The Lincolnton Wolves boys varsity basketball team has six regular season games left to climb out of fifth place in the eight-team Southern Piedmont Conference standings.
And they’ll need a strong showing from senior guard Alonzo Mobley to do it.
Mobley averages nearly 20 points and 10 rebounds per game, along with four blocks per game, and leads the conference in scoring.
As a three-year varsity player he was a bit overshadowed on last year’s co-conference championship team by players like Jalen Littlejohn, Jonathan Gidney, Lorenzo Carter and Jonathan Sherrill.
He is now at the forefront of Lincolnton’s game and is “definitely” the team’s leader, according to head coach Bob Cowie.
“I’m getting to shine now,” Mobley said.
“It’s made me work harder in the offseason and practice.”
Cowie said the strength of last year’s team helped form Mobley into the player he is now.
“He was somewhat unlucky in that the class that was ahead of him was a very talented, deep group,” Cowie said. “As a result of that he’s seen limited playing time up until this year. I think it didn’t do anything but help him. He had to go against those guys in practice each day. We had two very successful years and he saw what it took.”
The Wolves (8-8, 4-4) had a three-game win streak snapped in a 70-39 loss to first-place Lake Norman Charter on Thursday. Now they’ll have to beat third-place Bessemer City on Tuesday to pull above .500 before they take on seventh-place North Lincoln on Friday. Bessemer City beat the Wolves 72-69 in the teams’ first meeting this season on Dec. 18. The Wolves took a 67-59 win over North Lincoln on Dec. 21.
Mobley was known for his work on the perimeter last year. The personnel on this year’s team has forced him inside — a situation that, Cowie said, caters to his all-around athletic ability.
“He’s ideally a perimeter player but with our lack of size this year he’s had to go in the post,” Cowie said. “He’s been able to score in the post and defend in the post. The thing that’s really made him difficult to guard this year is the fact that he’s scoring from the perimeter. He’s making jump shots and when they try to put a smaller, quicker person on him, he’s able to take that person inside. He’s taking advantage of whoever is trying to guard him and he’s scored in a variety of ways this year.”
Cowie said Mobley’s athleticism made the coach take notice early on in the player’s career.
“I’ll go ahead and say that in all my years of coaching there are few kids that I’ve been harder on than him,” Cowie said, “just because of the ability I knew he had. I wanted him to step up with some of those upper classmen. It was because of the potential that I saw.”