No. 2 Myers Park stops Ardrey Kell in SoMECk final

Scott Taylor said the late-November Myers Park boys’ basketball team might have responded differently than the mid-February version did Friday night when the Mustangs found themselves in an early hole.

Facing an Ardrey Kell team that Myers Park had beaten twice earlier this season, the Mustangs found themselves trailing 7-0 just more than two minutes into the SoMeck 4A Conference championship game Friday.

The large and vocal Mustang cheering section had grown quiet, the Ardrey Kell contingent on the other side of the Myers Park gym were boisterous, and it looked … well, a little dicey for the Mustangs.

Don’t worry, Myers Park fans. Your Mustangs ran their record to 22-4 and trounced the Knights 64-46, adding the conference tournament championship trophy to the regular-season award they clinched last week.

And now it’s on to the Mustangs’ big goal – a 4A state championship.

But back to that shaky start, for a minute.

“Ardrey Kell came out and took a real shot at us,” Taylor said. “But we kept our composure, and did what we needed to do.”

Referring to the Mustang team that lost a home contest to Chambers back on Nov. 29, Taylor said, “We’ve grown up.”

Myers Park responded quickly and decisively Friday night.

They went on an 11-0 run, led 14-9 after one quarter, and then scored eight straight points to open the second period. With a minute left in the half, Myers Park led 32-14, and the game was essentially decided.

Ardrey Kell (16-11) gave it one last shot, though.

The Knights surged late in the season, winning six straight before Friday night, including two triumphs over an Olympic team that is 22-4 and was 17-0 at one point this season.

“They gave it another run to start the third quarter, but we responded once again,” Taylor said.

Trailing 32-18 at the half, Ardrey Kelly closed the gap to 34-27 on Brock Rose’s 3-pointer with 6:15 left in the period.

But the Mustangs outscored the Knights 14-5 over the rest of the quarter and pulled away.

“If you let Ardrey Kell establish their offense, they’ll kill you with it,” Taylor said. “So we tried to disrupt them as much as possible. I thought out defense did a really good job of taking them out of their game.”


Bishop Boswell, Myers Park: A pair of technical fouls shortened his game (more on that later), but Boswell, a 6-4 junior guard, finished with a team-high 19 points and hit four 3-pointers.

Brock Rose, Ardrey Kell: The Knights’ 6-6 senior leader, Rose scored a team-high 17 points.

Elijah Strong, Myers Park: Strong went to the bench with two fouls in the first quarter but managed to finish with 18 points – 14 of those in the second half.


Myers Park might be playing its opening 4A tournament game Tuesday without Boswell. He and Ardrey Kell’s Brock Rose were assessed double technical fouls in the third quarter, and then Boswell was ejected with a second technical midway in the fourth quarter. An ejection typically results in a suspension of at least one game. Myers Park officials did not have any word on Boswell’s status Friday night.

Also picking up a technical foul was the Ardrey Kell bench, at the end of the third quarter.

A.J. White, the Mustangs’ 6-8 sophomore forward, scored 10 points Friday and was named the tournament’s most valuable player.

Myers Park shot 55 percent from the floor, making 20-of-36. The Mustangs’ defense forced Ardrey Kell into a cold shooting game, as the Knights hit only 17-of-47 for 36 percent.

Langston Wertz Jr. is an award-winning sports journalist who has worked at the Observer since 1988. He’s covered everything from Final Fours and NFL to video games and Britney Spears. Wertz — a West Charlotte High and UNC grad — is the rare person who can answer “Charlotte,” when you ask, “What city are you from.”
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