she was in the sixth grade. Turner will be attending Western Carolina in the fall.

- Cliff Mehrtens

Southwestern 4A tennis tournament results

Myers Park’s Jim Fan won the Southwestern 4A tennis singles championship with a 6-3, 6-0 victory against Providence’s Will Goldberg.

Fan, seeded first, roared through the tournament at Butler, winning all four of his matches in straight sets. He didn’t lose more than three games in any set.

Ardrey Kell’s Peter Tonon and Ryan Forbes combined to win the conference doubles championship, beating Weddington’s top seeded team of Dallas Croom and Matt Oakes 6-1, 6-4.

---
SOUTHWESTERN 4A TENNIS TOURNAMENT

Singles first round: Jim Fan (Myers Park) d. Carson Milner (South Meck) 6-0, 6-1; Mike Arun (Independence) d. Prakash Iyer (East Meck) 6-0, 6-0; Matt Cherney (Ardrey Kell) d. Connor Boehm (Providence) 6-3, 6-1; Joey Schwartz (Weddington) d. Nathan Helms (Butler) 6-4, 6-2; Alex Price (Weddington) d. Kevin Shim (Butler) 6-2, 6-1; Webster Hughes (Myers Park) d. John Leopard (East Meck) 6-1, 6-1; Will Goldberg (Providence) d. Zuhair Bedwan (Ardrey Kell) 6-2, 7-5; Glen Garrett (South Meck) d. Tim Staton-Davis (Independence), 6-4, 7-6 (7-3).

Singles quarterfinals:
Fan (Myers Park) d. Arun (Independence) 6-2, 6-2; Cherney (Ardrey Kell) d. Schwartz (Weddington) 6-0, 6-1; Hughes (Myers Park) d. Price (Weddington) 1-0, retired; Goldberg (Providence) d. Garrett (South Meck) 6-3, 1-6, 6-0.

Singles semifinals:
Fan (Myers Park) d. Cherney (Ardrey Kell) 6-3, 6-0; Goldberg (Providence) d. Hughes (Myers Park) 7-5, 6-0.

Singles championship:
Fan (Myers Park) d. Goldberg (Providence) 6-3, 6-0.
------

Doubles first round:
Dallas Croom/Matt Oakes (Weddington) d. Mellesh Dewan/George Barnett (East Meck) 6-0, 6-1; Andrew Fishkin/Jared Skier (Providence) d. David Thompson/Juan San Juan (Ardrey Kell) 6-1, 6-3; Stephen Woodall/Patrick McKinney (Myers Park) d. Devante Bledsoe/Akini Amoroso (Independence) 6-0, 6-3; Jonathan Kulesa/Logan Bastian (South Meck) d. Andrew Davidson/Kyle Balder (Butler) 6-1, 6-3; Thomas Low/Thomas Chang (Myers Park) d. Peter Friesen/Grant Starnes (Weddington) 6-0, 6-0; Jason Setzer/Ryan Teng (South Meck) d. Sam Woosley/Spencer Storck (East Mecklenburg) 6-0, 6-1; Jessie Brond/Christ Fritz (Butler) d. Myles Byrd/Shad Moulavie (Independence) 6-3, 6-1; Peter Tonon/Ryan Forbes (Ardrey Kell) d. Trevor Skibbens/Derek Buchanan (Providence) 6-3, 6-1.

Doubles quarterfinals:
Croom/Oakes (Weddington) d. Fishkin/Skier (Providence) 7-6, 6-1; Woodall/McKinney (Myers Park) d. Kulesa/Bastian (South Meck) 6-1, 6-2; Low/Chang (Myers Park) d. Setzer/Teng (South Meck) 6-0, 6-3; Tonon/Forbes (Ardrey Kell) d. Brond/Fritz (Butler) 6-2, 6-2.

Doubles semifinals:
Croom/Oakes (Weddington) d. Woodall/McKinney (Myers Park) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2; Tonon/Forbes (Ardrey Kell) d. Low/Chang (Myers Park) 6-0, 6-2.

Doubles championship:
Tonon/Forbes (Ardrey Kell) d. Croom/Oakes (Weddington) 6-1, 6-4.

- Cliff Mehrtens

Sweet 16 Baseball Poll

Rk. Class Team Rec Prev.

1. Ind. Charlotte Christian 23-3 2

2. 4A Providence 16-4 1

3. 3A Lake Norman 16-1 4

4. 2A West Stanly 17-1 6

5. 4A Northwestern, S.C. 22-3 5

6. 3A Marvin Ridge 17-2 3

7. 3A Kings Mountain 15-2 8

8. 4A South Caldwell 15-3 13

9. 4A Ardrey Kell 16-6 7

10. 2A East Lincoln 16-3 15

11. 4A Watauga 15-6 9

12. 3A East Rowan 15-4 10

13. 4A Hopewell 16-5 NR

14. Ind. Providence Day 18-4 11

15. 2A West Lincoln 15-2 NR

16. 4A Myers Park 16-6 12

Also receiving votes: 3A Mooresville (15-4); 2A Lenoir Hibriten (14-5); 4A Rock Hill (17-5); 3A Belmont South Point (15-4); 2A Mount Pleasant (15-3); Ind. Grace Academy (12-1).

