Vote for the Charlotte Observer high school athletes of the week (01.21.22)

·7 min read

Meet the nominees for the Charlotte Observer’s high school athletes of the week.

Readers can vote as often as they want until Friday, around noon, when the polls will close.

Boys’ Basketball

Tylier Barksdale, East Rutherford: The 5-foot-11 junior averaged 17 points, five assists and two steals per game as East Rutherford beat Polk County, while losing to Burns and R.S. Central.

Barksdale had nine points and six assists in an 88-53 loss at R.S. Central Jan. 11.

He also had 20 points, three assists and three steals in a 71-57 loss to Burns.

Barksdale finished off the week with 22 points, six assists and two steals in a 95-64 win over Polk County.

Barksdale is averaging 12.5 points, 3.2 assists and 1.8 steals per game for East Rutherford (5-10).

Drew Bean, East Lincoln: The 6-foot-1 senior had 25 points, four assists and five rebounds to lead East Lincoln to a 72-70 overtime victory at rival, Lincolnton Jan. 12.

Bean was 8-for-11 from the field, 8-for-9 from the free throw line, had three steals, a block and took two charges in the same game.

Bean also had a team-high 12 points in a 68-66 win over North Iredell in a game that gave the Mustangs (14-2) sole possession of first-place in the Western Foothills’ 3A conference.

Bean is averaging 15.9 points per game for East Lincoln.

Micah Gilbert, Charlotte Christian: The 6-foot-4 sophomore nearly quadrupled his season-average with 25 points, eight rebounds and one assist to help Charlotte Christian to a 80-76 win at Cannon School Jan. 13.

He also had nine points, two rebounds, three assists and three steals in a 63-40 victory at Covenant Day Jan. 11.

Gilbert is averaging 7.4 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.7 steals per game for Charlotte Christian (11-8).

Evan Smith, Ardrey Kell: The 6-foot-3 senior averaged 18 points per game on 16-of-22 shooting to help Ardrey Kell to wins over Berry and Olympic.

Smith had 18 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals in a 57-46 win over Olympic Jan. 11.

He also had 18 points, six rebounds and four assists in a 69-48 victory at Berry Jan. 14.

Smith, a West Point (Army) commit, is averaging 15.9 points 5.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game for Ardrey Kell (12-3).

Kayin Thompson, Concord: The 6-foot-4 junior double his season scoring average with 25 points, 10 rebounds and five assists to lead Concord to a 71-56 win at Carson Jan. 10.

The game was a continuation of a contest that started, Dec. 17, but was cut short by nine minutes and 10 seconds because of a power outage.

Thompson is averaging 11 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game for Concord (12-2).

C.J. Wilson, Cox Mill: The 5-foot-9 senior had a career-high 30 points to go with seven rebounds and six assists to lead Cox Mill to a an 85-66 win over Hickory Ridge, Jan. 14.

Wilson is averaging 15 points per game for Cox Mill (10-5).

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Girls’ Basketball

Griselda “Grizz” Callejas, Mooresville: The 5-foot-5 senior was a perfect 9-for-9 from the field, including 7-for-7 from the three-point line, scoring 25 points to go with eight rebounds, five assists and four steals to lead Mooresville to a 68-50 win over Statesville Jan. 10.

Kaylee Carson, Independence: The 5-foot-8 sophomore averaged 24.7 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals per game as Independence beat Butler, Legion Collegiate (SC) and Rocky River.

Carson started her week with 25 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and five steals in a 70-22 win at Rocky River Jan. 11.

She followed that up with a double-double, including 25 points and 10 boards, in a 74-56 victory over Butler Jan. 14.

Carson had 24 points, four rebounds and three assists in a 56-42 win over Legion Collegiate in the “She Got Game Classic” Jan. 15.

Carson is averaging 19.8 points per game for Independence (12-3).

Bailee Goodlett, North Rowan: The 5-foot-5 sophomore averaged 15 points per game as North Rowan beat Community School of Davidson and Lexington, while losing to Salisbury.

Goodlett had 12 points in a 52-28 victory over Lexington Jan. 11.

She also had 21 points, eight steals, and five assists in a 68-30 win over Community School of Davidson Jan. 13.

Goodlett had 12 points, four steals and four assists in a 66-42 loss at Salisbury Jan. 15.

Goodlett is averaging 20 points, five steals and four assists per game for North Rowan (11-4).

Samyha Suffren, Cannon School: The 5-foot-7 junior averaged 19.5 points, 4.5 assists, three rebounds and two steals per game as Cannon School beat Charlotte Christian and Providence Day.

Suffren had 16 points, four assists, two rebounds, a steal and the game-winning free throws with 2.9 seconds in a 46-45 win at Providence Day Jan. 11.

She also had 23 points, five assists, four rebounds and three steals in a 77-38 victory over Charlotte Christian Jan. 13.

Suffren, a Virginia Tech commit, is averaging 16.5 points and 6.9 rebounds per game for a Cannon School team (12-6) that has won six straight games.

Mia Xerras, Myers Park: The 5-foot-6 junior averaged 16 points and six assists per game as Myers Park beat Olympic, Providence and South Mecklenburg.

Xerras had 22 points, including six three-pointers, to go with five assists and four rebounds in a 65-29 win over South Mecklenburg Jan. 11.

She also had 14 points, six assists and three rebounds in a 61-42 win at Olympic Jan. 14.

The next day, Xerras had 12 points and seven assists to lead Myers Park to a 57-42 victory over Providence.

Xerras is averaging 13 points and three assists per game for a Myers Park team (12-5) that has won five straight games.

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Jacob Cox, South Rowan wrestling: The Raiders’ senior won the 138-pound title at the Battle at the Rock Tournament at Rocky River High Jan. 15, to extend his win-streak to 72 matches in a row dating back to Jan. 11, 2020.

Cox, who also excels in the classroom with a 4.65 grade-point average, is a perfect 28-0.

Molly Donlan, South Mecklenburg swimming: The Sabres’ junior won all four events she competed in to help South Mecklenburg (8-2) to a two-point victory over rival, Ardrey Kell, at Providence Jan. 12.

Donlan, a Duke University commit, won the 100 backstroke, the 100 butterfly and helped both the 200 and 400 freestyle relays to victory at the same meet.

Kyle Hawkins, Lake Norman Charter swimming: The Knights’ junior won all four events he competed in to help Lake Norman Charter to a victory over South Rowan at the South Rowan YMCA Jan. 11.

Hawkins won the 100 butterfly (1:01.76), the 200 freestyle (1:59.13), while helping both the 200 medley relay (1:49.62) and 200 freestyle relay (1:39.66) to victories at the same meet.

Luke Heglar, East Rowan wrestling: The Mustangs’ senior went 6-0 on the mat at 120 pounds this week with five pins.

Heglar is 31-1 overall.

** Information published today includes statistics through Jan. 15.

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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