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Headliner's Challenge (Last Weekend)

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I caught some of this event over the weekend.  This event was played at Greensboro Day and is ran by legendary HP Central coach Kenny Carter.  Here's a breakdown of the teams I watched....

North Surry (girls):  The Hounds had a very hard-fought, competitive game with Northern Guilford.  They erased a 12 point deficit in the third quarter thanks to the play of sophomore Callie Allen.  Allen hit some big shots during that stretch and did a nice job hitting the boards.  One thing that really hampered North was that their best player, Hannah Moxley, got into foul trouble early.  Moxley's got a good balance to her game. 

The player that stood out to me the most though was freshman Cynthia Chaire.  Chaire was a royal pest on defense.  She is extremely quick and her hands are quick and active as well. 

The wild card on this team is Jesi Shienutt.  She's athletic and has some nice versatility to her game.  She also has a nice shooting touch.

I think NS will finish in the upper half of their conference. 

Northern Guilford (girls):  This team has a very interesting mix of seniors and freshman.  The seniors (Janelle Henderson and Jayla Harris) are strong and balanced.  The freshman played like freshman at times.  However, the freshman showed some good potential during stretches also.  Christina DeLisa showed some promise running the point while Jadyn Newsome and Brooklyn Magnussen looked like they'll be steady, dependable post players in time. 

The Hawks are definitely a work-in-progress.  I'm not sure how successful they'll be.  They play in a tough conference (Mid-State). 

Bishop McGuiness (girls):  Typical BM.  Organized, together, disciplined, get after it on defense.  Decent size, skill, and athleticism as a whole.  I think freshman Tate Chappel's going to be a good player in time.  The Villains will be a factor both in their conference race and in the state playoffs.  Against Starmount, BM got a lot of hit-aheads and transition buckets due to their defense. 

Starmount (girls):  The Rams had a rough go against BM.  However, they were scrappy and showed some good fight.  The thing that stands out the most about Starmount is their center, Olivia Gwyn.  She's got good size and is strong.  She will have no trouble establishing her spots and backing down people. 

I know little to nothing about Starmount's conference so I can't gauge them that well.  I think that if they can keep Gwyn out of foul trouble that they'll be alright in most games. 

 

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North Wilkes (boys):  The Vikings had a rough couple of days.  Got blown out by both Asheboro and Carson.  In both games, shots were hard to come by.  I thought they wore themselves out by being a little too unselfish at times.  They had a couple of guys (#23 and #3) who were pretty decent.  I liked #3's energy. 

They are who they are.  It could be a long year for them.  I hope not. Seem like a nice group of guys.

Winston-Salem Christian (boys):  They played in arguably the best game of the event against Wesleyan.  This team caught me by surprise.  WS is strong and athletic.  They're also coached by former Lexington head man Jon Weavil.  You could do way worse than going to watch these guys.  They'll win their share of games.

Greensboro Day (girls):  Speaking of surprises........the Bengal ladies are becoming as formidable as the Bengal guys.  These Bengals are tall, strong, versatile, and athletic.  They had zero problems with Charlotte Christian.  It wouldn't surprise me if they won states.  They definitely have the potential to win the HAECO (which includes NW Guilford and Ragsdale).  My favorite player of theirs to watch was Paula Graichan. Graichan stands at around 6-3 and can play anywhere on the court.  She looks like a D-1 player. 

Charlotte Christian (girls):  Had a rough go of it.  They had a much better game against Carson than Greensboro Day.  They have a good guard by the name of Breya Busby.  Didn't have much of anything else though. 

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HP Central (girls):  I was going to watch them for a little while longer but......when I walked into the aux gym, they were getting destroyed by Asheboro.  However, the Bison do have some decent size and athleticism.  I think they can win some games.  Their biggest problem is that they play in the same conference as NW Guilford and Ragsdale. 

Carson (girls):  I loved watching this team.  They have a great mix of ballhandlers and shooters.  They're also strong and have some pretty decent size across the board.  Carson is going to be tough to knock out.  They remind me of last year's Forbush squad.  I've got to try to see them a couple more times.

Carson (boys):  They ended up taking control of the North Wilkes game in the second half.  However, they should've blown NW out from the get-go.  Nevertheless......

the Cougars could be a decent team.  They've got a quick, good-sized ballhandler in Javon Smith.  They have a good, three-point shooter in Kadrian Smith.  The wild cards on this team are AJ Mauldin and EJ Clark.  If they get good performances out of these guys, I think Carson has a chance to be successful.  Clark, in particular, was very interesting to watch.  He's 6-5, got good length, and can shoot the three.  He hit a beautiful Eurostep in the first half.  However,  I feel like he could be better than what he showed. At times,  he seemed unsure of himself on offense.  I'll be keeping an eye on this team.

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