To correct a record, or nominate a team, call 704-358-5121 or email cmehrtens@charlotteobserver.com.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Central Cabarrus pitcher recovering after line drive to face, and surgery


Central Cabarrus pitcher Jamey Lee, a junior, is recovering after being hit in the face by a batted ball in a game last week.

The accident broke four bones around his eyes, and broke his nose, coach Jim Knight said. Lee had surgery Tuesday, and the prognosis for a full recovery looks good.

Lee, an honor student who plays third base when he's not pitching, visited his teammates at practice Monday.

Lee didn't lose consciousness after being hit, as trainer Nate Sowle and Knight rushed to the mound.

“It was the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced as a coach," Knight said. "My initial worry was the eye itself, but the whole side of his face was bloodied up pretty badly. It certainly traumatized our players, coaches and opponents. You hope you never see anything like that and it makes every parent of a pitcher worry for their safety.”

Knight called for an examination of the rules govering bats (wood-vs.-aluminum), to possibly prevent more accidents.

“It would be nice to see the powers that be realize that something needs to be done about the bats," he said. "Twenty years ago when I was in school, you had to be a physical specimen to hit the ball the way some of these little guys are doing nowadays. I’ve had at least five emails this week from parents who went through the same thing the Lee’s are going through, and all of them have faced it in the last two years."

"I’m not sure that wood is the answer and I know it’s expensive. But I can’t imagine how many kids need to get hurt like Jamey, or worse, before we do something. Football had leather helmets once, too, until they realized that they weren’t safe. It’s time to change.”

- Cliff Mehrtens

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Providence golfers wins Southwestern 4A title

Providence won the Southwestern 4A boys' golf tournament at Charlotte Golf Links.

The Panthers' 292 score was four strokes ahead of Myers Park (296), followed by Ardrey Kell (307), Weddington (309), South Mecklenburg (314), Butler (316), Independence (378) and East Mecklenburg.

Providence's Zach Munroe, who shot a two-under 69 to win the individual championship, is the conference golfer of the year.

Myers Park's Dave Leyton is the coach of the year.

Myers Park, Providence, Butler and South Mecklenburg qualified for the regional tournament.
Four individuals from non-qualifying schools qualified for regionals - Tyler Hashimoto (Weddington), Mitch Schneider (Ardrey Kell), Tyler Strizzi (Weddington) and Hunter Smith (Ardrey Kell)

Top individual scores: Zach Munroe (Providence) 69, Jack Cottrill (Myers Park) 72, Tyler Hashimoto (Weddington) 72, Ryan Vince (Providence) 73, Nick Ricci (Myers Park) 73, Stefan Brewer (Providence) 74, Taylor Grassi (South Mecklenburg) 74, Mitch Schneider (Ardrey Kell) 74, Quent Mather (Myers Park) 75, George Whiting (Myers Park) 76, Tyler Wise (Myers Park) 76, Charles Singleton (Providence) 76, Cody Oikemus (Butler) 76, Tyler Strizzi (Weddington) 76.

- Cliff Mehrtens

Huge baseball game tonight

Providence and Ardrey Kell, the top two baseball teams in Southwestern 4A, will play at 7 p.m. today at Providence.

At stake is first place in the conference.

Providence (15-4, 10-1 conference) has a one-game lead against rival Ardrey Kell (16-5, 9-2). The Panthers can clinch at least a share of the title with a victory, and would only have to win one of its remaining two conference games to clinch.

Providence won the first meeting - 10-7 in nine innings on March 26.

Two of the state's top pitchers are epxected to start. Ardrey Kell's Alex Wood (he's unbeaten) is a Georgia signee. Providence's Richie Shaffer, expected to be chosen fairly high in the Major League Draft in June, has a shutout and a save in two games since returning from hand surgery three weeks ago.

- Cliff Mehrtens

Monday, April 27, 2009

Florida high school athletes to play fewer games

In order to save money, the Florida High School Athletic Association is cutting the number of varsity games by 20 percent.

The association's board of directors voted 9-6 Monday to make the cuts which will last two years. Football was unaffected.

"It's written in the proposal to have a sunset after two years. That's it. We really mean two years," board president Greg Zornes said in a statement. "We fully intend to restore what we had until today at the end of the two-year period."

The rule change was designed to cut costs for Florida high school athletic departments, which are facing tough budget constraints.

"These are unprecedented times," Zornes said. "People are losing their jobs as schools are cutting millions and millions of dollars from their budgets. Our job is to look out for all the schools."

Critics say the rules change will reduce opportunities for students and cost some schools money they gain by hosting games.

The board on Monday denied three amendments to the proposal, and in June will consider a recommendation regarding schools without football.

"We tried to bring in a uniform and systematic approach to a problem," executive director Dr. Roger Dearing said in a statement. "We are hopeful this will ensure the future of all sports at all levels of competition. It will not affect all schools in all ways, but it will help a vast majority of those schools facing the elimination of certain sports."

-- Observer News Services

Butler track star shines at Penn Relays



Butler High senior Aslynn Halvorson won the girls' discus title at the prestigious Penn Relays in Philadelphia this weekend.

Her throw of 161 feet, 8 inches was was 13 feet better than runner-up Candicea Bernard of Jamaica.

Halvorson's throw shattered her personal best by nearly four feet (it was 157-3), and was 14 inches from the all-time N.C. best in the event (162-10 by Harding's Kamorean Hayes in 2005).

