CIAA Basketball Tournament had a lot going on beyond the games
Photo* provided. CIAA Ptcctoook page
People packed the 2015 CIAA Fan Fest presented by Toyota at the
Charlotte Convention Center Halls A& B. The event was free and open to
Contestants play Eco Feud at the Toyota
Green Initiative booth at the Fan Fest.
The crowd forms in front of the Coca Cola Zero
Soundstage at the Fan Fest.
CIAA staff and local volunteers helped to provide over 600 new shoes
to elementary school kids at Billingsville Elementary School on
Friday, Feb. 27 in partnership with Samaritan's Feet and Coke Zero.
firm pag* SI " " *
During halfiime, there will be a 3?-Point
Shooting Contest and a Skills and Drills com
petition (similar to the competition held dur
ing NBA All-Star Weekend).
The Top 24
Combine is pre
sented by Next
ization based in
"Our focus is
to help the youth
Next Level. "We
develop a plan
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improvement and give them the coaching and
opportunity to advance in the sport that they
love. We offer programs for all levels of ath
letes and have programs for youth who cannot
afford to pay for this level of coaching, but
have the talent and desire to take their game to
the next level."
The combine will have a featured guest
speaker, which will be announced next week.
Disc jockey Waleed Coyote of 102 JAMZ
will provide the music. Admission is $5. For
more information, contact Coach Foster at
Photo by Charles E. Laftwich
West Forsyth's Da'Sean
Harrell in action.
Lady Rams lose in second-round CIAA play
BY CRAIG T. GREENLEE
FOR THE CHRONICLE
This year's CIAA
Tournament produced mixed
results for Winston-Salem State's
women. The Lady Rams
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first round, but
weren't able to stick
around long enough
to make it to the
on Saturday, Feb.
A.G. Hall's team
had a see-saw kind
of experience dur
ing the month of
Salem State won
three of its first four
games, but nose
dived and closed
out the regular sea
cr?n with harV-trv
back losses to Johnson C. Smith
The 60-55 road loss to
Livingstone in the season finale
was especially painful. Down by
eight points at halftime, Winston
Salem State closed the gap to trail
45-44 on Jeri Craine's jumper
with 8:04 left to play in the con
Dionna Scott of WSSU con
verted a pair of free throws to cut
the deficit to 53-49. Over the
final minutes of the game, how
ever, the Lady Rams weren't able
to make any further headway and
ended up losing a close game that
they felt they could've won.
Entering the tournament's
first round, Winston-Salem State
had no problem erasing the mem
ory of defeat in the season finale.
The Lady Rams played to their
strengths and posted a convincing
73-58 victory over Chowan.
The win could be considered
a mild upset. The Lady Rams got
revenge for a 53-44 home loss
they suffered at the hands of the
Hawks in early January. WSSU
was the Southern Division's No.
5 seed. Chowan was seeded
fourth in the Northern Division.
Hall made a personnel move
for the tournament and put
Kesheria McNeil in the starting
lineup. That was a departure from
the norm. McNeil started eight
games during the regular season,
but her usual role was coming off
ine oencn to
was a model of
points, 4 assists
and 2 steals).
McNeil shot 75
percent from the
and from the
she averaged 15
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and was named to the CIAA All
McNeil was hardly a soloist.
Scott, an All-CIAA pick deliv
ered a double-double with 13
points and 10 boards. Jasmine
Carter came off the bench to con
tribute 10 points, all in the second
The final 20 minutes of the
game belonged to WSSU, which
shot 56 percent from the field, 50
percent on 3-pointers and held
Photos by Craig T. Greenlee
Lady Rams point guard Awa Kalmstrom looks for an opening
Chowan (9-of-26) to 34.6 percent
field goal shooting. All-CIAA
pick Alisha Mobley finished with
30 points and 8 rebounds and
Rachael Gostomski added 13
points for Chowan.
Winston-Salem State applied
the finishing touches during a 10
minute stretch in the second half.
McNeil dnd Carter combined to
score 16 points during that span
which put the game out of reach.
The quality of play of the
back-ups was pivotal. With
Carter leading the way, the Lady
Rams finished with a decisive 29
8 advantage in bench points.
The quarterfinals match-up
vs. Shaw proved to be the end of
the road. Winston-Salem State
fell behind by 20 points at the
half (44-24) and things continued
to go downhill in an 88-59 wipe
out. The Lady Rams were winless
in three games vs. the Lady Bears
Shaw dominated the lanes as
evidenced by its 36-18 margin of
points scored in the paint. The
Lady Bears controlled the glass
(45-38 edge in rebounding) and
held WSSU to 33 percent field
goal shooting for the game.
