Basketball in this area is hitting an all-time high as far as talented players and great teams are concerned.
In recent years, there were a couple of loaded teams and a spattering of stars trying to make up the ground, but now they are everywhere.
In the 4A ranks, the Butler boys have advanced further each of the past three years.
Seniors DJ Little and Gerrale Gates are averaging 50 points and 20 rebounds between them and have Butler thinking this could be their year.
Rocky River’s Jalen Springer, Independence’s Jamarius Butler, Ardrey Kell’s David Kasagnanay will keep their teams in games and are worth the price of admission.
Hickory Ridge and Mallard Creek were considered the 4A teams to beat until Ardrey Kell knocked off Mallard Creek last week. The Knights are loaded, but watch out for conference foe South Meck and their collection of double-digit scorers. Butler is a wildcard team after beating Providence Day and the same can be said for Myers Park, who has started 1-2, but will only improve.
In 3A, Piedmont has taken the early lead in the Southern Carolinas standings behind star Hunter Tyson, a Clemson recruit who is averaging 30 points per game. Sun Valley and Weddington will also be in the mix for the league title.
Piedmont, Charlotte Catholic, Weddington and Cuthbertson appear ready to challenge in 3A girls.
In 2A, Forest Hills has won 54 games over the past two years and has reached the regional finals both years. With guard Nas Tyson and his supporting cast leading the way, the Yellow Jackets are looking to build off that.
We don’t have a lot of 1A teams, but Queen’s Grant is one that could make a nice run this year.
Among private schools, Providence Day won it all two years ago and has well-known stars Devon Dotson and Trey Wertz. If Isaac Suffren continues to emerge as the third guard and another big-time scorer the Chargers could get their second title in three years.
Charlotte Christian’s four-headed attack of JC Tharrington, Blake Preston, Paul Hudson and Seth Bennett are extremely good. Country Day has DeAngelo Epps and Rylan McLaurin to make their own case. United Faith and Carmel Christian both boast star-studded rosters in the lower divisions.
Providence Day has owned the girls championships of late, but Charlotte Latin’s trio of Claudia Dickey, Ruthie Jones and Katherine Vandiver will challenge them. Carmel Christian is 1-4, but won’t stay there long.
There’s enough talent here to go around and to make every night must see basketball this year.