Monday, January 31, 2011

New No. 1 in boys Sweet 16, girls poll has changes

Olympic’s boys had never been No. 1 in the Sweet 16 before this season.

Today, the Trojans get to try on the top spot crown for the second time this season. Thanks to North Mecklenburg’s Karl Barkley, who hit a game-winning 3-point buzzer-beater to stop former No. 1 West Charlotte last week, Olympic moves back to the high ground.

West Charlotte drops to No. 2 and Concord moves up a spot to No. 3. Charlotte Christian, No. 3 last week, drops two spots. The Knights lost two close games to nationally ranked competition at an invitational tournament in Florida last week.

North Meck, which shares the I-MECK conference lead with West Charlotte, jumps four spots to No. 4.

-- Indian Trail Sun Valley, which has won eight of its past nine and four in a row, moves into the poll at No. 16. Sun Valley has beaten former Sweet 16 Weddington twice during the win streak.

-- In the girls poll, Berry fell three spots after being upset by Unionville Piedmont last week. And Indian Trail Porter Ridge (13-2) joins the poll at No. 15.

Team    Cl    Rec.    Pvs
1. Olympic
    4A    19-1
2. West Charlotte    4A    15-2    1
3. Concord    3A    16-1    4
4. North Mecklenburg    4A    18-2    8
5. Charlotte Chrisitan    IND    18-5    3
6. Gastonia Huss    3A    15-2    5
7. Hickory    3A    16-2    6
8. Butler    4A    15-3    7
9. Fort Mill    3A    16-3    10
10. Hickory St. Stephens    3A    15-3    11
11. East Rutherford    2A    14-1    13
12. Lawndale Burns    3A    14-3    9
13. Berry    2A    14-2    15
14. Cherryville    1A    14-2    14
15. W. Caldwell   2A    16-1   15
16. Indian Trail Sun Valley    4A    14-5    16

Team    Cl    Rec.    Pvs
1. Butler    4A    19-0    1
2. Salisbury    2A    14-1    2
3. Mallard Creek    4A    17-3    4
4. Hopewell    4A    16-2    5
5. Providence Day    IND    17-4    6
6. Berry    2A     15-2    3
7. Shelby    2A    16-0    7
8. North Iredell    3A    14-1    8
9. Gastonia Forestview    3A    14-3    9
10. Charlotte Christian    IND    16-2    10
11. Belmont South Point    3A    16-1    11
12. Hickory    3A    16-2    12
13. Ardrey Kell    4A    16-3    14
14. West Mecklenburg    4A    14-2    15
15. Indian Trail Porter Ridge    4A    13-2    –
16. Newton-Conover    2A    15-2    13

Saturday, January 29, 2011

CMS to take action Monday after fight at E. Meck

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools athletics director Vicki Hamilton said school officials will wait until Monday to decide on what action to take following Friday’s incident during the Butler at East Mecklenburg basketball doubleheader.

Following a blowout win by Butler’s girls, a parent of a Butler High starter was arrested after getting into a fight with a school resource officer. The incident was captured on video by WCNC, Channel 36, which was at the game filming highlights for its “Friday Night Frenzy” highlights show.

According to reports from the game and the video, a fight broke out between the father and the officer. Then the man’s wife jumped in, along with the daughter, and began hitting the officer on the head.

Sources say the incident started after the officer asked the player to sit on the Butler side of the gym. Several East Mecklenburg girls' players transferred to Butler this season and the schools have a long rivalry.

Hamilton said with school being out and the police report (as of early Saturday) not written, it would be hard to sort through all the information necessary to address the situation.

Hamilton said school officials will meet Monday and determine what action to take.

- Langston Wertz Jr.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

VIdeo: North Meck's Karl Barkley's back to back game winning shots

Thanks to North Meck coaches, here is video of Karl Barkley's back to back game winning shots. On Tuesday, Barkley hit one to beat Sweet 16 No. 1 West Charlotte. About 24 hours later, he hit another to stop upset-minded Mooresville.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

South Pointe's Clowney is cover boy for ESPN the Magazine

With high school football recruiting signing day coming up next week, ESPN The Magazine is featuring Rock Hill South Pointe star Jadeveon Clowney on its cover this week. Clowney is the near-consensus No. 1 high school prospect in the country. He's uncommitted for college.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Gamecocks recruits lead Christian, Prov. Day boys and girls wins

Charlotte Christian’s Anthony Gill and Providence’s Day Tiffany Mitchell know they are one of the best players on the court every time they step on the basketball court.

