West Meck winter wrap-up

A look at how basketball, track and wrestling teams fared
By Andrew Stark

CHARLOTTE – West Mecklenburg winter sports teams recently wrapped up their seasons, and the Mountain Island Monitor takes a look back this month on those successful campaigns.

West Meck sent five wrestlers to the Western Regional championships and finished 23rd in the region by scoring 14 points.
Although they did not have any representatives in the state meet, the Hawks had plenty of individual success.
Here’s a look at how they fared:
• 106-pound sophomore Daniel Ramirez advanced to the third round of the region before falling to the eventual champion from Lake Norman. Ramirez concluded his year 25-19.
• Senior Eric Harvey advanced to the third round of the 120-pound bracket and closed out his season with an 18-8 record.
• Laurence Lanavae finished his sophomore season with a 28-20 record by advancing to the third round of the 126-pound championship.
• Junior Lepreaze Malker went 29-12 in his junior season and advanced to the third round of the Western Regional.
• 152-poud senior Naseem Jones went 33-11 on the year, but dropped both matches at regionals.

Boys basketball
The West Meck boys basketball team made a serious case the Hawks should be one of the top four teams in the So. Meck 8 and advance to the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 4A tournament field.
After they came from 10 points down in the fourth quarter to force overtime against Providence in late January, the Hawks seemed to make their case even stronger, especially after winning the game in overtime to even their record at 9-9.
However, a five-game losing streak filled with two games decided by two or less points and four within 10 ended their season in disappointment after a promising beginning.
The Hawks didn’t qualify for post-season tournaments and lose seven of their top nine scorers from this season.
However, freshman Dyami Brown (7.0 points per game) and junior Rashad Washington (6.2) return next season to form a solid core.

Girls basketball
The West Meck girls basketball team used its championship at the Brickhouse Holiday Tournament in Mt. Pleasant to fuel a midseason turnaround.
The Hawks entered the tournament 3-5 and on a three-game losing streak, but won three consecutive games at the Brickhouse and added three more to kick off the new year that had them 9-5 and ready to make a run.
However, they would go 2-6 the rest of the way, including a 73-28 loss in the first round of the NCHSAA Class 4A playoffs.
Six-foot-two Joi Tapper was at the forefront all season as the senior center averaged five points per game, but led the team in rebounds (8.5) and blocks (2.3). Tapper was rewarded with an all-So. Meck 8 selection.

The West Meck girls 4×200-meter relay team had a strong showing at the NCHSAA indoor track and field championships last month.
The tandem of Jada Staten, Tatyana Campbell, Diondra Broner and Sequora Hamilton combined to run 1 minute, 46.36 seconds, which placed eighth in the state.
Junior Emmanuel Daniels missed placing by just over a second as the junior placed 11th in the 500-meter dash, finishing in 1:08.89. The Hawk girls 4×400 relay placed 14th.

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