February 18, 2010
As a reporter I am glad there were no upsets in the opening round of the CFV girls' conference Tourney.
That means tonight at Union Pines, four teams will hit the court all with a reasonably strong chance of taking the whole tournament.
Often times in high school league tournaments, you have one or two teams that enjoy a legitimate chance at winning the crown. Such is not the case in the Cape Fear Valley.
Union Pines, Westover, Overhills and Western Harnett are all currently ranked in the Xcellent Top 25 3A girls' hoops rankings (conducted by Maxpreps' Freeman rankings.)
The top seeded Vikings (18-5) are currently ranked 16th in the state and have climbed 24 spots in the last week and a half. Second seed Westover (16-5) is ranked 14th, while third-seeded Overhills (20-4) is No. 12. Western Harnett (19-6), the fourth seed, is ranked 22nd.
Overhills and Westover take the floor first at 6 p.m., having split their regular season series. Overhills won the first meeting 65-63 at Westover, while Westover then went to Overhills and won 60-59...
So yeah this should be a good one, (especially since both teams feature a marquee all-region caliber player well worthy of all-state recognition.)
Overhills' senior Felicia Bennett, a multiple year all-conference selection, is averaging a double-double on the season at 15.2 points and 11.8 rebounds per game (two of her teammates are also averaging double figures in scoring.) She is shooting 47% from the field, while averaging 3 steals and 2.8 assists per outing.
Westover forward Chante' Bell is also worthy of all-region consideration. While I do not have her season stats, I can tell you she has scored over 22 points several times, and averaged 23.5 points against Union Pines in the regular season. She also has a knack for pilfering the pill and is a serious outside threat.
The second semi-final is being billed as MOSLEY vs BURSEY III.
In their schools' first two meetings of the season, the pair of players delivered dazzling duels to lead their teams in the trenches. However Union Pines got the series sweep.
In a tilt that featured an epic battle during the schools' first contest, Union Pines collected a critical 62-50 victory on the road. Mosley scored a team-high 25 points, while finishing with six rebounds, five assists and three steals that night. Meanwhile, Bursey, scored a game-high 26 points, while tallying 8 rebounds, six assists and four steals.
The rematch was more of the same. Union Pines won 52-47 on its home court, while Mosley finished the night with 28 points, 8 rebounds and four assists, and Bursey had 28 points, eleven rebounds, six steals and four assists.
Ariel Bursey, a junior point guard, was last season's CFV MVP and an all-region selection, while Mosley, Union Pines' star senior guard, was an all-state selection last year and finished runner-up in the league MVP voting.
Bursey carries averages per game of 27.3 points, 12.4 rebounds, 3.7 steals and 2.6 assists into tonight's tilt.
Meanwhile Mosley, the front-runner for the league MVP this season, is coming off a 32-point outing, in which she sank 9 three pointers. She has connected on 53 of her last 84 shots from downtown for a percentage of 63.1
She is currently averaging 20.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 2.3 blocks and 2.2 steals per game.
Needless to say, I think tonight girls' double-feature rivals any across the state in terms of the highest caliber of competitiveness, overall depth of teams, and collective quality of first rate players.