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Vote for the Charlotte Observer high school athletes of the week

·9 min read

Meet the nominees for the Charlotte Observer’s boys and girls basketball, football and athlete of the week.

Readers can vote as often as they like, on any of the three polls, until Friday, around noon.


Mari Adams, Crest: 34 carries, 195 yards, three touchdowns in a 34-27 loss to South Point. Adams finished with a school-record 2,136 yards this season and 38 touchdowns, breaking the old record of 2,080 yards set by Tre Harbison in 2015.

Anshon Camp, Chambers: The Cougars’ junior quarterback played played a solid game, completing 12-of-18 passes for 240 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Malaki Hamrick, Shelby: Sparked a defense that ended Reidsville’s 32-game streak. Led by Hamrick, Shelby sacked Reidsville QB Al Lee eight times and limited him to 131 yards passing. He had 39 TD passes this season. Hamrick had 14 tackles, 5 for a loss and four sacks.

Daylin Lee, Shelby: 14-of-24 for 264 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-14 win over Reidsville, ending Reidsville’s 32-game win streak.

Elijah Phifer, South Point: 5-yard scoring run to beat Crest 34-27 in OT and send South Point to its first regional championship game since 2016. Phifer, a QB, was 4-for-6 passing for 86 yards. He ran 21 times for 90 yards and two touchdowns.

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Boys’ Basketball

Christian Alston, Cuthbertson Basketball: The 5-foot-10 senior point guard had 27 points and four steals to lead Cuthbertson to a 66-60 win at Forestview in the season opener, Nov. 23.

Alston was 14-for-16 from the free-throw line in the victory.

Elijah Burnett, Lincoln Charter: The 6-foot-2 junior had 20 points, six assists and five rebounds to lead Lincoln Charter to a 90-84 victory at North Lincoln, Nov. 23.

Burnett was 8-for-9 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter in the North Lincoln victory.

Lincoln Charter is 2-2 this season.

Jordan Crawford, North Mecklenburg: MVP of the Leroy Holden Classic scored 68 points in wins over East Mecklenburg and Charlotte Country Day Friday and Saturday. Crawford is a College of Charleston signee.

Isaiah Evans, North Mecklenburg: career-high 42 points, plus 10 rebounds and four blocks in a 99-76 win over Charlotte Country Day Saturday.

Dallas Gardner, Charlotte Country Day Basketball: The 6-foot-3 junior forward averaged 31.3 points per game as Charlotte Country Day beat Jay M. Robinson and Metrolina Christian before losing to North Mecklenburg this week.

Gardner started the week with 18 points in a 69-59 win at Metrolina Christian, Nov. 23.

He also had 34 points in an 88-83 victory over Jay M. Robinson in the opening round of the Leroy Holden Classic at North Mecklenburg, Nov. 26.

The next day, Gardner poured in 32 points in a 99-76 loss to host, North Mecklenburg, in the Leroy Holden Classic.

Charlotte Country Day is 4-2 this season.

Xavier McKelvy, United Faith Basketball: The 6-foot-2 senior averaged 29.5 points, seven rebounds and 2.5 steals per game this week as United Faith beat Gaston Day and SouthLake Christian.

McKelvy had 31 points, six rebounds and two steals to lead the Falcons to an 86-83 win over Gaston Day in the Charlotte Hoops’ Challenge at Myers Park, Nov. 26.

The next day, McKelvy had 28 points, eight rebounds and three steals in a 64-58 win over SouthLake Christian.

United Faith is 5-2 this season.

Randall Pettus, Bessemer City Basketball: The 6-foot-2 junior scored 23 points, had five assists and four blocks in a 70-46 win at Hunter Huss, Nov. 22.

The next night, Pettus poured in 26 points to go with five assists and four blocks in a 78-72, overtime win at North Gaston. Pettus made a fade-away, three-pointer to tie the game at 63 in regulation.

Bessemer City is 2-0 this season.

Evan Smith, Ardrey Kell Basketball: The 6-foot-3 senior point guard averaged 18 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game as Ardrey Kell started the season 3-0 with wins over Cannon School, Marvin Ridge and Providence this week.

Smith started the season with 11 points and five rebounds in a 71-47 win over Marvin Ridge, Nov. 22.

The next night, Smith had 24 points and seven rebounds in a 60-51 victory at Providence.

Smith finished off his week with 19 points, five rebounds and four assists in a 78-55 win over Cannon School in the Charlotte Hoops’ Challenge at Myers Park, Nov. 27.

Smith is a West Point (Army) commit.

Quay Watson, Hopewell Basketball: The 5-foot-10 sophomore point guard averaged 27.5 points, 5.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds as Hopewell split games with Berry and Cox Mill this week.

