Sports Shorts Feb. 28

Ardrey Kell boys, girls in sectional final

The Ardrey Kell boys and girls basketball teams each advanced to the sectional finals of the N.C. High School Athletic Association after defeating Hough in the second round of tournament play on
Feb. 26.

The boys needed overtime to knock off Hough, but advanced with an 81-77 win.

Steven Santa Ana led a balanced attack with 28 points while Devin Cooper (16 points), Colin Cooper (11 points), Markel Pollard (nine points) and Rhyle Scott (nine points) all had strong games.

The 11th-seed Knights (23-6) will play at Berry (25-3), the third seed, for the fourth time this season. Berry has won two of the previous three meetings.

The girls got down 17-6 after the first quarter but rallied with a big second quarter to tie the score at 22 at the half. The Knights continued the momentum, building an eight-point lead heading into the fourth quarter where they held on for a 54-43

Erin Whalen led the way for the Knights, as she scored 14 points. Chase Muhammad had 11 points, Jordan Muhammad added 10, Raven Dean had nine and Marshae Bradbury scored eight points for the

The fifth-seed Ardrey Kell (25-4) girls take on fourth-seed Southwest Guilford(25-2) in High Point on Feb. 28 with the winner advancing to the regional round in Greensboro on March 4.

Myers Park girls continue to roll

The Myers Park girls basketball team broke loose of a tightly-contested first half to pull away from Rocky River and advance to the third round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 4A playoffs on Feb.26.

The Mustangs led 31-29 at halftime, but went on a 20-2 third-quarter run that proved to be the difference in the 64-42 win.

Rydeiah Rogers, who last week scored a career-high 28 points en route to earning the Southwestern 4A tournament MVP, scored 23 points in the win over Rocky River. Rogers made seven of 11 shots from the field and added 11 rebounds, four steals and four blocks in the

Aliyah Mazyck had 14 points for the Mustangs and added seven assists and four rebounds in the win. Saadia Timpton and McKenna Haire each scored eight points and Morgan Uptegraff had six points and six rebounds.

Second-seed Myers Park (26-1 and ranked 11th in the nation by will host seventh-seed Hopewell (24-4) on Feb. 28, with the winner advancing to the regional round in Greensboro on
March 4.

Santa Ana furthers Knights’ legacy

Ardrey Kell junior guard Steven Santa Ana already became the Knights’ all-time career scoring leader earlier this season, but after collecting 11 rebounds in Ardrey Kell’s 63-43 win over North Davidson on Feb. 24, Santa Ana also is the program’s all-time rebounding leader.

“It’s exciting,” said Santa Ana, who has amassed 1,145 points and 450 rebounds through Jan. 25.  “I never really thought that I’d reach that, and especially not as a junior. It’s exciting to have it happen but to also build on that next season.

“I feel good about how I’ve progressed so far. I know next year I will need to become even more of a leader on the floor and at the same time continue to develop my game as not just a shooter, but as a defender and a well-rounded teammate.”

Santa Ana came into the season with a reputation as more of a shooter than an all-around, complete player – owing to the fact that more than half his shots as a freshman and sophomore were 3-pointers. But he’s changed that perception, averaging 17.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 1.8 assists to turn himself into one of the city’s most complete players.

“He’s really matured,” Ardrey Kell coach Mike Craft said earlier this season. “This is his third year playing varsity and I think that’s helped him, but he takes it all in stride. He comes out here and works hard every day. … He’s always trying to get up extra shots and work on his game. He’s a coach’s dream.”

And with Santa Ana leading the way, the Knights (23-6, 12-2 in So. Meck 8) secured the 11th seed in the playoffs, something the junior is more than proud of.

“People didn’t expect much from us losing six seniors and four starters from last year, but I’ve been really happy with how the team’s come together, how we’ve faced adversity and been able to overcome that and now we have one of the best seasons in school history and now we’re looking to go deep in the playoffs this year.

“We have to do the same thing we’ve done all year – play good defense and we’re going to have to get out in transition and hit our shots. We have enough shooters on our team where we can hit our shots if we work inside out, but the main thing is to just keep playing together as a team.”

Sabres’ Collin Stewart leads south Charlotte wrestlers

South Meck’s Collin Stewart finished third at the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s wrestling tournament, topping all south Charlotte competitors.

Stewart had the top south Charlotte finish as the junior finished third in the state in the 113-pound division. Stewart defeated Laney’s Adam Hardy in the first round, but fell to undefeated individual champion Drew Turner from Parkland in the second.

Undeterred, Stewart won three matches in the consolation bracket before reaching the finals where he squared off with Hough’s Austin Powell, who Stewart won a 4-0 decision over to win the consolation final and cement a third-place finish and go 43-5 on the year.

Providence’s Ryan Keefe had a strong showing, as the sophomore advanced to the third round of the 106-pound bracket and finished fifth in the state.

After knocking off Millbrook’s Crayton Saby and Jack Britt’s Bradley Wanovich, who was the East’s No. 1 seed, Keefe was defeated in the third round, falling to Parkland’s Paton Jenkins, the individual state champion.

Keefe, who finished his season with a 45-10 individual record, received two byes in the consolation final, but fell in the semi-finals to Lake Norman’s Chase Kominek.

Ardrey Kell’s Nic Chance won his first-round match over Wakefield’s Dedrick Harrington, but was defeated by Southeast Guilford’s Bryant Halsch, the individual champion. Chance lost his first round match in the consolation bracket, but closed out his season 30-9.

