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PREP SPOTLIGHT: Mountain Heritage

031419-Susie Shelton

Mountain Heritage girls basketball head coach Susie Shelton (third from left) poses with fellow girls basketball coaches at the NCHSAA press conference March 12.

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By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector

Thursday, March 14, 2019

The 2-A girls state championship final Saturday at Reynolds Coliseum will include two undefeated one-seeds battling for the title of champion, Farmville Central and Mountain Heritage. Cougars head coach Susie Shelton sat down with preps beat writer Jake Keator Tuesday morning at the NCHSAA press conference in Durham to talk about her team’s season and preparing to face the Jaguars. 

Q: Your team enters the game with a 28-0 overall record. What has this season been like for you and your squad?

A: “It’s been fun for one thing. The kids have enjoyed it. Sometimes with teams it’s a struggle, but with this team it has been very relaxed. They have embraced everything, and the record isn’t something we have talked about, it just happened. We lost in the regional final last year and graduated a lot of talent, so this season there wasn’t a lot of expectations. 

Q: How would you describe your team’s style of play? 

A: “We like to push the ball if we can, but we get on the half-court set and run some offensive sets. We like to play man-to-man and we like to play fast-paced. We sub and rotate in a lot.”

Q: That style of defense seems to be keen to creating turnovers and making plays in transition. Is that the ultimate goal?

A: We like that first because it’s easy, but if not we can settle down in go into our half-court sets. Going into Saturday, we are playing an athletic, quick team so they may cancel some of that out. We’ll just have to see what happens. 

Q: FC enjoys playing a tight, aggressive zone defense. How do you game plan to try and beat that?

A: “We’ve seen some film. They do like to pressure you with the zone. They extend their zone out a lot further than other teams. We’re gonna have to be smart, not panic and hopefully have a little bit of a thought process. We need to go to our spots, do our jobs. If we cant break the press, we can’t beat them.”

Q: Your side holds a bit more experience on its roster in comparison to the Jaguars. Do you believe that could play an important role at some point? 

A: “It can, and I hope it does. Last Saturday, I think experience played to our advantage because Forbush was a very young team, and I think in the end experience helped us. We haven’t been on a state level with this team, so we don’t know how they’ll react.”

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Pitt County has firmly placed itself as one of the premier locations in tradition-rich North Carolina for high school basketball. Just take a look at the three teams that competed for state championships Saturday night.

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March 17, 2019

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March 16, 2019

RALEIGH — Standing at the free throw line with his team leading Forest Hills by almost 20 points on Saturday night in Reynolds Coliseum, Farmville Central star Justin Wright knew he and his team were just minutes away from their second state championship in four seasons.

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March 16, 2019

RALEIGH — South Central’s boys’ basketball team turned the NCHSAA 4-A state championship game into a blowout, leading the entire contest against West Charlotte and finishing a 72-46 victory.

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March 16, 2019

RALEIGH — As the clock moved closer and closer to zeros Saturday afternoon in Reynolds Coliseum, the smiles on the faces of coaches and players for the South Central boys’ basketball team got wider and wider.

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