Halvorson, the Observer Girls' Track Field Events Athlete of the Year last spring, signed with Tennessee last month. She was the N.C. 4A champion in discus and shot put last spring.

-- Cliff Mehrtens

Lacrosse city final tonight

Providence and Charlotte Country Day, the top two seeds, will play in the Charlotte Lacrosse City Championship at 7 p.m. at Ardrey Kell.

Top seed Providence edged Charlotte Catholic 20-19 in overtime in the semifinal on Saturday. The Panthers offense was led by Braxton Deaver and Konner Scroggins (five goals apiece) and Tucker Hull (four goals, three assists). Goalkeeper Pete Wesselman made 29 saves.

Country Day's balanced attack beat Providence Day 12-5 in the other semifinal. Hedley Jennings (three goals, assist), Kip Haddock (two goals, assists) and Conor O'Neill (goal, two assists) were offensive stars, and keeper William Anderson made 12 saves.

- Cliff Mehrtens

Friday, April 24, 2009

East-West football rosters announced

Rosters have been announced for the N.C. Coaches Association East-West all-star game in Greensboro.

The game starts at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 22 at Jamieson Stadium at Grimsley High School.

2009 East-West All-Star Games

Football Rosters - Alphabetic

East Team

Name, Pos., Ht., Wt., School

Danny Allen, SE, 6-1, 187, Nash Central

Marcus Allen, DE, 6-2, 235, Fayetteville Pine Fores

TJ Batchelor, DE, 5-11, 214, Southern Nash

Joseph Blanks, LB, 6-2, 245, Pembroke Swett

Ralph Bonner, DT, 6-1, 245, Fayetteville Britt

Deylan Buntyn, DT, 6-4, 291, Havelock

Travis Byrd, OL, 6-1, 255, Overhills

Daniel Collins, LB, 6-1, 221, Holly Springs

Charles Crank, OL, 6-1, 290, Richmond County

Dorian Edwards, OL, 5-11, 278, Kinston

A.J. Ferguson, TE, 6-3, 250, South Brunswick

Carlos Fields, LB, 6-2, 220, Northern Vance

Gregory Gilbert Jr., DB, 5-10, 165, South Brunswick

Nick Hahula, K, 5-10, 230, Rocky Mount

Ryan Hill, QB, 5-7, 185, West Brunswick

Marquis Hines, OL, 6-4, 270, SouthWest Edgecombe

KaRonné Jones, FB, 6-1, 208, Fayetteville Cape Fear

Torey Lee, OL, 5-11, 255, Rocky Mount

Roy Marsh, OL, 6-3, 250, East Wake

Steven Moore, RB, 6-0, 225, Carrboro

Cleveland Myles, DL, 6-2, 295, Dunn Triton

Rashad Parker, RB, 5-9, 180, Wilson, Fike

Tyreese Prince, DB, 6-2, 190, Harnett Central

Keegan Ray, DE, 6-4, 225, Chapel Hill

Justin Rodgers, 5-11, 228, Bunn

Jumal Rolle, DB, 6-0, 177, Wilson Beddingfield

Bradford Simmons, RB, 5-11, 190, Jacksonville, Northside

Hakeem Strickland, RB, 5-8, 165, Louisburg

Antwan Thorpe, QB, 5-10 178, Oxford Webb

DaRon Tripp, DL, 6-1, 290, Greene Central

Mark Walker, LB, 6-2, 200, Raleigh Leesville Road

Jerrod White, DB, 5-9, 183, Fayetteville Britt

Head coach:

Raymond Cobb (Southwest Edgecombe HS)

Assistant Coaches:


Grover Battle (Northern Nash HS)

Brian Foster (Southern Nash HS)

Kenneth Grantham (Greene Central HS)

Ken Whitehurst (D.H. Conley HS)

Jimmy Williams (East Wake HS)