South Meck’s Joseph Coss was defeated in the first round of the 145-pound class, but went 2-1 in the consolation round, advancing to the quarter-finals. Coss closed out his season 43-6.

Charlotte Clippers to hold AAU tryouts

The Charlotte Clippers, an AAU basketball club based in Matthews, will hold open tryouts for players in 10th and 11th grade on March 8 at Monroe’s Sun Valley High School.

The Clippers are entering their 11th season of competition and have had success as a club on the state and national levels. They compete in a number of NCAA-certified events.

For more information, contact coach Billy Parker at 704-763-0615, email him at or find them on the web at

NCISAA announces all-state basketball teams

Following Providence Day’s fifth straight state championship on the girls side and Wesleyan Christian’s second consecutive boys title on Feb 22, the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association announced the boys and girls all-state basketball teams.

The girls team was comprised of a number of area players including Providence Day’s Jatarie White and Janelle Bailey, Charlotte Christian’s Morgan Franklin and Kerstie Phills and Charlotte Latin’s Chanin Scott.

The south Charlotte contingent was joined by Cary Academy’s Rebekah Banks, Durham Academy’s Chamia Rothwell, Greensboro Day’s Caroline Spurr and Tamera Thorpe, Rabun Gap’s (Ga.) Meona Feather and Ravenscroft’s Cailin Dorsey.

The boys had three south Charlotte members as Charlotte Christian’s Trey Phills joined Charlotte Latin’s Rusty Reigel and Providence Day’s Jordan Watkins.

The trio was part of the team which also consisted of Christ School’s Alec Wnuk, Forsyth Country Day’s Colton Bishop, Greensboro Day’s Bryan Rouse and Darius Moore, High Point Christian’s Joey McClean, SouthLake Christian’s Andrew Howard, Village Christian’s Adam Rich and Wesleyan Christian’s Theo Pinson.

Upward N.C. all-star hoops game coming to Providence Day

Providence Day is hosting the 2014 Upward N.C. Private-School All-Star basketball game, a showcase of some of the top private-school talent from across the state, on Saturday, March 8, beginning at 1 p.m.

The boys West roster features a number of south Charlotte players, including Davidson commits Jordan Watkins (Providence Day) and Rusty Reigel (Charlotte Latin). They are joined by United Faith’s Nehemiah Mabson and a host of other talented players from around the Charlotte area and the rest of the state.

Former Providence Day coach Dave Carrier, who is now at Kerr-Vance Academy in Henderson, will coach the East and former Charlotte Latin coach Jerry Faulkner, who guided the Hawks to nine state championships, will coach the West.

The girls game will feature McDonald’s All-American and South Carolina recruit Jatarie White, who will be joined by Providence Day teammates Nikyah Morgan and Emma Pixley.

Charlotte Christian’s Morgan Franklin and Alaina Cherry and Covenant Day’s Hailey Manns also are on the West roster.

In all, 20 boys and girls who have committed to play college basketball next season will be showcased.

The complete rosters can be found on our website, Search keyword “Sports Shorts.”

Providence Day basketball coaches receive honors

Providence Day boys basketball coach Brian Field and Chargers’ girls coach Josh Springer have recently received separate honors, recognizing them for the strong seasons guiding their teams.

Field was named one of the coaches for the Phenom Hoop Report N.C. Top 80 after leading the Chargers to back-to-back conference championships and a 23-4 record this season, one of the best in school history.

The Top 80 is an invitation-only exposure camp that aims to bring the top 80 high school basketball players together, offering drills, instruction and a chance to gain more exposure among college recruiters.

Field will be joined by a number of Charlotte-area coaches, and Providence Day sophomore Grant Williams will be among the invitees.

Springer led the Providence Day girls to a 27-3 record, which included a fifth consecutive state title last week, and is now one of seven finalists for the USA Today Southeastern Coach of the Year.

The voting is done by public vote and there is no limit on how many times an individual can vote. Springer received more than 15,000 votes in the first round and voters have until March 4 to move him past the regional round.

The winner of the Southeast region will be entered into the USA Today National Coach of the Year running, which will be decided on March 12. Voters can support Springer at

Charlotte Christian baseball hoping for 3rd straight title

The Charlotte Christian baseball team has won the last two Class 3A N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association state titles and have the pieces back to at the very least challenge for a third.

The Knights went 30-4 and finished ranked No. 22 in Collegiate Baseball’s national baseball poll last year under coach Greg Simmons, who won his 500th career game in his 22nd season at the helm.

They’ll lean on a pair of senior infielders this year in shortstop and N.C. State commit Nick Owens and N.C. State football commit Garrett Bradbury, who is a standout on the baseball diamond, as well.

Owens was an all-state selection last year after batting .410 with 27 RBIs and nine doubles and Bradbury hit .376 while driving in 31 runs, and clubbing nine doubles and six home runs.

They’ll be joined by senior Zach McIlroy on the infield and will have help in the lineup by outfielders Grant Hall, Josh Hall and Reece Hampton, who hit .318 last year.

The Knights lose College of Charleston commit and two-time all-state pitcher Bailey Ober, but return Jackson Kowar (3-0, eight saves in 2013) and Xander Gum (8-1 last year) and will count on junior Heath Hawkins to round out the lineup.

The Knights got off to a good start on Feb. 25, rallying from a 3-1 seventh-inning deficit to defeat Metrolina Christian, 4-3. Owens had a key last-inning hit and Kowar struck out nine batters in 3.2 innings


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