Vote for The Charlotte Observer girls athlete of the week (02.03.23)

Here are this week’s nominees for The Charlotte Observer girls high school athlete of the week.

Readers can vote as often as they want for their favorite. The poll closes Friday.

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This week’s nominees

Mackenzie Basinger, Draughn Wrestling: The Wildcats’ sophomore went 3-1 with three pins to finish third-place at 235 pounds at the N.C. Girls’ Western Regional at North Henderson High Jan. 26.

Basinger qualified for the state championships with her regional finish.

Betsey Burnett, South Mecklenburg Basketball: The 5-foot-8 senior scored 20 points, had five rebounds and five steals in a 73-26 win at Berry Jan. 24.

Burnett, a Johnson C. Smith University commit, is averaging 13.8 points, 3.6 assists, 2.7 steals and 2.4 rebounds per game for a South Mecklenburg team (16-4) that has won seven consecutive games this season.

Kay Decker, Cox Mill Basketball: The 5-foot-9 senior scored 31 points and had five steals to lead Cox Mill to a 61-55 win over West Cabarrus Jan. 24.

Decker also scored seven points, had five rebounds and four steals in a 44-23 win at A.L. Brown Jan. 27.

Decker is averaging 16 points, five rebounds, four steals and three assists per game for Cox Mill (12-8) this season.

Grace East, Piedmont Charter Basketball: The 5-foot-6 senior scored 31 points, surpassing 1,000 points in her career, to go with seven assists and four steals to lead Piedmont Charter to a 68-27 win at Sugar Creek Charter Jan. 27.

East also scored 21 points and had five steals and four assists in a 70-6 victory over Carolina International Jan. 24.

East poured in 29 points, had seven steals, three assists and two blocks in a 46-33 win at Cramerton Christian Jan. 23.

East is averaging 23.5 points, seven steals, 3.1 assists and three rebounds per game for a Piedmont Charter (14-6) with seven straight victories this season.

Leah Edwards, East Rowan Wrestling: The Mustangs’ sophomore went 4-0 to win the Midwest Regional title at 114 pounds at A.L. Brown Jan. 26.

Edwards, who is 38-2 overall this season, was named the Midwest Regional’s most outstanding wrestler for her efforts.

Sheree Gidney, Hickory Ridge Basketball: The 5-foot-10 junior recorded a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds in a 73-47 win at Mooresville Jan. 24.

Gidney scored 10 points and had four rebounds in a 70-29 victory over South Iredell Jan. 27.

Gidney is averaging 10 points, seven rebounds and two assists per game for a Hickory Ridge team (15-3) that has won six straight games.

Jeulenea Khang, Freedom Wrestling: The Patriots’ senior won the N.C. Western Regional title at 100 pounds, going 3-0 with three pins in her championship run at North Henderson High Jan. 26.

Khang was voted the Western Regionals’ most outstanding wrestler for her efforts.

Kailyn Kilpatrick, Lake Norman Charter Basketball: The 5-foot-9 senior scored 18 points to go with three rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks in a 63-25 win over Carson Jan. 24.

Kilpatrick followed that up with a career-high 23 points, six rebounds, one assist and one block in a 64-35 victory at East Rowan Jan. 27.

Kilpatrick is averaging 10.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, two assists, 1.6 blocks and 2.4 steals per game for Lake Norman Charter (12-6) this season.

Jaida McClure, Providence Day Basketball: The 5-foot-9 freshman scored 11 points, had six rebounds, three assists and three steals in a 52-12 win at Charlotte Country Day Jan. 24.

McClure also scored nine points, grabbed seven rebounds, five steals and three assists in a 42-21 win over Charlotte Latin Jan. 27.

The next day, McClure scored seven points, had four rebounds, three assists and two steals in a 49-46 win at Winston-Salem Christian (No. 3 in the state, according to

McClure is averaging 10 points, five rebounds, three steals and three assists per game for Providence Day (18-5) this season.

Hailey McFadden, East Lincoln Basketball: The 6-foot-2 sophomore scored 16 points to go with five rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block in a 65-23 victory over Statesville, Jan. 24.

McFadden also scored 12 points, had seven rebounds, four steals and one block in an 81-12 win at West Iredell Jan. 27.

McFadden is averaging 10.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.3 blocks per game an East Lincoln team that is still perfect at 20-0 this season.

Jaida McGrew, Mountain Island Charter Indoor Track: The Raptors’ sophomore ran a personal and school record 7.23 to win the 55-meter dash at the Catawba Shores’ conference championships at the JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem Jan. 26.

McGrew also ran a personal and school record 42.77 to finish as runner-up in the 300-meter dash at the conference championships.

McGrew also helped the Raptors’ 4 X 200-meter relay to a conference title, while the Mountain Island Charter girls’ team also won the league championship at the same meet.

Kate Willette, Charlotte Christian Indoor Track: The Knights’ freshman ran a personal-best 3:09.70 to finish as runner-up in the 1000-meter run at Providence Day’s “Turn Up the Heat,” meet, Jan. 24.

Willette also ran a personal and school record 11:21.18 to finish seventh-place in the 3200-meter run at the Mondo Elite Invitational at the JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem Jan. 27.

** Information published today includes statistics through Jan. 28.

If you want to nominate an athlete?: Athletes of the week highlights high school players with outstanding performances. The goal is to recognize all athletes in all sports, both the most accomplished and the underrated or underappreciated players. If you want to suggest someone to be included in the Athletes of the week column, send email to Jay Edwards at Please include the athletes’ name, school, class and applicable game performance statistics. Coaches must be willing to verify information.

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