Basketball Notebook for January 13

Sun Valley boys tandem totals 67 points

On Jan. 10, Sun Valley senior guards Shaun Stewart and Jalen Witherspoon combined to score 67 of the Spartans’ points in an 87-77 win over Marvin Ridge. Stewart’s career-high 44 points set a school record, according to coach Keith Mason, while Witherspoon chipped in 23.

“(Witherspoon and Stewart) are the hardest workers,” Mason said. “They put in the extra time – not just in practice, but before practice, after practice, in the offseason, in the preseason, in the postseason. They eat the game. They love the game. Everything they get, they’ve earned.”

Mason’s club also received some major contributions from reserves Jadarrius Williams and Kendall Ratliff, who each gave the Spartans a second-half lift with defensive pressure. The win improved the Spartans to 12-4 overall and 3-0 in Southern Carolina 3A/4A conference play, tied with Weddington for first.

Even with the strong record, Witherspoon said the Spartans still are settling into their roles as contenders.

“We’re finally at the point where we know how good we can be,” Witherspoon said. “We just want to come out every night and play as strong and as hard as we can play.”

Spartan girls snap losing skid

On Jan. 10, the Sun Valley girls basketball team snapped a five-game losing streak to earn its first win since Dec. 13 with a 62-45 win over Marvin Ridge. The win improved the Spartans to 7-8 overall, but more important, gave them their first conference victory of the season.

“We had a couple of bad games here lately, but to step forward and get back in the win column (was important),” said Spartans coach Rob Enloe, whose team improved its conference record to 1-2.

Enloe commended the play of freshman guard Hannah Adamczyk, senior guard Tashawn Stewart and junior forward Amanda Bill in the win.

The Spartans scored 17 points in the first, second and fourth quarters, and 11 in the third. That was a welcome improvement, considering the Spartans have been plagued by slow starts this season.

“We played the whole game,” said Enloe.

Warriors make statement over Cuthbertson

On Jan. 5, the Metrolina Christian Academy boys basketball team earned arguably the biggest win in school history, when the Warriors went on the road and toppled previously unbeaten Cuthbertson, 87-69.

The Warriors shot 58 percent from the field and were led by Tyrell Nelson’s 24 points. Ross Rushing added 17 points, while Calvin Davis had 16 and Josh Dominguez contributed 15.

“We made some news,” said Davis of the win.

Added senior guard Rushing: “The private schools have a lot of talent. If (Cuthbertson is) the best team in Union County, I think we took that spot with that win. It’s definitely a statement win. That was probably the best we played all year.”

Entering their trip to Matthews Covenant Day on Friday, Jan. 13, the Warriors are 14-5 and 5-1 in the private Metrolina Athletic Conference.

The Warriors started the year by losing two of their first three games, but they have gone on to win seven of eight, including five consecutive victories. Coach Michael Wilson attributed the recent success to finally finding a balance on the roster with several newcomers to the program this season, such as Rushing (transfer from Piedmont) and Tyrell Nelson (Charlotte’s Olympic High).

“It took us a while to build some chemistry,” Wilson said. “We still have a long way to go, but we’re getting better.”

Mavs’ coach looking for points

The Marvin Ridge girls basketball team started the season like gangbusters, winning its first seven games and nine of its first 10. But the Mavs have cooled, losing four of their last five games, including a 62-45 drubbing from Sun Valley on Jan. 10.

Though his team is still 10-5 overall, the Mavs’ 1-2 Southern Carolina 3A/4A league mark has given coach Dwight Miller cause for concern.

Miller said the team needs to develop more scoring to complement 6-foot-3 senior center Jordan Henry, an Iona College (N.Y.) recruit who is averaging 13 points and 12 rebounds per game. Fellow senior Rachel Walker matched her season high of 19 points in the Sun Valley loss, but Miller said other players need to emerge as scorers.

“When we’ve really played well, we’ve had at least three, maybe four girls in double figures,” Miller said. “That’s a better formula for us to win instead of Jordan just scoring 20 or more. When we spread it around, we do better as a team and (opponents) can’t just key on Jordan.”

The Mavs will look to get back on track at Anson on Friday.

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