Tuesday night, both Gill and Mitchell, who are both committed to play for South Carolina in the future, proved why they are considered among Charlotte’s best leading their respective teams to big CISAA conference (Charlotte Independent Schools Athletic Association) wins against their arch rival.

Gill, a senior, who has signed with the Gamecocks, scored 23 points and grabbed 19 rebounds to lead the No. 3 (Observer Sweet 16) Knights past the Chargers 63-51 on the road.

Meanwhile, Mitchell, who committed to South Carolina Tuesday, scored 24 points, including three key baskets in the last three minutes to help the No. 6 (Observer Sweet 16) Providence Day to a 57-49 win over the No. 10 Knights.

Mitchell played in front of her future coach, South Carolina’s Dawn Staley, who also played for the Charlotte Sting.

“Tiffany is a flat out winner,” Providence Day girls’ basketball coach Josh Springer said. “Whether is a key basket or rebound or steal, she makes the winning play that we need. Her teammates really feed off of her intensity and energy.”

The Chargers, who haven’t lost a CISAA conference game in more than six years now, got everything they could handle from sophomore, center Gigi Bailey and the Knights.

The Knights (15-2, 2-1) rallied several times, including getting within one-point at 45-44 with just 3:24 remaining in the game. But Mitchell and sophomore point guard Jada Brayboy (11 points, three assists) took control from there leading the Chargers (15-4, 3-0) on a 10-2 run over the next three minutes to extend the lead to 55-46 with just 20 seconds to play.

 Like Mitchell, Gill led his Charlotte Christian team a key CISAA victory going on an 11-0 run by himself to start the second half as the Knights turned a tight game into a 17-point lead and never looked back.

Gill and company’s run in the third quarter was 18-0 overall, with 11 points coming from Gill and four from Ryan Potocnik, who had 16 points and five rebounds on the night.

“Anthony (Gill) is an outstanding player,” Charlotte Christian basketball coach Shonn Brown said. “But he is also an outstanding person and teammate. He does whatever the team needs him to do. Tonight, we need him to do a lot.”

Providence Day looked strong early, taking a 12-10 lead at the end of the first quarter, but couldn’t stand up to the Christian pressure defense for the entire 32 minutes.

Sophomore point guard Bryon Fields led the Chargers with 14 points, while senior Connor Sullivan added 12 points.

Score By Quarter
                                                1     2     3     4     -   Final
Charlotte Christian             10   14   19   20    -    63
Providence Day                    12    6    8     25    -    51

Anthony Gill 23, Ryan Potocnik 16, Smith 7, Rooks 6, I. Ebert 3, Walker 2, U-edosomwan 2, Richter 2, Watkins 2.
Bryon Fields 14, Connor Sullivan 12, Watkins 8, Stramm 7, Hickson 6, Plaus 2, Ratchford 2.
Records: Charlotte Christian (17-3, 3-0); Providence Day (13-6, 1-2).


Score By Quarter
                                            1     2     3     4     -   Final
Providence Day                14   15   10   18    -     57
Charlotte Christian          8    18    8    15    -     49

Tiffany Mitchell 24, Jada Brayboy 11, Burnick 7, White 6, Mosack 5, Parker 4.
Gigi Bailey 21, Barnett 13, Kirk 7, Mazyck 7, Smith 1.
Records: Providence Day (15-4, 3-0); Charlotte Christian (15-2, 2-1).

