North Meck poised, confident for NCHSAA basketball run

North Mecklenburg won’t get to enjoy Friday’s Queen City conference tournament championship for long. The N.C. 4A playoffs begin Tuesday.

Now is when the pressure starts to ramp up.

The Vikings are coming off their second win of the season against their arch rival Chambers in Friday’s conference championship. The North players feel that win not only gives the team confidence moving forward into the state playoffs, but also sends a message to the rest of the teams in the state that North Meck is ready for another deep playoff run.

The Vikings (25-2) graduated nine seniors from a team that reached the 4A semifinals last season, and only one returner, five-star forward Isaiah Evans, played significant minutes. But guard Trey Maxwell said this year’s team is hungry to win, too

“We are North,” said Maxwell, the son of former NBA world champion Vernon Maxwell. “We are a hard working team and we are scrappy. We talk a lot and we are just ready to play – we are really ready to play.”

North Meck’s Trey Maxwell drives under the basket for two-points during second half action against Chambers on Friday, February 17, 2023. North Meck defeated Chambers to win the Queen City boys conference championship at Hough High School in Huntersville, NC. JEFF SINER

Maxwell really has found his groove at the right time of the year. He had to miss a few games earlier in the season, but North coach Duane Lewis said his 6-3 junior guard has come back strong.

Maxwell made five 3-point shots in the first half against Chambers Friday and finished with 23 points.

“Trey Maxwell was really unbelievable there in the first half,” Lewis said Friday. “He needed that. He has been under the weather the last two weeks and is just getting back into it.”

Lewis and the Vikings take a five-game win streak into the state playoffs, where they will host West Cabarrus (13-10).

Evans, the highly-recruited junior, looks said he looks forward to this time of year. He thinks the Vikings — who have only lost to Chambers and Westminster Academy (Fla) — are ready for any challenge.

“People see us lose one or two games and say, ‘oh they aren’t like that’ or whatever,” Evans said. “But, I think that the other teams in the state know that we are coming.”

Evans said that he will obviously enjoy the conference championship win, but after a short celebration period it is time to move on and look to have a successful week in the playoffs next week.

“We obviously want to celebrate, but after tomorrow this win doesn’t mean anything,” Evans said. “We need to continue to play the same way, play the way we’ve been playing, don’t change up anything.”

Source link

Leave a Comment