Return of the Top Ten players

Posted by Andy Durham on February 23, 2009 at 11:22 am under High School | 29 Comments to Read

As of today, here’s one Top Ten for you and we must break this down into a Top Five and then a second team.

Boy’s Top Five:
1)Jay Canty-Ragsdale
2)PJ Hairston-Dudley
3)Julius Brooks-Page
4)Javan Mitchell-Greensboro Day School
5)Michael Neal-Northern Guilford

Second Five:
1)Keith Manley(Grimsley)
2)Jonathan Frye(Northern)
3)Jay Lewis(GDS)
4)Mitchell Oates(Page)
5)Tony Washington(High Point Andrews)

Players not picked by position…Just a Top Ten, not in any particular order of ability. How can you leave two McDonald’s All American nominees off of the First Team(Brooks and Mitchell)? Neal gets the nod over Frye for first-team honors because of his overall team leadership. You have to have someone on this team from High Point Andrews. HPA (21-4) and unbeaten in the Piedmont Triad 3-A Conference.

Joe Barile’s Top Ten:
First team
Jay Canty(RHS) SF
PJ Hairston(DHS) PG
Julius Brooks(Page) C
Jay Lewis(GDS) SG
Keith Manley(GHS) PF

Second team
Carter Gourley(GHS)SG
Johnathan Frye(NG) SF
Javan Mitchell(GDS) C
Jacob Lawson(NG) PF
Mitchell Oates(PAGE) PG

We were talking about this last Monday and then our attention turned toward other directions and now we need to take time to head back to the Top Ten area high school basketball players.

Over the next couple of weeks we are going to have to come up with our Player of the Year(boys and girls) and our Coaches of the Year.

This is fast becoming one of the most read sports sites in the state and we need to keep hitting the hot buttons and continue bringing the most current news and topics available.

Players of the Year and Coaches of the Year; we will get back to those later, but for now, let’s see if we can nail down that Top Ten.

Did anyone see or hear about what had to be the defensive play of the year in last Friday night’s Northern-Dudley game? It happened when PJ Hairston blocked either Lawson of McCain’s shot, and PJ pinned the shot between the rim and the backboard. The thud block with the ball stuck in the space between the rim and the glass. The kind of block we used to make during our games on the eight-foot goals……. Anybody see that one??????

Girl’s Top Five:
1)Dorian McInnis-Ragsdale
2)Helen Terry-Dudley
3)Gretchen Bennett-Northwest Guilford
4)Miranda Jenkins-Eastern Guilford
5)Paris Alston-Southeast Guilford

Second Five:
1)Brianna Patterson-Dudley
2)Capricia Smalls-Eastern
3)Chevena Pickard-Page
4)Lisa Archie-Ragsdale
5)Lekendra Wilkerson-Smith

  • Tom said,

    I was at the game and was sitting right near the basket. It wasn’t as impressive as you would think. He got while Jacob was on the way up. What was impressive is the height that PJ gets on his jump shoot. Also, his range is incredible. He is a big time talent. On a par with the block was the pick that PJ received from Lawson. He went down like a ton of bricks. To PJ’s credit, he got up and shook it off in a couple of minutes. I must restate that this was a great game between 2 great teams. I saw that somebody was complaining about the officiating, but I thought that it was called consistently. Both teams had approximately the same number of fouls and I didn’t think either team had an advantage. Northern’s gains an advantage because they are much bigger in the middle. Lawson and McCain can reall control the boards.

  • Tom said,

    I don’ see enough of the boy’s to come up with a top 10, but here is my list for the girl’s.

    Girl’s Top Five:
    1)Dorian McInnis-Ragsdale
    2)Helen Terry-Dudley
    3)Gretchen Bennett-Northwest Guilford
    4)Samantha Coffer-Northern Guilford
    5)Paris Alston-Southeast Guilford

    Second Five:
    1)Brianna Patterson-Dudley
    2)Miranda Jenkins-Eastern Guilford
    3)Chevena Pickard-Page
    4)Lisa Archie-Ragsdale
    5)Melissa Foures-Northwest Guilford

  • Nighthawk Fans said,

    Jacob Lawson has to be on there ahead of Gourley, Manley, Oates, Mitchell, Lewis and Brooks. I know you want to have some more names from different teams but you’ve got to be kidding me!

