Monday, February 8, 2010

Basketball notes: Berry girls double wins, can close on title Tuesday

Berry's boys and girls are thriving in the Rocky River conference.

Berry dropped to the 2A level this season and had to join a conference of primarily Union County teams, creating hourlong commutes to games. Doesn't seem to be bothering the Cardinals too much.

Thursday, Berry's boys beat Marshville Forest Hills 75-64 to get a firm hold of second place in the conference. Friday, Berry beat Monroe Central 76-38 to improve to 16-6 overall, 10-3 in the conference. Ricky Perry's 12 points led Berry Friday. Perry had 24 against Forest Hills.

Berry's girls are 18-4 overall and 12-2 in the conference. The Cardinals have won 12 straight games after Friday's 67-42 win over Monroe Central. Berry allows less than 40 points per game in conference play. The Cardinals won only nine games last season but can win its first conference championship in school history Tuesday at home against West Stanly.

Alisha Quinn had 17 Friday for Berry and Essence Baucom had 16. Berry outscored West Stanly 38-17 in the second half, including 14-5 in the fourth quarter.

Southwestern 4A boys race tightening

East Mecklenburg's nationally-ranked girls clinch at least a share of the Southwestern 4A with one more win, but the boys race is wide open.

Friday night, Ardrey Kell beat East Meck 58-55 in overtime. Providence held off Butler 59-55.

Providence (15-7, 8-2) now leads the league over Ardrey Kell (15-8, 8-3) and East Meck (11-11, 7-3).

Coach Jason Grube's East Meck team plays at Providence Tuesday. Then, on Friday, Providence plays at Ardrey Kell Friday in a huge rivalry game that, one way or the other, will involve the conference championship.

East finishes it season against South Meck Friday.

For Providence, it's easy: beat East Meck Tuesday and beat Ardrey Kell Friday and the Panthers win the title.

But there are a lot of what-if scenarios in what has become the most fun conference race this year.

Friday night, Olympic won the MEGA 7 boys championship and Charlotte Catholic's girls won the MEGA girls title. Charlotte Christian and Providence Day's girls look like locks in the CISAA.

In the I-MECK 4A, Hopewell got within one game of at least a share of the title by beating Mallard Creek. The Titans can get that share Monday at home against Mooresville and win it outright with wins over Mooresville Monday and at Vance in a big game Tuesday.

The I-MECK girls championship is still in doubt. As we head into the final week of play, Hopewell, Lake Norman and Mallard Creek all have two conference losses.

Around the area

-- Waxhaw Cuthbertson's Cody Esser scored 25 points on seven 3-point shots in Friday's 60-38 home victory over Unionville Piedmont.

-- Charlotte Catholic's John Hatton scored his 1,000th point Friday against Garinger. He had 17 in the Cougars' 83-68 win. Hatton averages 19 points and 6 rebounds.

-- Charlotte Christian beat Providence Day 79-53 Friday and can win at least a share of the league title Thursday at home against Concord Cannon. Junior Anthony Gill had 18 points and 7 rebounds.

-- Covenant Day girls star Hilliary Adams had games of 25 and 28 points last week, when her team went 3-0.

-- Myers Park's Griffin Shaw had 12 points in Friday's 66-51 win over South Mecklenburg in what is likely his final home game. Shaw was the school's first four-year varsity player since Omar Gaither eight years ago.

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