Sports Shorts March 7

5Former Charger great Mitchell named SEC Player of the Year

Former Providence Day girls basketball star Tiffany Mitchell is having a similar impact on the University of South Carolina woman’s basketball team as she did while leading the Chargers to three state championships in her decorated high school career.

Mitchell started 30 of 33 games as a freshman, earning a spot on the all-freshman Southeastern Conference team for the Gamecocks. She has taken it a step further this season and was named this week as the SEC Player of the Year after leading the team with 15.5 points and 102 assists and 60 steals on the year while averaging 5.6
rebounds.

Mitchell, who was the 2012 N.C. Gatorade Player of the Year and a 2,000-point scorer at Providence Day, became just the second sophomore to ever win the SEC Woman’s Basketball Player of the Year
award.

Charlotte Christian golfers earn All-American nods

David Kocher and Thomas Hodges, a pair of Charlotte Christian golfers, have been named All-Americans at Pinehurst’s 20th annual Winternational Junior Series, which concluded last weekend at North Carolina’s famed Pinehurst No. 6 course.

Kocher, a senior, was named the Player of the Year of the junior-senior division after completing the eight-event tour with a five-shot lead. Kocher, who has committed to the University of Maryland, fired rounds of 71 and 72 for a 144, which tied for the lead on the final event.

Hodges, a junior and Matthews’ resident, finished third in the final standings, and was one of five players named All-American in the junior-senior
division.

The Winternational Junior Series featured nearly 200 members during the 2013-14 season, which consisted of eight two-round tournaments. The series has been based in Pinehurst for all 20 seasons of the Winternational Juniors with all tournaments playing from the championship
tees.

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. 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 features 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. Tickets are available at the door on March 8, and are $5 for kids younger than 8 and $7 for adults. In addition, any youth who participates in an Upward youth program and wears their Upward jersey will be admitted for free.

In addition to the games, the Upward Classic also is a platform for the players and coaches to give back to the community.

On Friday, March 7, each coach and player will meet at Promising Pages, a South End-area non profit which works with low-income schools by inspiring students to read by providing books to the schools and students. The players and coaches will be there from 2:15 to 3:45
p.m.

The complete rosters can be found on our website, www.thecharlotteweekly.com.

Search for “Upward Rosters.”

Ardrey Kell softball rebounds from opener

The Ardrey Kell softball team, ranked No. 1 in the Super 7, opened the season with a 12-0 loss to J.M. Robinson on Feb. 26.

But that setback didn’t hold the Knights (2-1) down long as they blasted Myers Park (17-3) and West Meck (17-0) in their next two games to get back on track.

Haylee Ewert, Sterling Strickland and Sam Kegley each collected three of Ardrey Kell’s 18 hits in the win over Myers Park, while Sterling struck out five and allowed three hits and no earned runs to earn her first win on the mound.

Ardrey Kell’s bats were equally potent against West Meck, as they banged out 13 hits, including a 3-for-4 performance from Charlotte 49er commit Erin Powers and a three-hit game from Amanda Franks, who added two doubles and three RBIs in the win.

Strickland and Hannah Davis combined on the shutout for the Knights, who will play Olympic on Friday, March 7.

So. Meck 8 rivals open baseball season hot

Coming into the season, it seemed as though the newly formed So. Meck 8 conference would be one of the strongest baseball conferences in the state. If early-season results mean anything, that will certainly be the case.

South Meck, the defending Class 4A state champion, is 3-2 after dropping a hard-fought game to upstart Myers Park on March 5. Lawson McArthur homered and Michael Smith drove in the other run for the Sabres, but they could only muster four hits in the loss to the
Mustangs.

Offense was not a problem in South Meck’s 19-0 blanking of Harding on March 4, however. The Sabres got three hits and two RBIs from Christian Umphlett in the win over Harding and two hits and three RBIs apiece from Harris Yett and Eric Jones.

The Sabres play Berry on March 7 and Myers Park on March 8.

Ardrey Kell began its season 4-0 with the Knights dominating opponents, beating defending 3A champ Weddington (7-1), Myers Park (12-2),West Meck (10-0) and Marvin Ridge (6-3) all in convincing
fashion.

The Knights’ pitchers allowed just one hit in their March 4 win over West Meck as Kollin Schrenk earned the win, and had solid games at the plate from Foster Machiote (2-for-3, 3 RBIs) and Logan Beehler (2-for-2).