N.C. Preps Statewide Media Basketball Poll 1.25


1. Princeton 16-0 (10) - 160
2. Cherryville 12-2 (5) - 146
3. East Surry 15-1 (2) - 131
4. North Edgecombe 11-1 - 129
5. Riverside 14-3 - 95
6. Murphy 13-2 - 81
7. North Rowan 11-3 - 62
8. Hendersonville 11-4 - 38
9. Lejeune 13-4 - 30
10. Rocky Mount Prep 11-5 - 27

Honorable Mention: Pender (11-4) - 24; Albemarle (7-2) - 8; Plymouth (10-3) - 4; North Wilkes (11-6) - 3; Perquimans (12-4) - 1; East Carteret (10-4) - 1;


1. Smoky Mountain 15-0 (13) - 161
2. West Caldwell 15-1 (2) - 139
3. Cummings 13-1 (1) - 132
4. East Rutherford 11-1 - 97
5. Fairmont 11-0 - 84
6. Jordan-Matthews 14-1 - 83
7. Berry 14-2 (1) - 81
8. Clinton 13-2 - 54
9. Beddingfield 13-2 - 47
10. Kinston 11-5 - 33

Honorable Mention: HP Andrews (12-2) - 13; West Stokes (12-5) - 5; West Bladen (12-3) - 3; Northwood (12-3) - 3; Richlands (12-3) - 2; Salisbury (10-4) - 2; South Stokes (14-3) - 1;


1. Concord 14-1 (17) - 170
2. Huss 14-2 - 147
3. Erwin 16-1 - 115
4. Westover 14-2 - 111
5. NE Guilford 12-3 - 92
6. Burns 12-2 - 85
7. Weddington 17-2 - 74
8. Hickory 15-2 - 62
9. Southern Lee 12-4 - 20
10. Chapel Hill 11-2 - 18

Honorable Mention: Freedom (15-4) - 15; Statesville (12-3) - 13; Forestview (12-3) - 5; Rocky Mount (12-5) - 4; Waddell (13-5) - 4; A.L. Brown (9-3) - 3; South Central (12-4) - 1;


1. Reagan 17-0 (13) - 161
2. West Charlotte 13-1 (2) - 146
3. Garner 13-0 - 129
4. Olympic 18-1 - 112
5. Middle Creek 16-1 - 107
6. Terry Sanford 15-2 (1) - 97
7. Wakefield 14-1 - 63
8. Mount Tabor 16-2 - 52
9. Laney 15-1 - 42
10. North Meck 15-2 - 16

Honorable Mention: Dudley (12-4) - 4; New Hanover (12-3) - 3; Pine Forest (15-3) - 2; Butler (13-3) - 2;


1. River Mill 22-1 (14) - 166
2. Bishop McGuinness 11-6 (3) - 129
3. East Wilkes 12-2 - 123
4. SW Onslow 12-2 - 116
5. Murphy 13-2 - 101
6. Mount Airy 16-3 - 83
7. Jones Senior 9-2 - 62
8. Southside 11-2 - 54
9. Cherokee 11-3 - 45
10. Chatham Central 10-3 - 21

Honorable Mention: Avery (11-5) - 11; Goldsboro (9-3) - 4; Highland Tech (10-4) - 4; Lakewood (12-4) - 3; Riverside (10-6) - 1;


1. Salisbury 12-1 (13) - 161
2. Shelby 14-0 (2) - 144
3. East Bladen 16-1 (1) - 132
4. North Surry 14-0 (1) - 123
5. Newton-Conover 14-1 - 103
6. Bunn 12-0 - 90
7. Berry 13-1 - 59
8. Northside-Jax 13-1 - 45
9. Thomasville 13-1 - 26
10. Bandys 13-2 - 14

Honorable Mention: - Granville Central (17-2) - 12; Clinton (14-2) - 7; Central Davidson (14-2) - 7; Bertie (13-2) - 6; Ashe County (14-1) - 3; Jordan-Matthews (13-2) - 1;


1. North Iredell 12-1 (13) - 164
2. Forestview 11-3 (2) - 117
3. South Point 14-1 (2) - 109
4. Asheboro 15-2 - 97
5. Rocky Mount 15-2 - 90
6. South Central 10-4 - 63
7. Union Pines 15-2 - 61
8. Parkwood 15-2 - 53
9. Williams 13-1 - 40
10. Eastern Guilford 14-2 - 33

Honorable Mention: Erwin (14-3) - 29; Hickory (15-2) - 23; RS Central (12-4) - 12; Freedom (13-6) - 5; Ledford (11-3) - 5; West Carteret (12-3) - 4; Tuscola (12-4) - 4; Northern Nash (10-1) - 3; Carson (11-4) - 1; Northern Guilford (15-3) - 1;


