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Winston-Salem chronicle. (Winston-Salem, N.C.) 1974-current, March 05, 2015, Image 13

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SportsWeek Also Community, Religion and Classifieds march 5, 2015 Mayo and Bazemore embody what the CIAA is about SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE BY HBCU GAMEDAY WEBSITES The moment that everybody should have been talking about at the CIAA Tournament went largely unnoticed. Shortly after the buzzer of champi onship game, Livingstone's Eric Mayo and Winston-Salem State's WyKevin Bazemore met near mid-court and embraced each other. This wasn't just the customary half-hug that African American men give each other or that the sports world has adopted. It was deeper than that. See, despite wearing different col ors, Bazemore and Mayo are both cut from the same cloth. Two small-town North Carolina guys ? Bazemore from the coast and Mayo from outside of Charlotte -who were overlooked by Division I schools, more so because of their size than skill. Both players came tA U/Inc?Af?_C'jli?m Qtofp tn nlau frvr Bobby Collins. Bazemore eventually became a star at WSSU. winning Rookie of The Year and All-Conference honors in 2011 2012 as the Rams went on to win their Uth CI A A Tournament title in school history. He would go on to win them all four years, something that only three other play ers (Charles Oakley, Ralph Talley and Antwain Smith) had done in the history of the 103-year-old league. Mayo would find stardom in the CIAA, but it would n't be at WSSU and it wouldn't be immediate. After two years, Mayo left WSSU, traveling half an hour south on Highway 52 to play for Livingstone, a school that had never won a CIA A title. The Blue Bears and Mayo finally broke through in See CIAA on B2 Teammates-turned-rivals WyKevin Bazemore and Eric Mayo embrace after the CIAA Championship Game. East Forsyth undefeated in conference play BY CRAIG T. GREENLEE FOR THE CHRONICLE This is the second of a two-part series on junior varsity basketball in Forsyth County. Last week's article featured schools in Classes 1-A, 2-A and 3-A. This week's season wrap-up story focuses on the Class 4-A schools. East Forsyth went 12-deep this season with a ros ter full of mobile athletes who play at full speed from, opening tip-off to final buzzer. That's one reason why the Eagles are just one of two county teams to go undefeated in conference play this season. Winston-Salem Prep is the other. East closed the season with a rush, winning 13 of its last 14 games. "We hit some bumps early in the season," said Coach Rodney Minor, whose team finished the sea son at 18-5 and 10-0 in the Piedmont Triad Conference. "But we kept grinding it out, day-by-day and game-by-game. I'm so proud of how our guys fought night-in and night-out." The Eagles never had to rely on one player to carry the scoring load in every game. With its quality of depth, East Forsyth always had someone to deliver when it was needed most. Connor Sparrow, Sherrod Wells, Brandon Tate, Devin Higgins, Darius Goolsby and Curtis Coleman took turns leading the way offen sively. The development of Sparrow, a freshman post player who averaged 14 points and 8 rebounds, was crucial. With Sparrow operating inside, defenses were forced to collapse, making it easier for team mates to drive to the basket for lay-ups or make kick out passes for uncontested 3-pointers. Mount Tabor ""Board work, pesky defense and quick-strike offense propelled Mount Tabor (16-4, 11-1 confer ence) to the top spot in the Central Piedmont Conference. ??? ? - f '. 1 _1 A I ine opanans umiicu opponents 10 one siioi unu generated their share of points courtesy of offensive put-backs. Opposing teams had trouble matching Mount Tabor's intensity on the glass. Ifnnnt To)v\f lrtct hUA rtf ifc Kect IV/ r*l Q\/P>rc / lulfp 1TIUU111 lOWl 1UOI '"V V.? .? - ' r"V~" 1 Rutter and Karron Jeter) in the closing weeks of the regu lar season to the varsity. The Spartans kept rolling. Bond Craver, Kai Leslie, Isaiah Wilkins, Jaylen Peoples. TJ. Stevens, Teddy Christakos and Tyrek McNeil elevated their games to ensure that the Spartans would secure the league's regular-season title. Reagan There weren't many teams better than Reagan (19-4, 10-2 CPC) this season. The Raiders prevailed over all challengers except Winston-Salem Prep, East Forsyth and conference rival Mount Tabor. The ability to play at any tempo was a big plus for this group. Malik Miles, Maverick LaRue and