West Team

Name, Pos., Ht., Wt., School

Jarkeeems Alexander, RB, 6-2, 170, Gastonia Forestview

Reginald Anderson, OL, 6-4, 300, Lincolnton

Denico Autry, DE, 6-6, 230, Albemarle

AJ Bazzle, , QB, 5-10, 180, Hickory Newton-Conover

Daniel Biggerstaff, OL, 6-2, 230, Belmont South Point

Rudy Cabral, LB, 6-2, 230, Asheville Reynolds

Cody Cheek, OL, 5-10, 240, North Buncombe

TyeQuan Finley, LB, 6-1, 191, Asheville

Artis Gilmore, DB, 6-1, 170, Asheville Roberson

Austin Greenwood, DB, 5-10, 170, West Rowan

Tyler Kell, OL, 6-2, 255, Charlotte Butler

George Kerber III, SE, 6-2, 185, Murphy

Tyler Kloc, TE, 6-3, 245, East Forsyth

Damein Lee, DL, 6-1, 216, Reidsville

Ricky Lewis Jr., QB, 5-10, 175, Greensboro Dudley

Dujuan Marcus-Ingram, DL, 5-11 260, Thomasville

Jordan Marsh, OL, 6-3, 275, Mooresville

James Mayfield, RB, 5-11 215, Davie

Rodney McCloud, DL, 5-10 215, North Forsyth

DJ McLendon, WR, 6-2, 180, Thomasville

Richard Miller, OL, 6-2, 240, Western Alamance

Jason Perry, DB, 5-10, 170, East Lincoln, ,

Zack Pickard, P/K, 6-0, 175, Southern, Alamance

Jjshawn Pinkston, RB, 5-8, 168, Mooresville

Aaron Rainey, FB, 5-11 216, Bessemer City

Kensten Redfearn, OL, 6-3, 300, Lexington

Timothy Sanders, DB, 5-9, 150, East Mecklenburg, ,

Tray Sanders, DB, 5-8, 155, East Mecklenburg

Kelton Shepherd, DL, 6-1, 235, Greensboro Dudley

Jonathan Torres, DL, 6-2, 210, West Forsyth

Allonté Tuppins, DL, 6-1, 225, Matthews, Butler

James Watkins, LB, 6-1, 220, South Stanly


Head Coach:

Scott Cloninger (Lincolnton HS)

Assistant Coaches:

Barclay Marsh (Mooresville HS)

Steve Maennle (TC Roberson)

Alex Mebane (Trinity HS)

Baxter Morris (Albemarle HS)

Dee Walsh (Robbinsville HS)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thursday night's top performers

BASEBALL

-- Hunter Hattrich (5-2) and Brandon Hollis (2-0) pitched five-inning shutouts in Metrolina Christian's 3-0 and 2-0 doubleheader sweep at Concord First Assembly. The victories gave Metrolina Christian the regular-season conference title and earned a bid to the state tournament.

-- Reggie Washington was 4-for-4, with two home runs, a double and eight RBIs in Morganton Patton’s 20-5 victory at West Caldwell. Aaron Attaway and Trevor Tallent also hit homers for Patton, and Nick Chapman was 4-for-5.

-- Sophomore Demetrius Ingram pitched a no-hitter in West Stanly’s 8-0 victory against rival North Stanly in a Rocky River 2A/1A game. Ingram (2-1) struck out 13 for the Colts, who improved to 14-1 overall and 12-1 in conference.

-- Charlotte Country Day pitcher William Frazier, a sophomore, has 70 strikeouts and seven walks in 46 innings. He pitched six straight complete games, followed by a relief appearance in which he struck out eight straight batters (all swinging). Frazier’s ERA is 2.00.

-- SouthLake Christian erased a 5-2 deficit with a 16-run rally in the third inning of a 20-5 victory against Westminster Catawba. Jared Fortune hit two home runs, and Keith Nevel was 3-for-4 with a home run for SouthLake.

-- Evan Tilson hit a grand slam, and drove in five runs as part of Providence Day’s 15-hit attack in a 16-8 victory at Charlotte Latin.

-- Carter Bumgardner was 3-for-4, with two home runs and five RBIs in Charlotte Country Day's 17-2 victory against Concord Cannon.

BOYS’ TENNIS

-- Providence Day improved to 11-0 with an 8-1 victory against Charlotte Catholic, the reigning N.C. 3A champion. John Banks, Gary Scott, Andrew Yavorski, Angus Walker, Mac Lothrop and Zach Krasner helped the Chargers sweep all six singles matches, and they won two of three doubles matches.

SOFTBALL

-- North Lincoln’s Lauren Averitt stole four bases and scored three runs in an 18-0 victory against Gastonia Highland.

- Cliff Mehrtens

Hopewell baseball benefit to "Strike Out ALS"


Hopewell's baseball team will have a "Strike Out ALS" benefit at Friday's 7 p.m. home game against Central Cabarrus, to raise money to fight a deadly disease.

ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, is a progressive, fatal degeneration of the central nervous system.

Hopewell's players will wear special pinstripe jerseys that will be auctioned after the game. All money raised will be donated to the Jim “Catfish” Hunter Chapter of the ALS Association, and used for research.

Amanda Watson, Miss North Carolina and an advocate for ALS research, will sing the national anthem.


For information, or to make a donation to ALS, contact Kevin Combs, president of the Hopewell Bullpen Club, at J.Combs@Verizonwireless.com, or 704-609-0000.

- Cliff Mehrtens

Lacrosse city championship starts tonight

The Third Annual Charlotte High School City Lacrosse Championship Starts Today
Round 1 Thursday, April 23
Ardrey Kell vs. Country Day @ CCDS 5 pm
Charlotte Catholic vs. Charlotte Latin @ CCHS 6 pm
Providence vs. Weddington @ PHS 7 pm
Providence Day vs. Myers Park @ PDS 7 pm
Round 2 Saturday, April 25
Final 4 at 11 AM & 2PM @ Elon 521 Park.
GAME 1 Highest remaining seed versus Lowest remaining seed
Game 2 Other two winners play
Championship Monday, April 27, 2009
7:00 PM @ Ardrey Kell HS

The event is the only sport that includes private, public, and club lacrosse teams and play for a true City Champion.