1. Butler 16-0 (17) - 170
2. Green Hope 15-1 - 139
3. South View 16-0 - 138
4. Dudley 16-1 - 124
5. Millbrook 16-1 - 101
6. Hopewell 13-2 - 76
7. SW Guilford 13-1 - 53
8. Riverside 13-3 - 39
9. Mount Tabor 14-2 - 33
10. Porter Ridge 14-2 - 14

Honorable Mention: Mallard Creek (15-3) - 13; TC Roberson (12-2) - 11; SE Raleigh (12-3) - 10; South Caldwell (14-4) - 8; West Meck (13-2) - 4; EE Smith (13-3) - 3; Hoggard (N/A) - 1;

Northside Christian ends First Assembly's unbeaten run, grabs first place

Northside Christian, the Bojangles' Shootout champion, continued its magical season Monday night, beating two-time N.C. 2A Independent Schools state final runner-up Concord First Assembly 75-70.

The win, which came in front of a standing-room only crowd at Northside, ended First Assembly's unbeaten season and pushed the Knights (18-1, 8-0 Metrolina Athletic) into first place in the conference.

Northside got 28 points from center Dionte Adams on a night when star Griffin Pittman scored just eight. First Assembly (13-1, 7-1) got 27 from Chad Frazier.

The teams meet again Friday at First Assembly. A win there would likely give Northside the conference title in coach Byron Dinkins' first season.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Catholic lineman Harrell named top 25 national football recruit

Charlotte Catholic lineman Mark Harrell was named one of the nation’s top underclassmen recruits by national analyst Randy Taylor, diretor of football for the National Collegiate Scouting Association. Five hundred of the nation’s top underclassmen gathered in San Antonio this month for the U.S. Army All-American combined. Harrell was named one of the top 25 overall and one of the top three offensive linemen.

Below are Taylor’s Top 25 recruits (in no particular order)

1          Chance Allen                         WR                         6-2          180         Elkins High School

2          Vince Biegel                           LB                           6-3          210         Lincoln High School

3          Ray Buchanan Jr.                  DB                          5-10       165         Peachtree Ridge High School

4          Cayman Bundage                OG                         6-2          255         Douglass High School

5          Jason Croom                          WR                         6-5          215         Norcross High School

6          Jordan Diamond                   OT                          6-5          265         Simeon High School

7          Stefon Diggs                          WR                         6-0          165         Good Counsel High School

8          Khaliq Gatson                        DB                          5-10       160         William Penn High School

9          Xavier Grindle                       RB                           5-10       170         East Marion High School

10        Mark Harrell                          OT                          6-5          250         Charlotte Catholic High School

11        Marcus Holliday                   RB                           5-9          165         Fairley High School

12        Nick James                             DT                           6-3          310         Long Beach High School

13        Brian Kimbrow                      RB                           5-10       165         Memphis East High School

14        Byron Marshall                     RB                           5-10       195         Valley Christian High School

15        Michael McHugh                 WR                         6-2          185         Kirkwood High School

16        Vincent Miller                       WR/DB                 5-11       170         Henry Clay High School

17        Trenton Norvell                   QB                          6-4          215         Seabreeze High School

18        Dorian O'Daniels                  LB                           6-1          180         Good Counsel High School

19        Ondre Pipkins                       DT                           6-2          295         Park Hill High School

20        Deaysean Rippy                   LB                           6-2          200         Sto-Rox High School

21           Patton Robinette             QB                          6-4          190         Maryville High School

22           Anthony Smith                  DT                           6-1.5      260         Westfield High School

23           Caleb Smith                        TE                           6-5.5      215         Kentridge High School

24           Spencer Stanley               DE                           6-4          250         Trinity Valley High School

25           DJ White                              DB                          5-11       180         Union Grove High School

Bobby Carroll leaves RH South Pointe football for York

YORK -- Bobby Carroll will become the football coach at York Comprehensive High School, returning to coach in the town where he grew up, played sports and still lives.

Carroll is leaving South Pointe High, where he built the Stallions' football program into a state power in just six years. He started the program when the school opened.