Dylond Lindell were the key players. Yet, there were times when Reagan struggled due to its lack of size at the low post positions. "We had problems with teams that had some size," said Coach Jeff Noe. "The lack of rebounding was our crutch. But I'm proud of what this team accomplished. Basketball is a game of highs and lows. In our case, we were fortunate to have a lot more highs than we had lows." Reynolds Being consistently inconsistent put Reynolds (12-9,5 7 CPC) in a bind. While the Demons had sufficient talent to more than hold their own, their erratic play proved to be too much to overcome. "This team was much better than its record," said Coach Mike Coker. "We just didn't play up to our poten tial. With the players we have coming back for next year, we'll work on shooting, decision-making and improving basketball I.Q. during tire off-season." Combo guard Xavier Coles provided a spark at both ends of the court for the Demons. During the month of See JV on B2 Photo by Charles E. Leftwich Connor Sparrow's presence in the low post was key fac tor in East Forsyth's success. Ptwo by Craig T. Clmifrr Kerry Campbell ofWSSU (in white) pressures the opposing ball-handler. WSSU loses CIAA basketball crown Livingstone outraces WSSU for second straight CIAA metis basketball crown BY CRAIG T. GREENLEE FOR THE CHRONICLE CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Livingstone displayed its bal ance in winning a second consecutive CIAA Men's Basketball Title on Saturday, Feb. 28. Guard Daryl Traynham scored 23 points and forward Eric Mayo added 22 points, respectively, for the Blue Bears, who upended Winston-Salem State 106-91 in the CIAA Tournament finals at Time Warner Cable Arena. See WSSU on B4 Top 24 Rising Stars Basketball Combine offers opportunity BY CRAIG T. GREENLEE FOR THE CHRONICLE The high school basket ball playoffs are in full swing. Folks are spell bound and excited about the state championship possibilities for the teams they follow. But, it's also that time of year when the aspiring playmaker-to-be begins to work on all parts of his game to get ready for the next season. It's no secret that off-season diligence lays the foun dation for up and-coming athletes to grow and excel in their sport of choice. The first annual Top 24 Rising Stars Basketball Combine pro vides an avenue for many of the area's top non-varsity freshmen and sophomores to further refine their on-court skills. High school under classmen received invi tations to take part in the combine based on the recommenda tions of area coaches. This year's combine is set for March 13 at 6 p.m. at Woodland Gym, better known as the "Eagle's Nest." The gym is located at 200 Frampton St., adja cent to the old Woodland Baptist Church on Patterson Avenue. "The Top 24 Combine's primary purpose is to help every participant elevate his level of play in every facet of the game," said Jamie Foster, combine director and JV basketball coach at Carver. "With the quality of instruction they receive, it gives the young sters additional motivation to keep working hard, which will enable them to get the most out of their tal ents and skills. By taking part in this combine, play ers get a much better grasp of the specific areas they need to work on to improve." The combine will open with a skill development workout. Participants will take part in a variety of drills, which are designed to sharpen ball-handling, passing and shooting skills. Following that initial work out, a 90-minute NBA style combine session will be conducted. Players will be measured for their verti cal jump and evaluated for speed, lateral quickness and agility. The centerpiece activity for the evening is the Top 24 "Showdown" game, which is set to begin around 8 p.m. The players at the combine will be divided into two teams. See Combine on B2 Player List - Top 24 Combine Quinn Baker, Carver Mason Matrey, West Forsyth Josh Jenkins, Glenn Kai Leslie, Mount Tabor Caleb Burgess, Winston-Salem Prep Malik Miles, Reagan Kobe Young, Parkland Xavier Coles, Reynolds Curtis Coleman, Jr., East Forsyth Russell Bradley, Carver Denard Williams, Atkins Ted Christakos, Mount Tabor De'Sean Harrell, West Forsyth Maverick LaRue, Reagan Sherrod Wells, East Forsyth Ian Henderson, Reynolds James Etter, Atkins Casey Wilkins, Parkland Connor Sparrow, East Forsyth Nigel Payne, Reagan Brandon Palmer, Winston-Salem Prep Marcus Harris, Glenn Justin Carter, Winston-Salem Prep TJ. Stevens, Mount Tabor

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