The high school hoops season got back in gear last week, with every team in the area getting back on the hardwood. At the top, the Butler Bulldogs remain No. 1 in our power rankings following a convincing win over rival Independence. Nationally ranked Ardrey Kell showed the heart of a champion in a come-from-behind win over South Meck on Friday, and North Meck made a big statement defeating Hough.
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New this week: Albemarle, Cox Mill, Lake Norman Charter
Dropped out: Hough, Berry Academy
1. Butler (16-2): The Bulldogs have won 14-straight and look to be primed for a run in the playoffs. Junior guard Rae’Quan Scott is closing in on 1,000 career points. He’s just 18 points away from the mark going into Friday’s game against Garinger.
2. Ardrey Kell (16-1): The Knights, ranked No. 50 in the USA TODAY Super 25, made it exciting for the fans in a 51-50 come-from-behind win over South Meck Friday. Steven Santa-Ana continued his hot streak, scoring 14 in the win.
3. Providence Day (17-4): The Chargers picked up two wins in conference last week, slipping by Charlotte Latin 54-51, and dominating Charlotte Country Day 59-39. Providence Day has won seven in a row coming into Friday’s game at Covenant Day.
4. Weddington (15-2): Riding a nearly two-month winning streak, Weddington hasn’t lost since Thanksgiving. Senior Jordan Barber plays a lot bigger than his 5’11” height would indicate, playing above the rim and shooting 43% from the field, averaging 17 points per game.
5. North Meck (16-1): The Vikings have won three-straight and sit tied atop the Mecka standings. If they take care of business at home against A.L. Brown, it will set the stage for a first-place showdown at West Charlotte on Tuesday night.
6. West Charlotte (14-2): Speaking of West Charlotte, the Lions find themselves back at the top of the Mecka following a huge win over Robinson. The Lions control their own destiny if they can top Mallard Creek on Friday night.
7. Olympic (15-2): A 70-60 win in the #FNFrenzy Game of the Week turned the South Meck 8 into a two-team race. The Trojans host Providence before a potentially season-defining visit to Ardrey Kell on Tuesday.
8. East Lincoln (10-0): Business as usual for the Mustangs, two easy victories against SD7 competition. The Surratt brothers have combined for 95 points in the last two games, giving East Lincoln opponents nightmares about taming the Mustangs.
9. Robinson (13-4): Lavar Batts Jr. returned from a sprained ankle Wednesday, but teammate Daniel Spencer has put the Bulldogs on his back. Spencer scored 30 Tuesday at West Charlotte before exploding for a school-record 44 points in a 98-77 win at Concord Wednesday. The Bulldogs remain alive in the mighty Mecka, with home dates against West Charlotte and North Meck looming.
10. Crest (13-3): Back-to-back games didn’t give the Chargers too much trouble last week. Crest topped archrival Shelby 75-71 Thursday before pounding Draughn 61-38 on Friday. Crest visits RS Central Friday.
11. Hickory (12-2): The Red Tornadoes suffered a difficult home loss to Watauga Friday, but bounced back by topping Hibriten Tuesday. Hickory visits Patton Friday before a battle with defending champs Freedom next Tuesday.
12. Albemarle (12-0): Albemarle has laid waste to its opponents this season, winning their games by an average of 34 points. Freshman Adafe Price has shown he’s ready to play at the varsity level, averaging 12 points and 6 rebounds per game.
13. Cox Mill (12-6): After a sluggish start to the season, the Chargers are starting to put a solid season together. Cox Mill defeated Hickory Ridge 62-60 in the Ambassador Hand-Picked Game of the Week Tuesday, forcing a tie at the top of the SPC. Cox Mill visits Northwest Cabarrus on Friday.
14. Lake Norman Charter (11-4): The Knights seized first place in the Big South Friday, defeating Ashbrook 57-53 on the road. Lake Norman Charter visits Forestview in conference play Friday.
15. Hickory Ridge (13-4): 20 points. That’s what separates Hickory Ridge from a perfect record, including two two-point losses in SPC play. Jaylen Stowe and Avery Metcalf give Hickory Ridge a stout combo that’s hard to beat.
First five out: Ashbrook, Hough, Davidson Day, West Caldwell, Fred T. Foard
To view last week’s rankings, click here.