How the teams were selected: On Monday, April 20th the Charlotte area head lacrosse coaches ranked the area teams from first to last. Fifteen points are awarded for a first place vote and so on until the teams were seeded for the tournament. Only the top eight teams are invited as the top four played at home on Thursday, April 23rd. The top 8 teams in ’09 Coaches Poll are:
1. Providence High School
2. Charlotte Country Day School
3. Providence Day School
4. Charlotte Catholic
5. Charlotte Latin School
6. Myers Park High School
7. Adrey Kell High School
8. Weddington High School



Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sweet 16 baseball poll

Baseball Sweet 16 Poll

Rk. Class. Team Rec. Prev.
1. 4A Providence 14-4 2
2. Ind. Charlotte Christian 20-3 3
3. 3A Marvin Ridge 14-1 4
4. 3A Lake Norman 13-1 5
5. 4A Rock Hill N’western 20-2 NR
6. 2A West Stanly 13-1 7
7. 4A Ardrey Kell 14-5 10
8. 3A Kings Mountain 13-2 14
9. 4A Watauga 13-5 12
10. 3A East Rowan 14-3 6
11. Ind. Providence Day 17-3 15
12. 4A Myers Park 15-5 11
13. 4A South Caldwell 13-3 8
14. 2A Lenoir Hibriten 12-4 NR
15. 2A East Lincoln 12-3 13
16. 2A Mt. Pleasant 14-2 1

Also receiving votes: 2A West Lincoln (13-2); 4A Rock Hill, S.C. (17-5); 3A Belmont South Point (13-4); 4A Hopewell (12-6); Ind. Grace Academy (12-1).

To correct a record, or nominate a team, call 704-358-5121 or email cmehrtens@charlotteobserver.com

Wednesday night's top performers

BOYS' TENNIS

-- Lake Norman swept Northwest Cabarrus 9-0 to win the North Piedmont 3A championship.
The Wildcats (15-0) are 9-0 in conference, and won for the second straight year. Andrew McKinnon, Trey McKee, Timmy Johnson, Matt Dowell, and Matt Crisp are undefeated in singles play, while Drew Harmon finished 8-1.
Lake Norman a first-round 3A playoff on May 5.

-- West Mecklenburg won its first match, 7-2 against Waddell, which ended a nine-game losing streak. Micah Blanding, Jamique Enoch, Charlie Lee and Nick Shriner won singles matches for the Hawks.

SOFTBALL

-- Lincoln Charter's Katie Cronin pitched a perfect game in a 17-0, three-inning victory against Clearview Christian. She struck out five.

BASEBALL

-- East Burke's Donnie Hughes threw a no-hitter in an 11-0 victory against Draughn. Corey Rhoney hit two home runs and drove in six runs.

GIRLS' SOCCER

-- Hopewell's Brooke Arey scored three goals in a 7-0 victory against Berry. Nicole Gurley had a goal and two assists. The Titans improved to 7-2-3.


- Cliff Mehrtens

Gaston's winningest hoops coach retires

Gastonia Ashbrook boys' coach Marty Hatchell, the winningest basketball coach in Gaston County, has retired.

Hatchell, 52, coached 11 years at Ashbrook, after 13 years at Bessemer City. He was 379-228 in 24 years, including one season as coach of Bessemer City's girls.

Hatchell won eight conference championships (four at each school), and five sectional titles. He guided Bessemer City to the 1991 state title game. He will continue as a physical education teacher.

His replacement is Chad Duncan, Ashbrook's first-year athletic director, who has coached basketball 16 years. Duncan was at Wilmington Ashley High from 2001 to 2008.

- Cliff Mehrtens

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tuesday night's top performers

BASEBALL

-- Hickory Grove's Kyle Galloway pitched a one-hitter in a 10-0 victory against Westminster Catawba in Game 1 of a doubleheader, with a home run and three RBIs. In the second game, a 14-1 victory, Galloway slammed two home runs and had three more RBIs.

-- Big innings were rampant. Charlotte Catholic and Hickory Grove had eight-run rallies, North Mecklenburg had innings of 10, seven and six runs in a doubleheader sweep against West Charlotte, and Providence Day scored nine in the first inning against Charlotte Latin.

-- West Meck's Matt Hill drove in five runs in a 14-0 victory against Harding. He was 3-for-3 with two doubles.

BOYS' GOLF

-- Myers Park won the Southwestern 4A regular-season title with a 7-0 record. The Mustangs beat South Mecklenburg 321-340 at Raintree North. Myers Park's top scorers on the par 72 course were Jack Cottrill and Nick Ricci (78 apiece) and Quent Mather (79).

-- Charlotte Latin won the Charlotte Independent Schools Athletic Association (CISAA) tournament at Providence Country Club.
The Hawks' 319 score was 10 strokes better than Charlotte Christian and Charlotte Country Day (329 apiece), followed by Providence Day (337) and Concord Cannon (347).
Latin's James Bramlett won the conference individual championship with a two-over 74, followed by Providence Day's Paul Fitzgerald (76), Charlotte Christian's Hank Hanegraaf (78), Country Day's Stuart McGoogan (78) and Latin's Drew Lankford (78).

GIRLS' SOCCER

-- Hat tricks on Tuesday:

Michaelanne Clarty (Covenant Day)

Lulu Brase (Gaston Day)

Kristen Smith (Hickory Ridge)

Stephanie Pinkstaff (South Mecklenburg)

Asia Thomas (West Mecklenburg)

Vicky Bruce (Concord Cannon)

SOFTBALL

-- Ardrey Kell's Jen Rosene threw a no-hitter in a 15-0 victory against Independence. In six innings, she struck out 13 and walked one.

