Thursday, January 21, 2010

Lake Norman-Hopewell, Part II should be a classic (Preview)

One week from tomorrow, the game everybody has been talking about will finally be here.

Lake Norman versus Hopewell, No. 1 versus No. 2 (Observer Sweet 16), with the lead in the I-Meck conference on the line.

The game pits two of the state’s best teams over the last two seasons.

Hopewell (17-0, 5-0 in I-Meck play) has won 46 of their last 47 games, dating back to the beginning of last season, with their only loss coming to No. 1 and (2009) state champion Mount Tabor in the state semifinals.

Meanwhile, Lake Norman (13-1, 5-1) has been nearly as good, winning 38 of their last 41 games, with their only blemishes coming against Hopewell, and at West Rowan and at Concord (in playoffs) last year.

This season, the teams have been at their best with a combined 30-1 record, the only blemish on either side coming when Hopewell beat Lake Norman 64-60 on the road December 17.

**Records as of today, Jan. 21st.
Lake Norman at Hopewell
Boys Basketball Preview
Date: Friday, January 29th, 2010 - 7:45 p.m.

Head Coach: Eric Davis
Record: 17-0, 5-0.
Rank: No. 1 in Observer Sweet 16, beat Lake Norman 64-60 Dec. 17.
Streak: Won 46 of the last 47 games, started 29-0 last year.

PG Earl McLaurin…steady floor leader scored 17 pts. in win over Vance last week.
SG Adrian Addie…three-year starter is team’s glue guy.
SF Jordan Downing…future Davidson guard has showed he’s amongst the best in state.
PF DeMon Brooks…double-double machine is Titan’s best option inside.
C Bryce Hawkins…solid sidekick to Brooks playing well.
Key Reserves: Elliott Pope, Justin Avery, Michael Russell…bench adds toughness.

Lake Norman
Head Coach: Brandon Jolly
Record: 13-1, 5-1.
Rank: No. 2 in Observer Sweet 16, lost @ Hopewell 64-60, Dec. 17.
Streak: Won 23 of last 25 games, started 15-0 last year.

PG Kevin Canevari…steady floor leader doesn’t make mistakes and 7 assists per game.
SG Reggie Price… the price has been right about 18 ppg this season.
SF Matt Denyes…a threat on every play, does whatever the teams needs.
PF Matt Eller…versatility to play 3-4 positions invaluable.
C Paul Larsen…on monster streak of 30-plus points, 10-plus rebounds.

Key Reserves: Brian Whalen, Chris Patterson, Austin Eisenhofer.