His hiring was approved Tuesday night by the York school district board and was announced by York schools superintendent Vernon Prosser. The move was not surprising and had been rumored to be in the works since York decided not to renew the contract of football coach Mike Propst after just one season.
"I'm glad to be here and ready to go to work," Carroll said while addressing the seven board members who unanimously approved the hiring. "I appreciate you guys for giving me this opportunity. Coaching here has been a dream of mine since I left this place in 1980. I hope in my 28 years I've learned a lot about people and coaching football.

"I had an informal discussion with Mr. Prosser at a basketball game in December and asked him what he was looking for in a football coach. When he told me a state championship, that closed the book on my decision to seek the job. To be successful in football you need four things: facilities, good assistant coaches, athletes and the support of your administration and community. That's in place here.''

Carroll said he had to take the job for his family. He applied another time when it opened, but admitted he didn't get it because he wasn't ready. But he got his chance to be a head coach in 2005 when hired by South Pointe Principal Al Leonard to build the Stallions' program from scratch after spending 22 seasons as an assistant at Northwestern High.

His son, Spencer, is a sophomore at York, and Carroll will have the opportunity to coach him the next ball season. He also will be united on Friday nights with his family, which spent Friday night's this fall watching the Cougars play. That includes his wife, Sherry, who Carroll described as the best "football wife in the country," his fifth-grade daughter, Chloe, and his mom, Mary Etta, who retired from teaching at York Comprehensive.

"We (South Pointe) beat York 56-7 in late October and one of the hardest things I've ever done in football was not going on the field and patting Spencer on the back after he threw that 80-yard touchdown pass. Now I can be part of it, coach him and all his friends who grew up with him and hang out at our house.
"And I'll get to see Chloe grown up. I remember telling her when she was only 5 to come let me tie her shoes. She told me she already knew how to tie them, and I didn't even know it. I drove to South Pointe while it was dark each morning and came home after dark. I live a mile from the high school here and can walk to work.''

Carroll was a standout offensive lineman for York and played in the 1979 Shrine Bowl Game. In five varsity seasons at South Pointe, he compiled a 50-18 record.

South Pointe had freshmen and sophomores its first season and fielded 9th grade and JV teams. Carroll decided to leave the freshmen together and when they were seniors in 2008, the Stallions beat Northwestern in the Class AAAA Division II state championship game 35-14 to complete a 15-0 season.

The Stallions made it to the Class AAAA, Division II state semifinals in 2009, but were knocked out 24-6 by Northwestern.

In 2010, the Stallions were moved down to Class AAA by the South Carolina High School League based on enrollment and held the No. 1 ranking in the classification all but one week. They lost 27-23 to Myrtle Beach in the state championship game.

York moved into a new high school building this year, and the football team plays in a state-of-the-art stadium that includes a turf field, dressing rooms at each end, more seats and several concession stands.

But on the field, Propst's young Cougars fell short of expectations and ended the season with a 3-7 record and missed the playoffs. One win was a forfeit by Rock Hill, which won the game 43-18.

Carroll said he will begin working to turn the program around as soon as possible.

He has turned in his resignation with the Rock Hill school district and said he hopes the board will allow him to leave right away at its meeting on Monday.

Carroll will teach social studies at York Comprehensive High.

"I plan to get work here as soon as I can,'' he said. "I plan to meet with the coaches here (York) and tell them what the program will be like. If they want to be part of it, good. If they don't, there will be no hard feelings.
"There are kids here who want to play football; as coaches we need to do our best to make it fun for them while teaching them the game. There was some good young talent on this year's team, and Coach Propst did a good job developing it. Our job it to take it to the next level.''

-- Rock Hill Herald

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Preliminary NCHSAA basketball playoff brackets

Click here for the preliminary brackets

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Revised CMS athletic schedules for winter sports

