Sports Shorts for March 16

by Aaron Garcia

Local hoopsters well-represented on all-district teams
The N.C. Basketball Coaches Association this week released its All-District 9 team for the 2011-12 season, and several Union County athletes were honored.

The girls side featured three local players. Marvin Ridge senior Jordan Henry and Forest Hills sophomore Shay Bivens, each were named to the second team. Bivens’ sophomore teammate, Tonjai Everett, made the third team.

Four Union County athletes made the boys All-District 9 team, headlined by Sun Valley guard Shaun Stewart, who averaged 26.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 6.1 assists this season for the Spartans, who finished the season with a 22-5 mark. Stewart was the lone Union County player to be named to the first team.

Fresh off his team’s state title appearance, Cuthbertson sophomore Shelton Mitchell was named to the second team after averaging 24.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists per contest for the 31-2 Cavs. Stewart’s teammate, Jalen Witherspoon, was named to the third team, thanks to his 18 points, 6.5 rebounds and four assists per game. Weddington senior Bennett Rutherford, the school’s all-time leading scorer, also managed a third-team mention. The senior averaged 18 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game.

Henry averaged 14.1 points, 15.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists this season for the Mavs. Bivens managed 18.6 points per game for the Yellow Jackets while adding five rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. Everett scored 16.9 points with seven rebounds and 5.4 assists per contest.

Marvin Ridge girls coach Dwight Miller said that Henry being named to the all-district squad wasn’t just an individual accomplishment; it should provide some motivation to the younger players on the team, he said.

“I think it’s just awesome,” Miller said. “She’s really worked hard and she’s very deserving of the honor. It’s really a tribute to her hard work and dedication.”

Southern Carolina 3A/4A all-conference teams
Marvin Ridge and Sun Valley tied with three players apiece named to the 2011-12 Southern Carolina 3A/4A all-conference boys basketball team. However, the league’s player of the year award belongs to the Spartans’ Shaun Stewart, who was named to the all-conference squad with teammates Jalen Witherspoon and Tevin Graham.

The Mavs’ selections included Taylor Neal, Logan Jackson and John Emezie. Weddington had a pair of honorees in Bennett Rutherford and Julian Barber, while Parkwood’s Justin Crowder also was selected.

Weddington’s Stephanie Watts was named the Southern Carolina Girls Player of the Year and was the lone Warrior to make the all-conference team.

Parkwood’s Emry Tsitouris and Cadeja Hood each earned recognition, as did Porter Ridge guards Jasmine Huntley and Jada Huntley. Marvin Ridge’s Jordan Henry and Rachel Walker also were included, as was Sun Valley point guard TaShaun Stewart.

Cuthbertson’s Shelton Mitchell receives his Rocky River 1A/2A Player of the Year award. Aaron Garcia/UCW photo

Rocky River 1A/2A all-conference squads
The Cuthbertson boys basketball team was rewarded for its strong season, which culminated in a runner-up finish in the Class 2A state tournament, with several year-end awards.

Sophomore Shelton Mitchell was named the Rocky River 1A/2A conference Player of the Year, while Cavs coach Mike Helms earned Coach of the Year honors. Fellow Cavs Emmitt Afam and Isiah Cureton also made the all-conference team.

Monroe had two selections in guard Brandon Roddy and forward Quayshawn Chambers, while Piedmont’s guard-forward tandem of Qualen Blakney and Brady Meggs made the team. Forest Hills standouts Roshad Gibson (guard) and Jarvis Wilson (forward) also earned nods, as did Central Academy of Technology & Arts’ Ryan Grigston.

On the girls team, Monroe and Forest Hills each tied conference champion North Stanly with three selections each. The Redhawks’ were represented by Shakira Jordan, Asha Jordan and Daya Jordan, while the Yellow Jackets’ Sha Bivens, Tonjai Everett and Shaigna Wentz were honored.

Rounding out the selections representing Union County on the team were Cuthbertson’s Kelci Carlson and Piedmont’s Abby Mills.

North Stanly’s Holli Chandler was named Player of the Year.

Yes I Can offers spring basketball
Online enrollment has begun for the Yes I Can Basketball spring youth leagues and training academies.

Separate leagues are offered for boys and girls in various age groups. The popular basketball league combines professional teaching, competitive games, clean and safe gyms, all in a positive atmosphere at an affordable rate.

The training academies are two hours of high-energy drills and teaching designed for the player hungry to improve. Programs tip off on March 17.

For more information and to register, visit or call 704-442-1238.

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