  • Matt said,

    Coach Kowalewski-Coach of Year
    Michael Neal-Top Offensive Player
    Jacob Lawson-Top Defensive Player

    Northern Guilford has the best chance to win the State Championship
    Go Nighthawks!

  • hm said,


  • NE Rams '79 said,

    Matt you have got to be kidding. Just from a neutral perspective, the coach for Northern needs to get a better grip on his team or they will soon find themselves with many enemies around this area and maybe across the state. Those guys look like they were playing street ball with the shoving, forearms to the face and elbows being thrown in the conf. championship game. I thought it was a good championship game but could have been much better if the refs had gotten control of things and cut out the extracurriculars.

  • that dude said,

    NE rams
    dont get mad just because Northern kicked yalls ass

  • zack said,

    what about jordan weethee

  • daddy o said,

    Derek Grant is playing GREAT for HPC, he’s so under the radar. Check it out. He ain’t blowing the place up, but he is a consistant work horse helping his young team crawl back up from the ashes of last years mess.

  • the mouthpiece said,

    NE Rams
    You have a valid point. I would not just limit those comments to Northern. I believe all coaches need to reign in the unnecessary Physical play of their players. I have watched several games this year at the high school and middle school level (boy’s and girl’s), and this type of play is seems to be universally encouraged and expected. I had one coach tell me “we’ll do whatever it takes to gain an advantage”. I think good and consistant officiating can clean up some of it, but the officiating has been very inconsistant to say the least. I was very surprised when the Girl’s game is just as bad as the boy’s. The game of basketball can and should be a beautiful competition. If you take all the excessive physical antics out of the northern and dudley game last week, it would have been a beautiful game of chess played by a group of very talented players with two good coaches calling the next move!

  • fan95 said,

    Tom are you kidding? The block was impressive! Nearly the entire gym came to it’s feet after PJ’s block. As far as the pick it was cleary a dirty play on Lawson part he extended his elbow and caught PJ in the face. Lawson cleary was pissed his shot got block on what he thought was an easy dunk. Yes officiating was terrible in both the girls and boys games. In the boys game it was the timing on of calls that help propel Northern to a win. For the time I have lived in the area Dudley always seem to get the short of the stick when it comes to calls…………………. Lawson let’s see his father had a very good reason to send his son to Northern if you guys catch my drift……….. I’m sure you guys here the talks.

  • Tom said,

    The officiating was not good, but it was consistent. Both teams had about the same number of fouls. To say that Dudley gets the short end of the stick is ridiculous. Dudley plays a very aggressive brand of ball and sometimes fouls will occur. I have always thought that Dudley gets away with a lot more reaching, hand checks, etc.. than any other team. How could they get the short end of the stick when they win almost every game they play? Everybody thinks that their team gets abused by the refs. It is part of being a fan of a team. Do you think that the Dudley coach should have been tossed after he wouldn’t return to the bench after his first technical. I thought the refs showed a lot of restraint by not giving him the second T.
    As far as the block, it was impressive because of the result. The ball gets stuck in the rim. The fans reaction was awesome, but that kind of block occurs when you get the ball on the way up. All of the other things that PJ does are much more impressive than that block.

  • fan95 said,

    Let’s see I never said I was a Dudley fan! Again the officiating was bad but it was the timing of the calls. I can’t blame Coach Price for having that reaction. To address your question no Coach Price should not have been ejected under the circumstances of what was going on. The refs knew they were doing a terrible job and that is why they should so much patience. Do you think Lawson should have been ejected for the dirty play on PJ? I have the video of the game. Do you want to see the replay of the dirty play? Again I stand by my statements yes although Dudley wins most of its games they still get the short end of the stick from the refs. So many of Dudley games are well over by time the 4th quarter start so the calls don’t impact as much. But in the close games i have watched Dudley play quite often when Dudleys play agasint teams like Northern they get shorted with the calls………. Hey i’m not here to argue back forth with you Tom i’m just stating what I feel. Hey maybe i’m looking at this thing wrong. Not taking anything away from Norhern because they have a good team but let the players decide the outcome of the game.