Here is a revised Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools sports schedule. Games were moved after weather related postponements
Butler @South Mecklenburg
East Mecklenburg @Providence
Myers Park @Independence
Rocky River @Ardrey Kell
Hough @Lake Norman
Catholic @Harding
Mallard Creek @West Charlotte
Olympic @ Garinger
South Mecklenburg @Ardrey Kell
Myers Park @Butler
Independence @East Mecklenburg
Rocky River @Providence
Garinger @Waddell
Harding @East Gaston
Hopewell @West Charlotte
Mallard Creek @Mooresville Senior
North Mecklenburg @Lake Norman
Vance @Hough
Berry @North Stanly
Olympic @Catholic
Mooresville @North Mecklenburg
West Mecklenburg @East Gaston
West Stanly @Berry
Providence @East Mecklenburg
West Charlotte @Hough
Ardrey Kell @Rocky River
Mooresville @ Hopewell
North Mecklenburg @ Mallard Creek
North Stanly @Berry
Providnce @ Rocky RIver
East Meck @ Independence
Butler @ Myers Park
Ardrey Kell @ South Meck
Waddell @ Catholic
West Meck @ Garinger
Hough @ W. Charlotte
E. Gaston @ Olympic
Independence @Myers Park
Hopewell @ Mallard Creek
North Meck @ Vance
East Mecklenburg, Myers Park @Providence HS pool (6:00pm)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Prep basketball players of the week

Boys' Players of the Week
Overall, B.J. Gladden, Queens Grant: 17 points, 20 rebounds in win over Lake Norman Charter. He's getting recruiting interest from Charlotte, Akron and Xavier
Anthony Stitt, Jermaine White, Marcus Burton, Butler: Each player scored 20 points in 102-72 win over Independence Friday.
Trent Richardson, East Meck: 22 points in 78-70 upset win over South Meck Friday. East Meck (3-12, 2-4) has won two straight.
Reggie Arceneaux, Olympic: 20 points in 76-63 win over West Meck. Teammate Al Freeman also had 20.
Girls' Player of the Week
Overall, Sandra Knox, East Meck: 29 points, 19 rebounds, 6 steals in 58-54 win over South Meck. She's led her team to three wins in four games.
Aliyah Kilpatrick, Butler: 13 points, 12 steals, 9 assists and 5 rebounds in 85-21 win over Independence.
Gabrielle McClain, West Charlotte: 30 points, 13 rebounds, 10 blocks, four steals and four assists in 57-52 win over Vance.
Oceania Anderson, Ardrey Kell: 29 points in 67-36 win over Providence.
Jordan Gaymon, Indian Trail Sun Valley: 19 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks in 49-43 win over Indian Trail Porter Ridge.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Butler's boys to play W-S Reynolds at TWC Arena Saturday

Butler's boys will get a real treat Saturday.

The Bulldogs will play Winston-Salem Reynolds at 2 p.m. at Time Warner Cable Arena, home of the Charlotte Bobcats.

"It is an awesome opportunity for our guys to compete on the same floor as the greatest players in the world," Bulldogs coach Kurt Wessler said.

To see the prep game, fans must buy a ticket to the Bobcats game with New Orleans Saturday night at 7. Wessler is selling discounted tickets (upper level $30 seats for $20 and lower level $69 seats for $55). Walk-up tickets are also available at regular rates.

Fans that attend the prep game will have to clear the building and re-enter for the Bobcats game. To purchase early tickets contact Wessler at

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Clearing up confusion on county championship proposal

Apparently my column last week about the city/county championship left a few people confused. Sorry about that.

Basically, I think Mecklenburg County should follow Union County's lead and have a county championship during Christmas break.

Some public school coaches aren't interested in playing with private schools who don't follow the eight-semester rule (meaning you can't repeat a grade in high school and maintain eligibility). Counting those teams, you have a perfect 32-team field. But since there is some opposition, I have a new option:

We take the 19 CMS schools and add the five privates who do play by the eight-semester rule: Charlotte Catholic, Charlotte Latin, Country Day, Charlotte Christian and Providence Day.

Then, I think we should have two fields: a 16-team county championship field and an 8-team open field. Think of it like the NCAA and NIT. Who picks the teams? Assuming the Charlotte Regional Sports Commission runs the event, as it did the Bojangles' Shootout last month, it would.

I think the open field gives two more teams (one boys and one girls) a shot at a title it might not normally get.

This would be a four-day event for the 16-team field and games could be played in two sites each day. I would peg some proceeds to go towards CMS' athletic department and I think we could jam some big crowds into the right venues around town.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

No. 9 North Meck wins at No. 10 Vance, despite playing without injured star

Playing without star point guard Carlin Bremner, a 20-point scorer, North Mecklenburg, No. 9 in the Observer's Sweet 16 poll, won its third straight game 62-57 over Vance Friday.

