Monday, February 25, 2013

Ardrey Kell loses coach Mike Craft, still beats South Meck

Ardrey Kell’s boys basketball team found out it would play South Mecklenburg without head coach Mike Craft about 90 minutes before tipoff Monday.

Craft’s wife came to the gym with terrible news: Craft’s mother had taken gravely ill in Hickory.
Craft addressed the team briefly and then drove up I-40.

The Knights (23-5) beat South Mecklenburg 44-34 before 24 points from sophomore Steven Santa-Ana. But after a taking a comfortable early lead, Ardrey Kell had to fight off a Sabres’ team that was within two possessions of the lead for the most of the second half.

Senior guard C.J. Thompson led the Sabres with 12 points.

Knights junior varsity coach Ryan Shinn, 27, coached in place of Craft and said he was proud of the team.
“They said they were ready to go and if they were any nerves they didn’t show me,” Shinn said. “Coach has prepared me and the rest of the coaching staff for any situations like this and I couldn’t be any more proud of the coaches or the team.”