  • fan95 said,

    Tom what about the Lawson family situation being set off? The word on the street is that he had very good reason to come to Northern as in mony $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  • IcherishHSFB said,


    I have been saying this for a couple of weeks on this board. There is BIG $$$$$$ involved here and Lawson is NOT the only one………..nuff said! The way Northern plays you might as well hand them the state title now if they haven’t already “paid” fo it…….I wonder who they have paid off at NCH$AA???

  • ghs said,


    I agree it is big money being throwed around @ Northern. Might as well call them
    “The University of Northern at Guilford”…………..
    McCain played at Page last year…….
    Lawson well we know his story. He is from Yanceyville right? His father got Paid!!!!!!
    Frye played at Ragsdale
    Not sure about the rest of the players but heck that is 3 ouf 5 Starters.
    I know every school in the county probably has players not in the schools district but what Northern is doing is flat out recruiting and throwing money around to win Championships. Northern really should be playing private schools like Mt. Zion, Word of God, Oak Hill etc.

  • Tom said,

    I have no idea about any of those matters. I just watch and enjoy the games. Kids moving around Guilford County to play at different schools is getting to be old news. From the responses on this blog, it sounds like this has been going on for a long time. As far as the $$$, this sounds like conspiracy theories. If this was the case, I would imagine that something would have already been done.

  • ghs said,

    Tom why do you think so many players are going to Northern? Can’t be for the prestige or legacy, Can’t be for Academics, Can’t be because they grew up in Northern’s district. Is all about the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  • Jim said,

    Michael Neal – 3 pts last night and you got him on first team? Was he hurt?

    J. Brooks- 0 pts last game, 1st team? good playa but too inconsistent. He should dominate every game but cant for some reason. missed 2 dunks last night.

  • Consistant said,

    Grant, HPC, 18 last night, 17 the game before, always guarding the other teams best players and holding their numbers down, rebounds, steals and assist…..Offense and defense, isn’t that what makes a good player?

  • Andy said,

    Julius Brooks had 17 points last night. I was at his game and he belongs…..

    Michael Neal didn’t have to score points for Northern last night. Frye and Lawson got plenty and Neal played like Steve Blake, the former Maryland Terrapin who had 14 assists in the first quarter of an NBA game the other night.

    The problem with Grant is that HPC doesn’t have enough quality wins.

    Brooks and Oates with Page, Mitchell/Lewis-GDS, Canty-Ragsdale, Hairston-Dudley, Neal and Frye-NG, Washington-HPA, and Manley of Grimsley just beat HPC in the Metro last week. All have won big games and that adds up to Quality Wins.

    HPC needs more quality wins that would have them on top of the Metro and Grant would have his spot. Grant is a good one, I saw him against Grimsley last Wednesday and he does a good job as wideout in football too.

  • jim said,

    Let me clarify- Conference championship game vs Grimsley last Friday night- Goose egg(0 points).

    Missed 2 easy dunks last night.

    Neal-3pts in playoff game not worthy in my book.

  • Andy said,

    You bring up some very good points and it seems to me and the numbers will probably bear me out that Julius tends to struggle against Grimsley for some reason. He gets into foul trouble and never gets to play 20-25 minutes let only 30 minutes.

    I think for Julius it might be the fact that he is going up against his arch-rival in Grimsley and he wants it so bad that he is over-playing and getting himself caught out of position and thus into foul trouble and then it’s time to hit the bench.