-- Charlotte Catholic's Laura Curran was 4-for-4, including a home run, in a 16-1 victory against Harding.

-- Charlotte Latin's Morgan Henry was 4-for-4 in a 6-4 victory against Concord Cannon.

--In a game for first place in South Piedmont 3A, Piedmont's Taylor Barrineau hit a winning homer to lead off the bottom of the seventh against Marvin Ridge. Her second home run of the season came on a full-count pitch and made a winner of Taylor Flynn (8-1), who pitched a two-hitter. Piedmont is 13-2, 8-2; Marvin Ridge 12-3, 7-3.

BOYS' TENNIS

-- Charlotte Catholic, coached by Ken Hazen, won its 19th consecutive conference championship with a 9-0 victory against Harding.

- Cliff Mehrtens

Butler's Cierra Burdick to try out for national team



Butler High sophomore basketball player Cierra Burdick (above) has been invited to try out for the 2009 U.S. U16 National Team, May 28-31 at U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

If selected for the team, Burdick, a 6-3 sophomore wing player, will play for her country at the 2009 FIBA Americas Under 16 world championships.

Burdick was a first-team All-Charlotte Observer selection this season and also an all-state pick by the Charlotte Observer.

Burdick is ranked among the top 3 in her class nationally and was scouted in person this season by Tennessee coach Pat Summitt. Burdick averaged 12.8 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 4 bpg and 2.1 spg and led her team, nationally ranked for most of the season, to the West regional finals.

-- Langston Wertz Jr.

All-Southwestern 4A wrestling team

Butler's Tom Puckett and East Mecklenburg's Ron Howard are the All-Southwestern 4A Co-Wrestlers of the Year. Both finished fourth at the state tournament in their weight classes.

Butler's Billy Puckett is the conference coach of the year.

The all-conference team:
103 pounds: Kush Shah (Butler)
112: Jeffrey Stevenson (Ardrey Kell) and Peter Baseda (East Mecklenburg)
119: Tom Puckett (Butler)
125: Sam McArthur (Myers Park)
130: Mark Judy (Ardrey Kell)
135: Dalton Cunningham (Butler)
140: Joe Alkurd (Providence)
145: Ron Howard (East Mecklenburg)
152: Wes Kepley (Providence)
160: Nate Charest (Butler)
171: Ali Shirzad (Myers Park)
189: Austin Bumgarner (Butler)
215: George Haddock (Myers Park)
285: Nathan Bernstein (Providence).

The all-conference second team:

103: Ben Asefa (East Mecklenburg)
112: Garrett Woods (South Mecklenburg)
119: Peter McArthur (Myers Park)
125: Will Burch (Weddington)
130: Samir Hafiz (Providence)
135: Brian Snyder (East Mecklenburg)
140: Dillon Parker (Myers Park)
145: Austin Long (Butler)
152: Alan Braun (Butler)
160: Cody Hall (Ardrey Kell)
171: Jordan Nevseta (Ardrey Kell)
189: Bobby Warren (Myers Park)
215: Matt Bennett (Providence)
285: James Briggs (Butler)

- Cliff Mehrtens

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Charlotte Christian coach notches No. 400



Charlotte Christian baseball coach Greg Simmons notched his 400th victory Saturday in a 12-1 victory against Hickory Grove.

“It was a lot of fun, and after the game they gave me a big ceremony and a cake,” said Simmons, 43, in his 17th season as head coach (and 19th overall).

Simmons is 400-167-1, and built Charlotte Christian into a private-school power. His team won the 3A title last season and is 19-3 and a strong contender this spring.

Simmons said his thoughts drifted Saturday to milestone victories 100, 200 and 300, and his first teams at Christian.

“I thought about the kids who’ve come through the program and set the foundation,” he said. “That first team won 10 games and the second team won eight, but they gave a lot.”

Simmons said he didn’t dwell on the midseason milestone.

“No. 400 doesn’t mean anything unless you win that last one,” he sais. “That’s why we didn’t make a big deal of it to the players. It just means you’re getting old and have been around a long time.”

- Cliff Mehrtens

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

West Charlotte's state champion girls team has ring problems

Every player on West Charlotte's state championship girls basketball team may not be able to get her state ring.


The Lions beat nationally ranked East Meck and Butler on back-to-back nights to reach the state championship game last month, then stopped Durham Hillside with a furious fourth quarter rush in the championship game. It was the first girls basketball state title in West Charlotte's 71-year history.


Lions athletics director Masanori Toguchi said the school was able to cover half the cost of the $200 rings, but had "serious concerns" that some players wouldn't be able to raise their half. Toguchi said he tried to raise the remaining funds by trying to get local businesses to buy banners to be shown at school athletic events but current economic conditions prevented those businesses from doing so.


"We don't make that much money off tickets so we're trying to do the best we can right now," Toguchi said.


One Lions parent said the team's eight seniors, faced with fees to cover senior packages, college applications and proms, were particularly stressed.


"Money is tight for everyone," the parent said, "and I find it truly heartbreaking that these young ladies worked very hard and overcame so much to win, and now they have been told that if they don't have money they cannot get their prize."

-- Langston Wertz Jr.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Future ACCers impress at Summit

Scary thought: One of the most impressive players at the Nike Hoops Summit was Leslie McDonald, i.e. UNC's "other" recruit — the fifth member of the '09 recruiting class and only one that wasn't a McDonald's All-American.