Tahjai Watt, a 6-foot-5 sophomore, had 15 points and 14 rebounds; point guard Shivaughn Wiggins had 14 points, four steals and four assists; and Jermaine Forte had 14 points and 7 rebounds for the Vikings (13-2, 4-1 I-Meck 4A) who rallied from 10 points down in the fourth quarter.

No. 10 Vance fell to 8-4, 3-2.

"It's a big win," Vikings coach Duane Lewis said. "Every one we're cherishing this year. We're playing without our best player and these guys have bought into that."

Read more:

Friday, January 7, 2011

Area's first basketball highlight show debuts tonight

After more than 25 years of weekly highlight football shows in town, WCNC is going to start a basketball show.

WCNC (Channel 36) is the local NBC affiliate. It will bring back its popular "Friday Night Frenzy" show tonight during the 11 p.m. newscast, providing five minutes of basketball and other winter sports highlights.

It's not long, but it's a start. If enough viewers tune in, who knows, maybe the program expands and other stations follow suit. I just hope WCNC gives it time to catch on.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Larry McNulty to return as football coach at Charlotte Latin

Charlotte Latin football coach Larry McNulty said he's not ready for retirement after all.

Just a few weeks after announcing that his 25th season at Charlotte Latin would his last, McNulty has decided to come back. He'll coach the Hawks in 2011.

McNulty has coached Latin to appearances in the past eight N.C Independent Schools' state championship games. His teams, overall, have won 11 football and five track championships.

“I began coaching straight out of college because I am committed to the development of young people and to the success, both on and off the field and track, of student athletes," McNulty said. "After reflecting upon my initial decision, I determined that I simply am not ready to end my coaching career, and I am truly grateful that the Charlotte Latin community supports this change of heart."

Latin Headmaster Arch McIntosh was happy McNulty decided to return.

“As a school leader for more than thirty years, I have learned that the key to providing an excellent education for students is to ensure that their teachers and coaches are outstanding in their disciplines and committed to each child in their charge," McIntosh said. "Coach McNulty is one of the finest educators, not to mention coaches, who I have had the privilege of working with on my faculty. I endorse his decision and am pleased that our athletic program will continue to benefit from his leadership, dedication and commitment.”

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Here's how a city championship could work

Take a look at the picture above (click on it to make it bigger). It's a shot of about 3,000 folks packed into the Union County Holiday tournament for a girls game at Wingate last week. The tournament is actually a de facto county championship and something I think should happen in Mecklenburg County, too.

An assistant basketball coach in Union County recently sent me an email saying he thought my ideas for a city championship here over Christmas was good. I heard from about 125 folks via email or text and response was about 98 percent in favor. I'll add the link to that story below.

Long story short, Union County has put on this tournament for nearly 30 years according to the coach. The picture above is from an early round game he took between Porter Ridge and Marvin Ridge. It speaks to the power of local competition. And the coach said by the time the boys hit the floor, it was standing room only and the noise was deafening.

Here is how they do it over there, according to the coach: Organizers divide Anson Senior and 11 Union County teams by record and strength of schedule. Teams go into the eight team championship tourney and a four team mini tournament.

Of course, teams often have to face conference rivals. That happens, but in the context of the city championship (or county as some would rather have me call it), I think the conference affiliations go out the window.

In Charlotte-Meck, you could have a 32-team tournament including nearly all public and private teams; or you could just play with privates that play by the same rules as publics, giving us 24 teams -- and a 16-team city/county championship field and an 8-team "invitational" field. Think of it as the NCAA Tournament and the NIT.

This could be a huge hit here and I think it would be, with crowds just like those you see above. Finishing at UNC Charlotte or Bojangles' Coliseum might open up possibilities for even bigger crowds -- and memories for the players that would last a lifetime. Middle school students would grow up wanting to play. Feed your audience. And to do this, I would give out a limited number of free tickets at all local middle schools.

Of course, there's still room for the current Bojangles' event. Just move to before Christmas, where many holiday tournaments are already on the calendar, but the city/county championship would have a much bigger impact and could provide CMS with a needed financial boost.

Here is the link to the original how to story:

Here's How To A City Championship In Charlotte