Micah Brooks (16 points) was the
top scorer among five Shaw play
ers who scored in double figures.
The Lady Rams, who finished
their season at 11-17, never found
an offensive rhythm. Carter
scored a team-high 10 points in a
back-up capacity. McNeil was_
limited to 9 points and Scott, who
fouled out, finished with 6 points
on 3-of-ll field goal shooting.
Briana Wilder (23) ofWSSU battles for a loose ball during a
regular-season game against Johnson C. Smith.
Photos by Brio Mizelle
Eric Mayo (left) and WyKevin Bazemore play during the championship game.
from page B1
2014, beating the Rams for the school's
first-ever CIAA Championship. Mayo was
largely a complimentary player on that
team; guards Mark Thomas and Jody Hill
were the stars, and he was the "Clean-up"
guy, battling down low for any scraps that
may have fallen from the basket.
This season, both players served as the
heart and souls of their teams. WSSU and
Livingstone split their season series at one
game each. Both players were named to
the All-Conference team and helped them
back to the championship game. This was
Meanwhile, Bazemore and Mayo both
fought furiously to try to pick up their sec
ond conference titles in their collegiate
careers. Bazemore capped his career with
a 24-point, eight rebound performance,
while Mayo's 22 points and seven
rebounds helped Livingstone come away
with a 106-91 win.
When it was all over, the two team
mates-turned-rivals embraced each
other. For that moment, nothing else
Long after everyone forgets about all
of that, these boys-turned-men will have
their names inked among legends like
(Earl) Monroe, (Charles) Oakley and
(Ben) Wallace and dozens of others who
have played in this one-of-a-kind con
The league doesn't get top-talent
anymore ? it hasn't had a player drafted
into the NBA in more than a decade. It
doesn't have the biggest HBCUs any
more (nearly half of the 18 teams that
made up the league when the tourna
ment was created in the '40s are gone).
- But what hasn't changed about the
CLAA- the impact that its institutions
are having on the lives of young people.
That, is what the CIAA is all about.
from page B1
February, power forward Lemuel Gaither emerged as a
formidable factor in the paint.
At times, the season was a
struggle for Parkland (13-10,5
7 CPC). As things turned out,
the Mustangs saved the best for
last and won three of their last
In victories over North
Davidson, Glenn and East
Forsyth, Parkland helped its
cause by minimizing floor mis
takes and taking higher percent
age shots. "I was very satisfied
with our play over the final cou
ple of weeks," said Coach
Shawn Smoot. "We had good
ball movement and did so much
better with our shot selection."
rfto*> By CBMM fc unwick
Connor Sparrow's presence in the low post was key
factor in East Forsyth's success.
The top players for the Mustangs were Darryl
Williams, Kobe Young and Casey Wilkins. Late in this
season, Tahj Daniels came off the bench to provide timely
scoring from 3-point range.
transpired over the course
of the season, Glenn's
record (11-9, 5-7 PTC) is
misleading. The Bobcats
went through a rough
stretch in which they suf
fered eight straight, sin
According to Coach
Clarence Hosch, wins and
losses shouldn't the sole
focus at the JV level. It's
more about getting the,
players ready for the var
"I like winning as
much as any other
coach," he said. "But the
emphasis is skill develop
ment. I look at where they were when they started and
compare that to where they were when they finished.
Based on that, it's clear that there was a lot of growth this
season, and I'm satisfied with that."
Josh Jenkins and Marcus Harris developed nicely as a
backcourt tandem. Jordan Ward, Bryson Bell-St. John and
Ryan Bussell continued to improve with eaoh game. Luke
Chamberlin proved himself as a viable low-post presence
toward the latter part of the season.
This team showed so much promise in late December.
As the No. 7 seed. West Forsyth put on a stunning holiday
run that put in the Lash-Cfuonicle Classic finals against
eventual champ Winston-Salem Prep. The Titans lost 69
64 and had the look of a legitimate contender in the CPC
The remainder of the season was a rollercoaster ride
for the Titans (10-11,5-7 conference). In spite of Mason
Matrey's stellar all-around play. West Forsyth never deliv
ered any semblance of consistency.
"Things didn't turn out the way we hoped it would, but
our kids still played hard and put forth a collective effort,"
said Coach Jeffrey Williams. "Hopefully, they learned a
few things about how to excel."