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High school basketball: Boys all-county team capsules

By Mike London
mike.london@salisburypost.com

FIRST TEAM

Jalen Moss, West, 5-9 Jr. — Lightning-fast and was a major factor on both ends of the floor. Rowan County Player of the Year.

Brandon White, North, 6-10 Soph. — The athletic shot-blocker made huge strides after playing little as a varsity freshman and averaged 12.1 points. There were a few shaky nights when he got into foul trouble, but he scored in double figures 15 times, and most of those efforts were double-doubles. He produced a career-best 30 points against Albemarle.

Braden Graham, South, 6-0 Jr. — The county’s scoring leader at 19.7 per game, Graham topped 20 points 16 times and scored 30-plus three times. His 493 points were the most by a South player in one season since 2009. If he can do that again as a senior, he’ll become the leading scorer in program history. Larry Lentz, South’s only 1,000-point scorer, set the school record with 1,122 points. That record has stood since 1989.

Xavier “Zay” Kesler, Salisbury, 6-1 Sr. — He finished as the county’s top scorer in the Class of 2020 with 899 career points. He had seven games with 20 or more points, with six of those seven coming against strong opponents. He averaged 16.3  points for the season.

Eric “EJ” Clark, Carson, 6-3 Sr. — A lefty who scored from inside and outside and got to the foul line frequently, Clark amassed 831 career points in two varsity seasons. He averaged 19.5 points this season and was second in the county. His 37-point night against Davie in December was the biggest scoring outburst anyone had this season. Clark topped 20 points in nine of his first 10 outings, but he drew a lot of defensive attention in the second half of the season and cooled off a bit.

Chaz McCombs, West, 6-5 Sr. — His competitive presence made a big difference in West’s level of physicality and intensity. He finished strong for the North Piedmont Conference tournament champs, averaging 17 points in West’s last six games. Averaged 13.4 points and 7.2 boards for the season.

 

SECOND TEAM

Javon Smith, Carson, 5-10 Jr. — Poured in a career-high 32 points in a late-season loss to South Iredell. Smith averaged 14.7 points and also created scoring opportunities for teammates. West Rowan focused on stopping Carson shooters EJ Clark and AJ Mauldin, and Smith scored 51 in two games with the Falcons.

AJ Mauldin, Carson, 6-0 Jr. — A great shooter, he topped 20 points 10 times and had a career-best 31 against Statesville. He averaged 16.4 points, fourth in the county, and is a certain 1,000-point scorer as a senior.

Denerio Robinson, North, 6-5 Sr. — Robinson had scored 94 points in his varsity career, but he scored 276 as a senior (9.2 per game) and was North’s most consistent player from start to finish. He scored 22 in the Yadkin Valley Conference Tournament championship game and his buzzer-beater won the Cavaliers’ first-round playoff game.

Nate Brown, Salisbury, 6-5 Jr. — Salisbury’s No. 2 scorer with 10.7 points per game and rebounded well. He made the game-winner when Salisbury knocked off Central Carolina Conference co-champ Lexington.

Vincent Jones, East, 6-1 Jr. — Jones scored in double figures in seven of East’s last 10 games, including a career-high 19 against West Rowan. He had a string of double-doubles in NPC games.

Jalon Walker, Salisbury, 6-3 Soph. — Walker didn’t score much, but he was such a force on the boards and on the defensive end that he’s received All-CCC honors.

HONORABLE MENTION

Macari Allison, West, 6-3 Jr. — A very good shooter, he led the Falcons with 14 points in the playoff loss to Parkland and had 24 in a win against North Iredell. He averaged 10.9 points.
Quashawn Carpenter, North, 5-9 Soph. — Had two impressive 20-point outings down the stretch, including one in the second-round playoff win against North Stokes. Averaged 8.4 points.
Xaviar “Zay” Davis, North, 5-8 Jr. — Focused on being a defensive stopper down the stretch and didn’t score as much as he had earlier in the season. Athletic, tough and strong, he averaged 8.5 points.
Cameron Stout, Salisbury, 6-1 Soph. — Scored in double figures 12 times. The zone-buster topped 20 points twice. He averaged 9.9 points.
Kendrell Goodes, North, 6-5 Jr. —Had some huge games, scoring 20-plus three times. Averaged 8.1 points and hit the boards.
Gavin Sprinkle, East, 6-0 Jr. — Dangerous shooter scored in double figures 10 times and averaged 9.2 points.
Brenden Finger, South, 6-3 Sr. — Finger was a big factor in all four games that South won.

ALL-CLASS OF 2020

Kesler, Clark, McCombs, Robinson, Finger

ALL-CLASS OF 2021

Moss, Graham, Smith, Mauldin, Brown

ALL-CLASS OF 2022

White, Walker, Carpenter, Stout, Cameron Padgett (East)

TOP FRESHMAN

Dylan Valley (East)

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