Watson had 27 points, six assists and four rebounds in a 70-63, season opening loss to Cox Mill, Nov. 23.

He also had 28 points, five assists and five rebounds to lead Hopewell to a 78-75 win over Berry in the Charlotte Hoops’ Challenge at Myers Park, Nov. 26.

Greg Wenger, Porter Ridge Basketball: The 6-foot-2 senior guard averaged 21.5 points per game as Porter Ridge opened the season 2-0 with wins over Central Academy and West Cabarrus this week.

Wenger had 26 points, including six three-pointers in an 85-60 win over West Cabarrus, Nov. 22.

The next night, he had 17 points, including five treys, in an 82-36 win at Central Academy.

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Girls’ Basketball

Jamyah Blakeney, Forest Hills Basketball: The 5-foot-9 junior had 29 points, seven assists and five rebounds to lead Forest Hills to a 78-45 win in their season opener at Albemarle Nov. 23.

Blakeney is the two-time, Rocky River conference player of the year.

Chandler Brooks, Providence Day: 17 points, 11 rebounds in a 56-54 win over NCISAA power Concord Academy. Brooks made 13-of-21 free throws, shooting more than Concord Academy as a team (19).

Gracynn Gough, Charlotte Catholic: 14 points, 15 rebounds, five assists and a steal in a 55-44 win over Sweet 16 No. 2 Cannon School Saturday.

Maleigha Jackson, Berry Basketball: The 6-foot senior wing averaged 16 points and five rebounds per game as Berry started the season 2-0 with wins over East Mecklenburg and West Charlotte this week.

Jackson had 21 points, eight rebounds and two blocks in a 43-34 win over East Mecklenburg Nov. 23.

The previous night, Jackson had 11 points and two rebounds in a 49-45 victory over West Charlotte.

Senali Moss, South Mecklenburg: 18 points, 10 rebounds, 10 steals, five assists in a 50-40 win over Charlotte Christian Friday.

Olivia Robertson, Mallard Creek Basketball: The 6-foot-2 freshman center averaged 14 points, 11 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per game as Mallard Creek started the season 3-0 with wins over Butler, Corvian Community and Rocky River.

Robertson had 13 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks in a 57-53 victory at Butler Nov. 23.

She followed that up with 17 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks in a 58-44 win over Rocky River in Mallard Creek’s Turkey Duel Nov. 26.

The next day, Robertson had 12 points, five rebounds and four more blocks in a 54-13 victory over Corvian Community in the Turkey Duel.

Kate Sears, Watauga Basketball: The 5-foot-9 freshman had 22 points, six assists, five steals and no turnovers in her first high school basketball game to lead Watauga to a 67-43 win at Mountain Heritage in the season opener for both teams Nov. 23.

Sears, who already has offers from Appalachian State, Charlotte, Elon and Presbyterian University according to Watauga assistant coach Bill Togerson, led her team to the first victory over Mountain Heritage since 2001.

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Athlete of the week

Trevor Freeman, A.L. Brown Wrestling: The Wonders’ sophomore was a perfect 7-0 this week in matches with Cox Mill, East Gaston, Jay M. Robinson, Lexington, Mallard Creek, St. Stephens and Wheatmore.

Freeman, had six pins in his seven wins at 113 pounds, also beat Cox Mill’s Cooper Davis (3-2), one of top ranked wrestlers in his weight class (113).

Kyle Hawkins, Lake Norman Charter Swimming: The Knights’ junior won all four events he competed in as Lake Norman Charter beat Central Cabarrus and Jay M. Robinson at the West Cabarrus YMCA, Nov. 23.

Hawkins won the 200 individual medley (2:14.09), the 100 freestyle (52.36) and the 200 medley relay (with teammates, Devin Buckler, James Burroughs, Channing Scott) and the 400 freestyle (Buckler, Ethan Licata and Scott).

The Lake Norman Charter boys’ swim team dominated the meet, winning nine of the 11 events.

Zoe Rudisill, North Gaston Swimming: The Wildcats’ junior won the 50 freestyle (30.73) and finished as runner-up in the 100 breaststroke to lead North Gaston to a second-place finish in a tri-meet with Hunter Huss and Stuart Cramer, Nov. 23.

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** Information published today includes statistics through Nov. 27.

Want to nominate an athlete?: Athletes of the week highlights high school players with outstanding performances. The goal is to recognize all athletes in all sports, both the most accomplished and the underrated or underappreciated players. If you want to suggest someone to be included in the Athletes of the week column, send email to Jay Edwards at Please include the athletes’ name, school, class and applicable game performance statistics. Coaches must be willing to verify information.

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