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Britt coach, Smith standout ready for teamwork in Carolinas Classic all-star game


Jack Britt boys’ basketball coach Ike Walker Jr. and E.E. Smith standout James Scott will be in Wilmington this weekend to take part in the annual Carolinas Classic, pitting a team of North Carolina high school all-stars against their South Carolina counterparts.

For Walker, it will be his second time as a coach in the game. He was the North Carolina assistant coach five years ago but will be serving as head coach this time around.

The game will be played at Wilmington’s John T. Hoggard High School. Play will begin with the girls’ Carolinas Classic at 3 p.m. Saturday with the boys immediately following.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and children.

Athletes of the Week: Terry Sanford golfer, Cape Fear pitcher.

Walker is hopeful his all-star coaching experience will help him deal with the challenges that preparing a team for this kind of competition creates.

“We have three practices before we play,’’ he said. “The biggest thing in a short period of time is getting them to buy into playing together and understanding that as all-stars, the best way for them to represent their state, school, family and themselves is to play together and put aside that notion in an all-star game that you’re playing glorified pickup ball.’’

Walker said in the short time the team will be together, he wants to convince them that they can make the extra pass, play defense and take extra pride in the way they play.

He’s counting on the fact the players he chose for the game come from good programs with good coaches and are going to go at it the right way.

That’s the kind of play he’s expecting from Scott, a player he’s been familiar with since the current Golden Bull was a sophomore at Seventy-First.

“You could tell then he had a chance to be good,’’ Walker said of the 6-foot-10 Scott. “He’s a good defender who finishes well around the basket.’’

Last November, Scott signed a national letter of intent to play for Charleston, which went 31-4 this season and won the Colonial Athletic Association conference tournament.

Scott sparked Smith to a 26-4 record and the state Eastern Regional finals. He led the All-American Conference in scoring with 22.5 points per game and rebounding at 12.9.

“He’s a young man we feel will help us defend the paint and get easy buckets in transition,’’ Walker said.

Scott has played against Walker’s Britt teams.

“I know what his principles are and what he likes to do,’’ Scott said.

He agrees with Walker on the key to coming together quickly.

“Everybody comes from different high schools, different systems,’’ Scott said. “We’ve got to get everybody on the same page in the same system.’’

Scott thinks the key to victory Saturday is simple: “Whoever picks up and connects well together will be the team that’s going to win," he said.

Earl’s Pearls

  • Two Cumberland County basketball standouts, Terry Sanford’s Miya Giles-Jones and South View’s Naveah Colon, took part in the 4BB Classic, two all-star basketball games held at Charlotte’s Independence High School last weekend. 

Colon played in the Unsigned Senior Game, and Giles-Jones played in the All-Star Classic. Colon scored 4 points in helping lead the Purple Unsigned Senior team to a 74-56 win over the White team.

Giles-Jones scored 7 points for the All-Star Purple team, which fell to the White team 75-69.

  • Jayda Angel of Cape Fear has been named to the All-State basketball first team selected by the N.C. Basketball Coaches Association.

Angel led the United 8 Conference in scoring with 29.3 points per game. She was named Player of the Year in the United 8.

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Cumberland County, Fayetteville, sports, basketball, E.E. Smith High School, Jack Britt High School