Sports Shorts for May 18

by C. Jemal Horton

Local boys basketball players ink to play at Queens

Charlotte Christian senior boys basketball player Ben Richter recently signed a National Letter of Intent with Queens University of Charlotte, and he’ll be joined by another former south Charlotte standout: Myers Park’s Griffin Shaw.

Richter, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard, averaged 11 points and 2.9 rebounds this past season, helping the Knights finish with a 24-8 record. Richter made more than 40 percent of his 3-pointers during his two years as a starter for Charlotte Christian.

“We are thrilled to add Ben to our program because I am confident in not only his basketball abilities but, more importantly, in his character,” Queens coach Wes Long said in a school announcement. “Ben’s ability to shoot the basketball is a skill that we don’t think you can have enough of, and his size and athleticism will help him contribute at multiple positions. I believe that he will be able to do most everything we ask.”

Shaw, a 6-foot guard, joins the Queens program after spending two years at Appalachian State University, where he was a preferred walk-on.

During the 2009-10 season, his last at Myers Park, Shaw averaged 16 points and eight assists per game while being named to the Southwestern 4A’s all-conference team.

“We are excited that Griffin chose to come home and play for the Royals,” Long said in the school press release. “He turned in a terrific high school career just down the street at Myers Park, and he has developed as an athlete during his time at App State. He is a hungry and competitive young man, and we believe that he will be a great contributor to our program in short time.”

Ardrey Kell’s Roberts makes state tennis semis

Ardrey Kell boys tennis player Mike Roberts had a strong showing at last weekend’s Class 4A state tennis tournament, reaching the semifinals before falling to the eventual champion.

Roberts, a junior, won two matches in the state tournament on May 18 before falling to Greensboro Page’s Austin Ansari (6-2, 6-2) in the semifinals on May 19 at Raleigh’s Millbrook Exchange Park.

“Mike had a solid performance at the state tournament,” Ardrey Kell coach Roy Hudson said. “Mike has improved significantly from last year. He has worked on match temperament, level of fitness and has put in the extra court hours required to move up the ladder to (our team’s) No. 1 position. I am extremely pleased with his performance this season.”

This spring, Roberts captured both the Southwestern 4A conference tournament and the 4A Western Regional crowns. Until he met Ansari in Raleigh, Roberts had run through the competition at the state tournament, losing only two games in four sets on May 18 and taking three sets at love.

Roberts opened the tournament by blanking High Point Central’s Matt Tutton (6-0, 6-0) and later defeating Wilmington New Hanover’s Alex Gaines (6-0, 6-2) in the quarterfinals.

Fellow Ardrey Kell player Jim Fan also made the state tournament. Fan won his first-round match (6-2, 7-5) against Davie High’s Scott Gallimore, however, the Knights’ No. 2 player succumbed to Cary Green Hope’s Kelly Patch (6-3, 6-3) in the quarterfinals.

The Providence High duo of John Kruszka and Michael McGowan reached the quarterfinals in doubles play by defeating Southwest Guilford’s Austin Lynk and Vivek Dakoriya (6-2, 6-3) in the first round. Kruzka and McGowan fell in the second round, however, to Raleigh Millbrook’s Chris Mahan and Sean Carmean (6-2, 6-3).

Other south Charlotte doubles tandems in the state tournament were Providence’s Nicholas Cottrill and Matt Coats, who lost to Winston-Salem Reynolds’ Chad Hoskins and Paul Yamane (6-1, 6-0) in the first round; and Ardrey Kell’s Karthik Arunkmar and Thomas King, who fell to Greensboro Grimsley’s Mitchell Lewis and Ben Stern (6-2, 6-1) in the opening round.

4A golf title eludes Myers Park, Ardrey Kell

The Myers Park and Ardrey Kell boys golf teams finished third and fourth, respectively, in this week’s Class 4A state tournament in Pinehurst.

Myers Park had a score of 597 to earn the third spot in the team standings behind Raleigh Broughton (582) and Southern Pines Pinecrest (585). Ardrey Kell was two shots behind the Mustangs at 599.

In the individual competition, won by Broughton’s Stephen Saleeby (140), Ardrey Kell senior Andrew Klasing shot par-77 on back-to-back days to finish in a third-place tie at 144. However, Klasing then birdied the first playoff hole to earn the third-place medal. Myers Park’s Andy Simmons tied for 10th place with a 148, while Ardrey Kell’s Hunter Oxford tied for 13th with a 149 and Mustang Philip Oweida tied for 20th with a 150.

Charlotte Catholic third in 3A golf tourney

The Charlotte Catholic boys golf team brought home a third-place finish from the Class 3A state tournament at Foxfire Golf and Country Club on May 15.

The Cougars had a team score of 608 and finished behind champion Gastonia Forestview (593) and Waxhaw Marvin Ridge (598).

Charlotte Catholic was led by Keegan Hoff, who claimed fourth place after shooting 145, which included a 1-under-par 71 over the final 18 holes. The Cougars’ other top scorers were Will Kloiber and Ethan Mead, who both shot 155, and Brent Doolan (160).

Giving coaches a ‘timeout’

The annual Coaches Time Out conference will be held June 14-16 at the Marriott Renaissance Charlotte Suites Hotel.

Coaches Time Out is intended to give coaches and their spouses a “timeout” from the everyday challenges they face. During the conference, coaches and spouses are joined by others who go through similar experiences, all the while having the opportunity to hear guest speakers who cover topics such as enriching relationships, improving communication, managing finances, maximizing the coaching platform and developing personal faith.

This year’s CTO conference will be hosted by former Carolina Panthers kicker John Kasay, now a member of the New Orleans Saints. Charlotte Christian football coach Jason Estep and his wife, Leslie, are regional directors for the conference-based coaches ministry.

Guest speakers this year include former Panthers quarterback Frank Reich, ex-NFL tight end Ben Watson, comedic couple Jay and Laura Laffoon, and musician Zachary Kale, among others.

To learn more about this year’s conference and register, visit www.­­carolinas/index.html.

Bateman, Kocher tie in NCISAA golf

Two golfers from south Charlotte schools made an impact during the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 3A tournament May 14-15.

Providence Day’s Davis Bateman and Charlotte Christian’s David Kocher both shot 144 to finish in a tie for second place at the state tournament at Greensboro Country Club. Both players opened play on May 14 by shooting a 71 and followed that with a final-round 73 on May 15.

Providence Day finished fourth in the team standings with a score of 615, and Charlotte Country Day was fifth at 618.

Among other area individuals, Charlotte Country Day’s Coble Wright (150) finished tied for 15th, Charlotte Latin’s John McGlone (151) was 19th, Charlotte Country Day’s Chakka Pasupa (153) tied for 21st, Providence Day’s Christian Chican (154) and Covenant Day’s Luke Cooper (154) tied for 23rd, and Country Day’s Preston Palmer tied for 28th.

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