High-SchoolNorth-Carolina: Hopewell

Olympic takes over the top spot in first hoops rankings

December, 8, 2011
Despite starting 5-0, Olympic coach Ty Baumgardner admits that his team could stand to play better in the first quarter after having to put together multiple rallies. But when it comes to the first state rankings, the Trojans are starting off just fine. With an assist from United Faith Christian's slow start (4-3) and Harding's upset of previous No. 2 West Charlotte, the Trojans have earned the top spot. Allerik Freeman, ranked ninth in the junior class, leads the squad with 17.2 points per game.

"Because of the natural progression, we happen to be the team that's No. 1, which is great, but to be honest, we don't worry about that stuff," Baumgardner said. "It's still yet to be determined if this is the best team I've ever coached, but without question, this is the most talented team I've ever had."

As a result of its big win as well as the impressive play of Jarvis Haywood (23.2 points), Harding makes its debut in the rankings. Likewise, Christ School, which has won the last five 3A crowns in the private ranks, leaps to No. 4. Junior transfer Shannon Hale leads the Greenies with 14.0 points per game.

Here's how the state rankings shake out (preseason rankings in parentheses):

1. Olympic (Charlotte) 5-0 (4)
The Trojans take over the top spot, having beat five tough opponents by an average of 19.4 points.

2. West Charlotte 1-1 (2)
The defending 4A champ Lions were upset by Harding, 67-66, in their second game, but will look to bounce back against Hopewell and at the tough Nike Hoops Festival on Dec. 10.

3. Ravenscroft (Raleigh) 5-1 (6)
Led by star junior Anton Gill, the Ravens are off to quick start, including a win against No. 8 Wesleyan Christian.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly North Carolina basketball rankings
Results as of Saturday, Oct. 15

Sophomores aren't supposed to play like Elijah Hood did in last Friday's big game between Charlotte Catholic and Berry Academy. Too bad for Berry Academy that Hood didn't get that memo.

The Cougars running back continued his impressive campaign, rushing for 179 yards and four touchdowns to push his team to a 48-26 win in MEGA 7 play. The effort was enough to overcome 187 all-purpose yard by Berry Academy receiver/kick returner Germone Hopper and position the Cougars for a conference title showdown in the season finale against Olympic.

Meanwhile, Richmond looked like its old self after an up-and-down two weeks. The Raiders knocked off previously undefeated Lumberton, forcing three late turnovers to pull out the 27-22 win.The outcome also revives the intrigue surrounding the season finale between Richmond and No. 4 Scotland on Oct. 28.

Nationally, Mallard Creek and Butler both moved up one spot in this week's POWERADE FAB 50, with the Mavericks taking over the No. 21 slot and the Bulldogs now at 35th.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings are in parentheses):

1. Mallard Creek (Charlotte) 8-0 (1)
Mavericks easily took care of Hopewell by the score of 65-6. Next up: West Charlotte.

2. Butler (Matthews) 7-1 (2)
After trailing 10-7 early, the Bulldogs reeled off 35 straight points in 42-10 win against Providence. Riley Ferguson threw for five touchdowns. Next up: South Mecklenburg.

3. Greensboro Page 8-0 (3)
The Pirates put together their best offensive output of the season, blanking Southern Alamance, 70-0. Next up: Dudley.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly North Carolina football rankings.

Wake-Forest Rolesville moves up in Week 8 NC football rankings

October, 10, 2011
After games of Saturday, Oct. 8

A few top teams got quite a scare this past week. You already know about Butler's wild win against Ardrey Kell last Thursday, and Wake Forest-Rolesville and Richmond endured similar cardiac comebacks.

Wake Forest-Rolesville saw it fall behind 13-0 in the first half of a contest against a talented Wakefield squad. But a renewed focus on the run game as well as a blitzing defense to throw off Wakefield QB Connor Mitch got the Cougars rolling in the second half for a 14-13 victory.

On the other hand, Richmond was the early aggressor in the its matchup with Purnell Swett, but the Raiders' 14-point halftime lead vanished behind an explosive Rams offense that ran just three plays in the third quarter and scored 21 points. The two teams went back and forth until Steve Houston saved the day. The Raiders DB stuffed Juwan Jones at the goal line on the Rams' two-point try as time expired to preserve Richmond's 42-41 win and avoid a second straight loss.

Although the outcome was the same for both, the fact that Wake Forest-Rolesville beat a 6-2 Wakefield squad while Richmond struggled with a 3-4 Purnell Swett team is why the Cougars move up a spot in this week's rankings.

Nationally, both Mallard Creek and Butler moved up in the POWERADE FAB 50, as the Mavericks are now at No. 22 while the Bulldogs sit at No. 36.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings are in parentheses):

1. Mallard Creek (Charlotte) 7-0 (1)
The Mavericks posted their second shutout in three weeks, this time blanking North Mecklenburg, 63-0, behind Jela Duncan's five touchdowns. Next up: Hopewell.

2. Butler (Matthews) 6-1 (2)
The Bulldogs survived a scare against Ardrey Kell, using a last-minute drive that ended with a Zach Ferguson touchdown to pull out a 43-40 victory. A matchup with Providence is up next.

3. Greensboro Page 7-0 (3)
The Pirates just keep on rolling, as they beat Ben L. Smith, 42-12, last week. Next up: Southern Alamance.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly North Carolina football rankings.