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A.L. Brown boys, girls look to keep winning streaks alive this week

By Bill Kiser

Kannapolis Citizen

A.L. Brown varsity boys coach Shelwyn Klutz thinks his team is playingpretty good basketball as the regular season is winding down.

That’s good news for the Wonders, who can put themselves in position toclaim the lead in the South Piedmont Conference standings with a pair of wins this week.

Brown faces two tough conference foes on its home court at Bullock Gymnasium this week, hosting Anson County on Tuesday night and Porter Ridge on Friday night.

The Wonders (13-5, 6-1) enter this week’s games riding a four-game winning streak, which includes road victories over SPC foes Piedmont on Jan. 16 (67-31) and Sun Valley on Jan. 19 (78-61).

The winning streak leaves A.L. Brown tied with Concord atop the South Piedmont standings, with the two teams facing each other for the second time this season on Jan. 30 at Concord’s Rimer Gymnasium.

But Klutz said that his team can’t look past this week’s opponents — notthat his players aren’t sneaking a peek at the Spiders, especially since the 2006-2007 season is entering its homestretch.

“We’re playing pretty good right now,” Klutz said. “But we’ve got two pretty tough games this week. We’ve got our hands full, but we’re getting better every game as a team.

“It’s definitely not going to get any easier, that’s for sure. We’re looking forward to it, though. We’ve got to buckle down and take care of Anson first.”

A.L. Brown had beaten both of this week’s opponents earlier this season, downing Anson County 69-61 on Dec. 15 and Porter Ridge 64-57 on Dec. 19.

But a second win over both teams — especially Porter Ridge, which at 5-2 is one game behind the Wonders and Concord in the SPC standings — would essentially make the race for the league title and the top seed in theconference tournament a two-team chase.

“I’m proud of the way the guys are playing,” Klutz said. “Everybody has pretty much accepted their roles. They’re playing good together and sharing the ball. Hopefully, we can continue to get better.”

A.L. Brown’s girls is looking for something different as the regular season winds down — its first winning streak.

The Wonders (6-12, 2-5) had their five-game losing streak come to an end when the edged Sun Valley 48-46 on Jan. 19. The losing streak had been extended with a 57-30 loss to Piedmont on Jan. 16.

With Anson County — sitting last in the SPC standings at 1-6 (4-11overall), and a 42-31 loser to Brown on Dec. 15 — up next, the Wonders have a solid chance at putting together back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

Brown even has a chance at a three-game winning streak. Its first meeting against Porter Ridge ended in a 52-50 loss, but the return trip will be on the Wonders’ home court.

This week’s home stand should also see another milestone for the Wonders — guard Marla Powell is closing on 1,000 career points.

She has 988 points entering Tuesday’s game against Anson, and put up 16 points against the Bearcats the last time the two teams played.

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