High-SchoolNorth-Carolina: Josh Smith

N.C. Week 13 hoops rankings: West Charlotte eyes repeat crown

March, 6, 2012
After games on Sunday, March 4.

Six days after his team's season ended abruptly, Olympic coach Ty Baumgardner was still searching for answers. In December, the Trojans had beaten West Charlotte in a close battle. All year, the Trojans boasted the state's most talented squad, featuring the likes of super junior Allerik Freeman and Clemson commit Josh Smith. But on Feb. 28, a one-point lead in the third quarter morphed into a 21-point loss to the same West Charlotte team in the Class 4A regional semifinals.

"We had it close there in the third quarter and then we just committed turnover after turnover after turnover," said Baumgardner, whose team also finished 28-2 and lost in the regional semis last year. "We were never able to recover."

Meanwhile, the defending champ Lions, now ranked No. 48 in the POWERADE FAB 50, look more than recovered from their early-season inconsistency, beating Olympic and then Davie County to earn their 17th straight win and reclaim a spot in the 4A title, this time against a surging New Hanover squad. Coach Baronton Terry called last season's championship run a matter of "peaking at the right time," and it appears 2012 could bring the same.

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

1. West Charlotte 27-5 (2)
The defending champ Lions knocked off Olympic before downing Davie to win their 17th straight game and set up a Class 4A final against New Hanover.

2. Ravenscroft 31-3 (3)
Ravens had their greatest season in school history, winning a record 31 wins and the NCISAA 3A title. Future is bright with super junior Anton Gill returning next year.

3. New Hanover (Wilmington) 29-1 (5)
Thomas Johnson dropped 29 points to lead Wildcats to Class 4A title matchup with top-ranked West Charlotte on Saturday.

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

Week 6 NC hoops rankings: Northside Christian falls for first time

January, 18, 2012
After games on Monday, Jan. 16

Before a packed house and surrounded by great expectations, Northside Christian saw an eight-point lead transform into a 64-59 loss at the hands of Davidson Day. With that first loss of the season, surging High Point Christian, Christ School and Greensboro Day all move up one spot this week.

But everyone is still looking up to Olympic, which sits at No. 35 in the POWERADE FAB 50. After surviving a close one against Harding, the Trojans rode the play of junior Allerik Freeman and Clemson-bound senior Josh Smith in MEGA-7 conference wins against Berry Academy and Charlotte Catholic. Freeman dropped 26 points versus Berry before tallying 23 points and 11 boards against CC, while Smith had 22 points and 13 rebounds in the win against CC.

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

1. Olympic (Charlotte) 17-0 (1)
Trojans scored two big conference wins against Berry and Charlotte Catholic. Allerik Freeman had 26 points and 23 points, respectively, in victory. Next up: Wheeler (Ga.) on Saturday.

2. High Point Christian 20-0 (3)
Cougars showed their mettle with a 59-58 win against Quality Education Academy on Monday. They have won their games by an average of 27 points.

3. Christ School (Arden) 19-2 (4)
Greenies flexed their muscles against out-of-state competition last week, beating Gainesville (Ga.), Rabun-Gap Nacoochee (Ga.) and Norfolk Christian (Va.). Next up: Carolina Day on Wednesday.

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

Garner wins holiday tournament, enters Week 4 NC hoops rankings

January, 3, 2012
After games ending Jan. 2

The football season ended in disappointment for Garner, as the Trojans lost their first and only game to Greensboro Page in the 4AA final. Now, their brothers on the hardwood appear determined not to let the same happen to them.

Garner emerged from a loaded field at the HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational as the champion after holding off St. Raymond (N.Y.) behind MVP Dominique Reed's 20 points and eight rebounds. The Trojans also beat Kinston and Texas power Strake Jesuit along the way to take the No. 9 spot in the state rankings. Ravenscroft also found success at the tournament, repeating as champs of the Summit Hospitality bracket.

Olympic remained atop the rankings and gained a quality win by beating defending 4A champ West Charlotte, 61-58, in the Upward Classic title. Allerik Freeman earned MVP honors and Josh Smith had a monster game (20 points, eight boards) in a game that could be a preview of the 4A West Regional Final. The win pushes the Trojans to No. 36 in the POWERADE FAB 50 as they get ready for another test in No. 8 Harding on Friday.

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

1. Olympic (Charlotte) 13-0 (1)
Trojans picked up a quality win by beating defending 4A champ West Charlotte in the Upward Classic championship. Next up: MEGA 7 Conference battles with West Mecklenburg on Tuesday and No. 8 Harding on Friday.

2. Northside Christian (Charlotte) 12-0 (2)
Justin Gordon dropped 24 points and 8 rebounds in the semis before going for 15 and 8 in the final against Mooresville to lead the Knights to the Hardwood Classic title.

3. High Point Christian 14-0 (4)
Cougars cruised to Sheetz Holiday Classic championship behind Jackson Kent, who averaged 19.7 points across three wins.

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