East Gaston boys bounced, W. Meck girls make playoff run

by Aaron Burns

aaron@mimonitor.com

MOUNT HOLLY – East Gaston High’s basketball teams, in addition to West Mecklenburg and Hopewell High’s squads, had plenty of positives to take away from the 2012-13 season. Here’s a look at how each team wrapped up the year.

East Gaston boy’s basketball

Record: 11-14, 4-8 MEGA-7 3A/4A conference

Postseason: Lost 77-75 in first round to Watauga High on Feb. 25

Review: The Warriors came close to extending their season and nearly upsetting fifth-seeded Watauga in the state tournament, but they fell just short of the mark.

East Gaston’s one-two punch of juniors DeSean Murray (22 points per game) and Elijah Gore (11.7, 3.9 assists) kept the Warriors in the hunt all season.

The Warriors struggled to win the close ones in 2012-13, going 3-8 in games decided by 10 points or less.

With Gore and Murray returning, look for that mark to improve next year.

East Gaston girl’s basketball

Record: 8-18, 4-8 MEGA-7 3A/4A conference

Postseason: Lost 59-45 in first round to Watauga High on Feb. 25

Review: The Warriors’ girl’s team met the same fate as its boy’s team against the same opponent.

East Gaston entered the state tournament as a No. 9 seed, but fell short against the Pioneers in round one.

Carly Kluttz paced the Warriors, averaging 11 points and nine rebounds per game.

Hopewell boy’s basketball

Record: 5-19, 2-12
I-MECK 4A conference

Postseason: none

Review: Hopewell was tougher in league games than its record showed.

The Titans lost four conference games by three points or less.

Sophomore C.J. Bryce gave Titans fans plenty of hope for a turnaround next season, scoring 18.4 points and pulling down 5.1 rebounds per game.

Fellow sophomore Taj Middleton (11.9, 2.7) will also return as part of Hopewell’s core for the next two seasons.

Hopewell girl’s basketball

Record: 11-12, 7-7 I-MECK 4A conference

Postseason: Lost 58-40 in first round to Alexander Central High on Feb. 25

Review: The Titans’ girls’ team was Hopewell’s lone playoff representative.

Juniors Bryanna Curry (9.9 points per game) and Mariah Washington (7.6) paced the Titans on offense in a season that saw them fall to the powerful third-seeded Cougars in the first round of the postseason.

West Mecklenburg boys basketball

Record: 7-16, 3-9 MEGA-7 3A/4A conference

Postseason: none

Review: With a few breaks, the Hawks would have nearly doubled their win total.

West Mecklenburg dropped six games by 10 points or less en route to the 3-9 mark in league games.

A four-game win streak in late December served as the Hawks’ high point for the season.

West Mecklenburg girls basketball

Record: 15-9, 9-3 MEGA-7 3A/4A conference

Postseason: Advanced to third round of playoffs on March 1 vs. North Mecklenburg

Review: The Hawks hit their stride at the right time.

Fifth-seeded West Mecklenburg knocked off league rival Olympic High 59-56 in the first round of the state tournament, and then backed it up with a 50-48 victory in overtime over Asheville Roberson on Feb. 27.

As of press time, the Hawks were set to face North Mecklenburg High in the third round of the tournament.

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