Point guard Mark Pearson put some mind-boggling numbers for Lincoln Christian Academy leading the Lions to a co-championship in the conference.
The 5â€™10â€ Pearson was the Carolina Christian Athletic Association Conference MVP. Looking at his statistics, itâ€™s not hard to see why.
On a game predicated by athleticism and court IQ, Pearson had per game averages of 32 points and 16 assists.
On the year, it was the seniorâ€™s play that helped the Lions tie Comenius Creative Learning of Charlotte as regular season conference champions, with a record
Lionsâ€™ head coach Charlie Greene is blown away by Pearsonâ€™s ability.
He can read the floor as good as any point guard Iâ€™ve ever seen. He made our players play up a notch. He knows the game,â€ Greene said of Pearson.
So how did the point guard, who is being recruited by Cedarville Christian College out of Ohio, Temple University and Caldwell Community College, hone his skills?
â€œHe attended a lot of camps and he just knows the game. Heâ€™s very smart. Heâ€™s very quick, has speed and can jump out of the gym,â€ Greene said.
Pearson was not a one-man gang completely as forwards Cody Sipe and Heath Greene and guard Dylan Holiday joined him as first-team all-conference performers. Greene and Holiday are both eighth-graders.
Second team all-conference players for the Lions were Billy Oxendine, Thomas Story and Luke Hester.
What was the No. 1 characteristic of the team that stood out to the coach?
â€œThey played as a team. They give 100-percent. Iâ€™m looking forward to next year. We will be losing Mark, but weâ€™ve got a lot of returning people back that have experience at a young age,â€ Greene said of the Lions who finished third in their conference tournament.
All those returnees helped the Lions compile an unblemished 24-0 season on the JV level last season.
Greene believes his playersâ€™ best years are ahead of them, but he also feels theyâ€™ve grown accustomed to playing with each other.
â€œLuke, Heath, Dylan are young, but theyâ€™ve been playing together for about four years. They donâ€™t play as eighth-graders. Their ability exceeds their age,â€ he said.
Pearson was a first-team all-tournament selection for the C.C.A.A. Conference Tournament. Sipe made the second team.
Perhaps more important to Greene and the players than their successful season is the fact they represented Christ well in the process. Their character on the floor allowed them to win the Christian Sportsmanship Award, voted on by other conference teams.
â€œTheyâ€™re Christian character is there on and off the court. I believe in playing the game hard, giving it all you have, but you can still do that and have a good Christian attitude,â€ Greene said.
by John Mark Brooks