Beehler earned his second win the following day, helping limit a good Marvin Ridge team to just six hits. Zach Featherstone went 2-for-3 with a double as the Knights pulled away late.

Ardrey Kell plays Olympic on March 7.

Providence hovered around .500 last season, but is showing no sign that will be the case this time as they’ve started 3-0, as well.

The Panthers have dominated Hough (11-1 win), East Meck (16-1) and Olympic (16-0) so far.

Providence next plays against West Meck on Friday, March 7.

Charlotte Christian rebounds for statement win

After winning each of the previous two N.C. High School Athletic Association baseball championships, the Charlotte Christian Knights aren’t used to
losing.

After dropping a tough defeat in walk-off fashion to Covenant Day on March 1, the Knights rebounded in a big way with an impressive 12-2 win over defending Class 2A champion Piedmont.

Heath Hawkins scattered two hits over four innings to pick up the win, while allowing two runs – none of which were earned – and struck out seven. Ross Kemp and Xander Gum each pitched a scoreless inning in relief which was plenty enough for the Knights’
offense.

Reece Hampton had three of Charlotte Christian’s 11 hits, but he wasn’t alone in helping the Knights score 12 runs as Garrett Bradbury hit a home run and drove in two runs, Jack Turley added a solo home run and Nick Owens (double, two RBIs), Matthew Burt (two hits, two RBIs) and Josh Hall (two hits) all had big games.

The Knights host Richmond County on Friday, March 7.

Tuscan, Houseton earn coaching honors

Two south Charlotte baseball coaches – South Meck’s Jon Tuscan and Covenant Day’s David Houseton – have been selected as coaches for the 2014 Powerade State Games High School Baseball Showcase, which takes place in Charlotte from June 18 to 22.

Houseton is in his fifth season leading the Lions and has got them to back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time in school history.

Tuscan is in his fourth season with the Sabres. South Meck has had a winning season each year under Tuscan’s guidance and last year won the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 4A state championship as they went 28-9.

The Powerade State game pits 20 underclassmen from eight regions against each other in front of more than 80 college and professional scouts. Teams compete in a tournament-format for gold, silver and bronze medals. This season marks the 28th installment of the
games.

Tuscan was named the head coach of Region 6 and will have Houseton, Hough’s Jimmy Cochran and East Meck’s Clint Koppe as assistants.

Country Day tennis sweeps Camden in near-flawless match

The Country Day boys tennis team got off to a smashing start by blanking Camden (S.C.), 9-0 on March 4.

Remarkably, all six of the Bucs singles’ players won straight set victories and none of the six allowed a single point in 6-0, 6-0 wins as Will Turner, Kavir Kumar, Evan Cater, Axel Rydberg, Naveen Paul and Chris Dumais all swept their
matches.

The Bucs dominance carried over into doubles’ play where duos of Cater and Kumar (No. 2) and Damais and Rydberg (No. 3) each won in dominating 8-0 fashion. The No. 1 seed of Turner and Spencer Lackey narrowly missed on perfection, but still won a convincing 8-1
match.

The Bucs travel to Covenant Day on Friday, March 7.

Country Day comes up short in softball opener

Charlotte Country Day began its second season of the program resurgence after fielding a team last year for the first time in three
seasons.

Despite dropping a 10-4 loss to Lake Norman Charter, there were plenty of bright spots for the Bucs.

Amelia Brown had two hits, including a double for Country Day and drove in a run and Burk Darrow went 2-for-3 at the plate with a triple, a double and two RBIs. Darrow also came in of relief of starter Casey Hewtt and tossed 3.1 innings, allowing just one run on a single
hit.

The Bucs next play Metrolina Christian on Monday, March 10.

South Meck softball stays hot

The South Meck softball team struggled at times last season, but has come out of the gate hot to start this year, going 3-0.

In their latest triumph, a 17-7 win over Myers Park, the Sabres’ balanced attack led to 19 team hits. Brittain Bilon led the way, going 5-for-5 at the plate, Jordan Harmon went 4-for-5 with five RBIs, Katie Allison had four hits including a double and drove in four runs, Katie Gorman had three hits and Stephanie Mortenson had a double and triple in the win.

The Sabres play Berry on Friday, March 7.

 

 

 

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