N-C’s Cornwell, 2 Freedom stars lead
West girls in July game in Greensboro
By CHRIS HOBBS
GREENSBORO – The West All-Star girls’ basketball game will have a familiar look for Greater Hickory fans in a battle against the East on July 20.
The West head coach, Brad Mangum of West Caldwell, filled four of his 10 roster spots with players from area leagues.
The roster features Newton-Conover center Chyna Cornwell, Watauga shooting guard Brooke Byrd and Freedom teammates Blaikley Crooks (shooting guard) and Josie Hise (guard).
Two boys’ players from area leagues made the West roster of head coach Sonny Schofield (Statesville) – Hibriten forward Avery Keller and East Lincoln post Justin Kuthan.
COMPLETE ROSTERS: http://www.eastwestallstars.com/basketball_rosters.aspx
Cornwell, who has signed with Rutgers, led Newton-Conover to a 29-2 record and a West 2A title (the Red Devils were then declared state co-champions with Farmville Central when the championship game was cancelled by the coronavirus pandemic.
She averaged 26.2 points and 16.7 rebounds, shooting 75 percent from the field, to follow a junior season of 28.3 points per game with 20.5 rebounds.
Cornwell has been named the state’s player of the year in girls’ basketball. She finished her career with more than 2,000 points and 2,000 rebounds.
Byrd (5-foot-9) led Watauga to an 18-9 record by averaging 10.5 points and 5.4 rebounds last season to finish a four-year career as a starter with averages of 8.8 points and 3.3 rebounds.
Freedom went 29-1 last season with Crooks (5-foot-10), an Lenoir-Rhyne University signee, averaging 15.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.4 steals.
Hise added 15.4 points and four rebounds for the Patriots, also adding 2.7 steals per game.
Mangum just completed his eighth season as a head coach – three at West Caldwell and previously two at Fred T. Foard and three at Alexander Central.
The Warriors — hit hard by enough injuries that they did not play their first game until Dec. 27 — went 3-16 last season. They are 15-54 since Mangum became head coach.
Mangum spent two years at Foard (32-21 record) and then three years (70-17) at Alexander Central before moving to Lenoir-Rhyne University as an assistant coach. His career prep record is 117-92.
Keller, a 6-foot-4 forward, helped Hibriten go 24-4 last season. He averaged 16.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists, playing for his dad (Chad), a former East Tennessee State player.
Kuthan, who is 6-6, led East Lincoln to a 24-5 record by averaging 20.6 points and 12.3 rebounds. He was the District 10 Player of the Year as selected by the North Carolina Basketball Coaches Association (NCBCA) and will play at Roanoke (Va.), an NCAA Division III school.
Statesville won a North Piedmont 3A regular-season title under Schofield, going 19-7.