Basketball Notebook for January 27

Covenant Day’s Airing nets 1,000th career point

Covenant Day boys basketball player David Airing notched career point number 1,000 in a 62-49 win over Westminster Catawba Christian on Jan. 20.

Airing, a 6-foot-4 junior guard, had 18 points for the game and averages 18.2 points and 4.1 rebounds per contest on the season.

Airing missed about a month with a high ankle sprain but has returned to help the Lions to a four-game win streak. Covenant Day is 8-13, 5-4 in the Metrolina Athletic Conference

On Jan. 24, the Lions fell to Hickory Grove, 68-55, in a battle for first place in the conference. Covenant Day next plays at Northside Christian on Friday, Jan. 27.

Grace Academy boys’ win streak snapped

The Grace Academy boys had won four of five games before falling to Kennedy Charter, 74-52, on Jan. 24.

Lions coach Tim Sayles said he was pleased with the way his team attacked Kennedy, especially early on, but added that the Eagles’ size, speed an depth were too much to overcome.

In their last win, on Jan. 20, the Lions got 21 points apiece from Linas Janenas and Adam Koziol. Janenas, a senior guard, has averaged 18 points during the past six games. Koziol, a freshman, has contributed 12.2 points during that stretch.

The Kennedy Charter loss dropped the Lions to 8-6 overall.

Butler boys lose, remain atop crowded SW4A

After starting the year 5-0 in the Southwestern 4A conference, the Butler boys suddenly lost two of three games.

But after falling to Myers Park, 83-76, on Jan. 20, the Bulldogs rebounded with a 70-57 win over Rocky River on Jan. 24 and again find themselves locked in a three-way tie atop the conference standings with Myers Park and South Meck.

The Bulldogs are 10-7 overall and 7-2 in league play.

“(The Myers Park game) was a defensive game and a tough battle,” Butler coach Donald Kirby said. “The conference championship was on the line, and we expected the intensity coming in. I tell the guys all the time that you grow through adversity and overcoming mistakes. We are trying to win as many of the wars we can to ultimately win the battle.”

Zach Ferguson led the Bulldogs with 19 points against Myers Park and 21 in the win over Rocky River.

Butler hosts East Meck on Friday, Jan. 27.

Bulldog girls push No. 1 Myers Park

Coach Mark Sanders was pleased with the effort, as the Butler girls played with Myers Park for much of the first half before falling, 66-50, on Jan. 20.

They carried the confidence they built against the Mustangs into a 58-31 win against Rocky River on Jan. 24. Butler is now 9-9 on the season and securely in third place in the Southwestern 4A conference at 6-3.

Symphonie Richardson led the way against Rocky River with 25 points, and Jaymee Fisher-Davis added 14.

On Friday, Myers Park reeled off a 22-4 run to close out the first half and open the second half, but Mustangs coach Dustin Terrel said Butler played them as tough as anyone had all season.

“I think we played hard and did a lot of things really well,” Sanders said. “The effort was there, but they were able to wear us down some. We can’t turn the ball over that much and have to do a better job of boxing out, but we are getting better as a whole and taking it day by day.”

The Bulldogs were worn down by the fast-paced style of Myers Park, but also because they had just seven healthy players by the end of the game.

The Mustangs started out guarding Richardson one-on-one with their standout center Roddreka Rogers. But the Bulldogs made them re-think their focus after Richardson, who finished with 17 points, scored two three-point plays in the first quarter.

“We followed the game plan that we came out with and knew we had our hands full,” Sanders said. “I was pleased with our effort, but we still have work to do. They are a really good team, but we played well.”

Independence Girls To Contend For Third Place in Conference

After falling to Ardrey Kell, 71-46, on Jan. 24, the Independence girls are positioned well to challenge for the No. 3 spot in the Southwestern 4A standings.

The Patriots, who have lost four of five games, are 5-12 overall, 4-5 in the SW4A. They still have to play Myers Park on Feb. 7, but have winnable games remaining on their schedule after that.

They have already beaten Providence and South Meck this season, and lost to Rocky River by one point. The Patriots lost to Butler by 11 but were without starter Amber Hail.

The Bulldogs are currently in third place in the conference, but still have to play at Ardrey Kell.

Laquisha Taylor leads the Patriots with more than 19 points and five rebounds per game game.

The Patriots’s remaining schedule includes Providence, South Mecklenburg, Rocky River and Myers Park before the regular-season finale against Butler. If they can put together strong showings against those teams, the matchup with the Bulldogs could very well be for third place in the conference.

Covenant Day girls understanding roles

The Covenant Day girls scored a huge win in the Metrolina Athletic Conference on Jan. 24, as they knocked off rival Hickory Grove, 59-52.

The win improved the Lions to 10-11 overall and 6-2 in conference, breaking a tie with Hickory Grove for third place in the league standings. The Lions still must face conference leaders SouthLake Christian (on Feb. 3) and Concord First Assembly (on Feb. 10).

Against Hickory Grove, the Lions got a career-best 25 points from junior guard Morgan Mosteller.

“Morgan has always been a great shooter,” Lions coach Kory Bridges said. “She understands how to get her shots off, and I told her last week that she can stretch her range five or six feet beyond the 3-point line, and she did that. She has great range.”

Bridges said as the Lions head into the toughest part of their conference schedule, they will be a force to be reckoned with, especially if Mosteller and Sarah Brace (14 points against Hickory Grove) can open up the outside for Laura Beth Hite, the Lions’ leading scorer, to operate inside.

“They are playing better and are getting what we are asking out of them and how they can play better as individuals and teams,” Bridges said.

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