McDonald, a shooting guard, was one of three ACC signees on Team USA, which lost to the World Team, 97-89. Raleigh's John Wall drew the headlines, with 11 assists and five steals, but there's plenty to read about McDonald, Duke's Mason Plumlee and UNC's John Henson in the NBADraft.net article.

-- J.P. Giglio

Northwestern boys soccer No. 1 nationally

Rock Hill Northwestern's boys soccer team is ranked No. 1 in the nation in the National Soccer Coaches Association poll Irmo, S.C., is No. 4.


South Carolina boys play soccer in the spring. N.C. teams play boys soccer in fall.

-- Langston Wertz Jr.

Observer Sweet 16 baseball poll

Baseball Sweet 16 Poll


Rankings of the area's best high school baseball teams.

Rk. Cl. Team Rec. Prev.
1. 2A Mt. Pleasant 14-0 4
2. 4A Providence 11-3 3
3. Ind. Charlotte Christian 15-3 10
4. 3A Marvin Ridge 11-1 14
5. 3A Lake Norman 11-1 NR
6. 3A East Rowan 9-2 2
7. 2A West Stanly 11-1 7
8. 4A South Caldwell 11-2 NR
9. 2A West Lincoln 11-0 NR
10. 4A Ardrey Kell 10-4 1
11. 4A Myers Park 10-4 5
12. 4A Watauga 10-3 9
13. 2A East Lincoln 10-1 NR
14. 3A Kings Mtn. 9-2 13
15. Ind. Providence Day 12-3 16
16. 4A Butler 8-4 8

Also receiving votes: 3A Belmont South Point (10-4); 2A East Rutherford (7-4); 3A Porter Ridge (7-4); 3A R-S Central (8-5); 4A Morganton Patton (11-4); Ind. Cabarrus Stallions (12-1).

To correct a record, or nominate a team, call 704-358-5121 or email cmehrtens@charlotteobserver.com

Monday, April 13, 2009

Northern Guilford AD, principal resign amid investigation

The principal and athletics director at Northern Guilford High in Greensboro resigned Friday in the midst of an ongoing investigation regarding high school athletics eligibility and other issues.

Three days after Guilford County Schools announced the resignations of North Guilford principal Joe Yeager, and North Guilford athletics director Derrell Force, the Greensboro News & Record reported Monday Guilford County Schools have uncovered e-mails that indicate school officials may have encouraged students outside Northern’s district to play there.

Northern Guilford’s boys basketball team finished 30-3 this season and won the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3-A boys basketball championship.

The team did not have any underclassmen and would be a heavy favorites to win again next year if the team returns intact.

-- Tim Stevens

Wall shines in Nike Hoop Summit loss

Raleigh Word of God point guard John Wall scored 13 points, set the game record with 11 assists and tied the game record with five steals in the United States' 97-89 loss to an international all-star team in the Nike Hoop Summit in Portland, Ore.

Wall, 6-foot-4, is the top-ranked high school player in the country by rivals.com.

"Their big man got it going in the second half and their guards hit two threes back-to-back in crunch time," Wall told USA basketball afterwards.

"No game is going to be easy. Even though you're getting the highlights and getting the crowd into it, a team that is big caliber and can make shots like they can, I knew the game wasn't over. They started making the shots...the lead started getting lower and lower, and they came out with a good win."

Xavier Henry led the U.S. team with 22 points. Avery Bradley had 21. John Henson had 10 points and 9 rebounds

Serbia's 6-foot-9 Milan Macvan scored 23 and Lithuania's 7-foot Donatas Motiejunas added 21 as the World 19-and-under team got its first victory in the series since 1998, when Dirk Nowitzki led the foreign stars.

-- Tim Stevens

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Memphis still in Wall chase

Josh Pastner, the new Memphis coach, has at least one thing going for him.

He's a friend of Brian Clifton, a mentor to heavily recruited point guard John Wall, and has already made clear to Clifton that he wants to keep trying to persuade the Raleigh Word of God senior to play basketball at Memphis.

Pastner, 31, was named today to succeed John Calipari as head coach. A week ago, Calipari left Memphis to take the head-coaching job at Kentucky, and Clifton then thought Pastner, an assistant to Calipari at Memphis, would follow his boss to UK. Upon learning of Calipari's job change, Wall told The N&O's Tim Stevens last week tha, while he was still considering Memphis, he no longer had a "leader" among his main college choices — Memphis, Duke, N.C. State, Kansas, Baylor and Miami.

Clifton, who heads D-One Sports, the summer program Wall plays for, said he got a call Monday from Pastner about getting the Memphis job and that Pastner asked him whether it was OK to continue his recruitment of Wall.

"Josh and I have been friends for years, so I told him I absolutely didn't have a problem with it," Clifton said today.

He said he had not had a chance yet to talk about the Memphis situation with Wall, a 6-foot-4 guard, but that Wall knew about the new coach — and knows him. "Josh was the point person on [recruiting] John" when Calipari was still Memphis' head coach.

The coaching change at Memphis, where Baylor's Scott Drew was at one point being mentioned at a possible replacement for Calipari, has been among the interesting recent developments influencing Wall's college decision. He recently had what Clifton described as a "very good" visit with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, making Duke a more viable option, and also had heard from UNC coach Roy Williams.

