North Carolina Newspapers

Also Community, Religion and Classifieds march 5, 2015
Mayo and Bazemore embody
what the CIAA is about
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
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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
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
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
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generated their share of points courtesy of offensive
put-backs. Opposing teams had trouble matching
Mount Tabor's intensity on the glass.
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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.
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."
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.
basketball crown
Livingstone outraces WSSU for second
straight CIAA metis basketball crown
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
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
athletes to
grow and
excel in their
sport of
The first
annual Top 24
Rising Stars
Combine pro
vides an
avenue for
many of the
area's top
freshmen and
sophomores to
further refine
their on-court
skills. High
school under
received invi
tations to take
part in the
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
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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