After games on Sunday, March 4.
Six days after his team's season ended abruptly, Olympic coach Ty Baumgardner was still searching for answers. In December, the Trojans had beaten West Charlotte in a close battle. All year, the Trojans boasted the state's most talented squad, featuring the likes of super junior Allerik Freeman and Clemson commit Josh Smith. But on Feb. 28, a one-point lead in the third quarter morphed into a 21-point loss to the same West Charlotte team in the Class 4A regional semifinals.
"We had it close there in the third quarter and then we just committed turnover after turnover after turnover," said Baumgardner, whose team also finished 28-2 and lost in the regional semis last year. "We were never able to recover."
Meanwhile, the defending champ Lions, now ranked No. 48 in the POWERADE FAB 50, look more than recovered from their early-season inconsistency, beating Olympic and then Davie County to earn their 17th straight win and reclaim a spot in the 4A title, this time against a surging New Hanover squad. Coach Baronton Terry called last season's championship run a matter of "peaking at the right time," and it appears 2012 could bring the same.
Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):
1. West Charlotte 27-5 (2)
The defending champ Lions knocked off Olympic before downing Davie to win their 17th straight game and set up a Class 4A final against New Hanover.
2. Ravenscroft 31-3 (3)
Ravens had their greatest season in school history, winning a record 31 wins and the NCISAA 3A title. Future is bright with super junior Anton Gill returning next year.
3. New Hanover (Wilmington) 29-1 (5)
Thomas Johnson dropped 29 points to lead Wildcats to Class 4A title matchup with top-ranked West Charlotte on Saturday.