Late last week, Wall said Williams had just called to find out how he was doing but that UNC isn't recruiting him. -- Roger van der Horst

Saturday, April 4, 2009

NCHSAA leader Adams to retire

Charlie Adams, the executive director of the N.C. High School Athletic Association, will retire in January.

Adams has been the head of the NCHSAA, which oversees athletics at all public high schools in the state. He is a former president of the National Federation of State High School Associations.

Adams has not made a public announcement of his decision to retire, but plans were announced this week in Wilmington at the N.C. Athletic Directors Association that a retirement celebration for Adams would be held in conjunction with the NCHSAA's annual meeting in Chapel Hill.

An official announcement is expected to be made next week.

-- Tim Stevens

Friday, April 3, 2009

Wall: UNC is not recruiting me

University of North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams called top-ranked point guard John Wall on Thursday night, but Wall said the Tar Heels are not recruiting him.

"It wasn't anything major," Wall said. "He just called to check in, see how I was doing, what was going on. It's nothing big.

"North Carolina is not recruiting me right now."

Asked would he be interested in North Carolina if it began recruiting him, Wall said, "That's something we'd just have to wait and see."

Wall said earlier this week that Memphis was his leader, but that was before Coach John Calipari left for Kentucky. After Calipari's exit, Wall said Memphis was no longer his leader and that he had added Kentucky to his list. He was emphatic that Kentucky
was not his leader and that he has no leader anymore.

Also on his list are Duke, N.C. State, Baylor, Kansas, Memphis, Miami and Kentucky.

Friday, the Raleigh Word of God senior said he is still considering Memphis and is waiting to see who it names as head coach.

Wall is a 6-foot-4 point guard and the No. 1-ranked player in the country by rivals.com.

He has scheduled an official visit to Miami. -- Tim Stevens

Highly recruited point guard hears from UNC

Brian Clifton, who heads the summer basketball program for which John Wall plays, confirmed that the highly recruited point guard got a call last night from North Carolina head coach Roy Williams, whose team is getting ready to face Villanova on Saturday in the NCAA Final Four.

UNC had not previously been among the universities Wall was seriously considering — Baylor, Memphis, N.C. State, Duke and Kansas — and Clifton has said he's not on talking terms with Carolina coaches.

"I have no desire to talk to, to be involved with, to visit, to contemplate in any shape, form or fashion John Wall going to play for Roy Williams. Zero," said Clifton, who runs the D-One sports program and has been advising the Raleigh Word of God senior but has insisted that the decision ultimately is Wall's to make.

Wall was leaning toward Memphis before its head coach, John Calipari, took the Kentucky job Tuesday. The 6-foot-4 guard told The N&O's Tim Stevens that he was still considering Memphis but that he no longer had a "leader" among potential destinations. Kentucky may be a possibility, but Clifton said today that he had not yet discussed UK with Wall, though he regularly stays in touch with Josh Pastner, a Memphis assistant coach who may join Calipari at Kentucky.

Clifton, who has accompanied Wall on campus visits, described Sunday's meeting with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski as "very good." When asked whether Wall's list of choices had changed, Clifton replied: "The emergence of Duke as a viable option, that in and of itself has caused a change."

"We all left the meeting with the conclusion that it was worth exploring further," said Clifton, who clearly was feeling better about Duke after his earlier concerns that the Blue Devils would not be a good fit for Wall. "I respect Coach K and the way that he goes about business. ... He was enough of a professional to deal with people based on who they really are, not on what he's heard they might be. I'd be comfortable with any of my guys learning from and being shaped and molded by a guy who's got that in his character."

There's been speculation that Memphis will turn to Baylor's Scott Drew to replace Calipari. Clifton's brother, Dwon, is on Drew's staff, but Brian Clifton said he had not heard anything from Drew indicating that he would leave Baylor.

In a previous interview, Clifton said he received a cool reception from UNC when he brought another potential recruit there. But Williams, who would not discuss specific coaches at the time, said he does deal with some summer coaches.

Regarding Clifton's statement that Williams' call came Thursday, the same day the one-week dead period of recruiting began, the dead period prohibits in-person recruiting contacts or evaluations, not a telephone call or letter from an institutional staff member. It's not a violation to call. -- Roger van der Horst

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Donate with Dodgeball at South Meck


South Mecklenburg senior running back Tim Palmer made a big contribution to help the Sabres reach the N.C. 4AA state football semifinals this season. Now, he looks for some help on his own to raise money for A Child's Place.


The third annual South Meck Charity Dodgeball Classic is scheduled for Friday, from 2:30 to 5 p.m. in the school auditorium. Palmer helped create the fundraiser two years ago and the classic has raised more than $2,000 for A Child's Place.


Up to 30 teams are expected to participate, with students and teachers contributing $5 each to play. The group also sells tournament T-shirts. Trophies are awarded to the team with the best uniforms and the team who wins the tournament.


The public is welcome to watch and you don't have to play to donate. If you're interested in donating, you can e-mail SMCharityDodgeball@yahoo.com for more information; or checks can made out to A Child's Place and mailed to: South Mecklenburg High School, 8900 Park Rd., Charlotte, NC 28210.


-- Jim Utter