    With Julius and Brandon Pennix of Dudley you have to get them off early and feed them the ball down low on the blocks and let them use the board to score as they get inside space. You have to get them into it in first few minutes of the game or you can’t count on being able to go that way in crunch time. The same can be said for Javan Mitchell and Jacob Lawson. Got to get it to them early and let them get established down low and use that heighth advantage.

    Page did that against Jay Robinson HS last night and it didn’t come easy, but eventually the shots started falling.

    Julius is a senior and that helps keep him in the top five too….

    And another thing to consider is the fact that Bobby Cremins from the College of Charleston was at the game scouting Julius in person last Friday and that may have caused Julius to be pressing and trying a little too hard to make something happen and sometimes when you do that, as we all know, you end up getting nothing.

    As for Neal, I didn’t even have him in my Top Ten earlier in the year. Frye and Lawson were way ahead of him. Then I started to check in on his numbers and they were very good for the most part and he is the engine that runs that Northern team. If Lawson gets in foul trouble then Christian McCain can carry you inside till Lawson can come back in and if Frye is out, you can turn to Dylan Berry or John McBeth to help you with the three’s……

    Asad Lamont and Neal are inter-changeable in some ways at the point, but Neal has really carried this team to where they are today…..The point guard runs the show and we will have to wait and look at all the final numbers before we make this Top Ten team rock solid, but this has become a interesting discussion and let’s keep it going.

    Some say Wally Jones from Ragsdale needs to be in this Top Ten and I am hearing, “what happened to Brandon Pennix”?

    Good topics and let’s keep it coming…….

  • jim said,

    Julius has tons of potential and is a really good player! Just needs to be more consistent and play smarter in book.

    I dont know if Mitch Oates is a PG or SG but he is a baller. MVP in conference tournament. He can handle the rock, he can dish it, he can shoot it, and he can take it to the hole. He can defend. He is clutch!

    Can you consider him for 1st team?

    How about a 6th man award?

  • Jay said,


    On the top girls top 10 list should be a couple other athletic players that get the job done by getting the ball where it needs to be with assist, rebounds , steals etc… Dudley’s #44 Sophmore, Desiree Drayton, from what I hear some think she’s possibly the best rebounder in the state, extremely athletic and a super quick thinker and ball handler.

  • Tom said,

    I would agree with that. Desiree is one of those unsung players that deserve a lot more credit than she gets. Every team would love to have a player like her that makes all of the hustle plays. Dudley has about 4 or 5 players that could be on this list. They play with such quickness and they all have a nose for the ball. Since there are only 10 players on the list, it is hard to include more than 2 from any one team.

  • Andy said,

    Excellent basketball discussion going on here and to carry it a step further…

    I was at the Eastern Guilford-Northwood girls game last night and I was telling one of the Eastern parents that if I were coaching against EG, I would try some junk defense and go with a triangle and two against Capricia Smalls and Miranda Jenkins. Make the other EG Wildcat players beat you. Smalls and Jenkins had 55 of EG’s 80 points last night.

    I don’t think most people realize how good a player Smalls is. She looks like an older college-type player out there.

    As I was thinking about that Triangle-and-two, I also realized that if I am Coach Gunn of Eastern, one of the first things I will work on in practice today is having Jenkins and Smalls work against the Triangle-and-two or go against a five offense vs. eight on defense……

    Sooner or later the defense is going to come after Capricia and Miranda and I know Coach Gunn will be working on this……I might even put two defenders on Jenkins and two on Smalls in practice and have them work against that…….

    55 of your teams 80 points, that is a two-man/woman load and the opposition will be breaking that down and getting ready for them in their practice today. At EG they must be a step ahead or at worst even with the opponents and work on the plan to score against those trick defenses and the traps.

    I’m not completely sure you can stop Smalls and Jenkins one-on-one……

  • Lucky Louie said,

    Lucky Louie

    PJ Harrison should be player of the year. That Dudley team is awesome led by the man child. Roy ain’t down here looking at no body but the P MAN! Watch out for that Dillard kid he is next in line of many super stars that come out of that tremendous program! Its PANTHER TIME! Its PANTHER TIME!

  • drizzy said,