Trojan girls seek coaching stability, while boys look for wins at home

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 23, 2007

By Bill Kiser

Kannapolis Citizen

Northwest Cabarrus’ boys coach Daniel Jenkins is the first to admit that the Trojans have a pair of tough games coming up this week.

But with six games remaining on the Trojans’ regular-season schedule, this week’s games could go a long way towards determining where Northwest gets seeded in the North Piedmont Conference tournament — and even the state 3A playoffs.

Northwest Cabarrus winds up a tough, four-game road stretch on Tuesday against Lake Norman in Mooresville, then returns home for its next two games — against Mooresville on Friday night, and West Rowan on Jan. 30.

The Trojans (13-5, 5-3) currently sit fourth in the NPC standings, with games against two of the league’s front running teams coming up over the next week.

Lake Norman (12-6, 6-2) is tied for second with West Iredell — which beat the Trojans 67-54 on Jan. 19, Northwest’s only game last week — while Mooresville (7-11, 3-5) — which beat NWC 45-44 on Dec. 21 — is tied for fifth with North Iredell.

And West Rowan sits all alone atop the league standings at 6-0 (15-2over all), and currently ride a seven-game winning streak entering this week’s games.

“We’ve got some tough games,” Jenkins said. “We’re not looking past anybody at this point. Being 5-3 is definitely not where we expected to be. We’ve been up and down, so we just have to play who’s next. We’ve got Lake Norman next; after that, we’ll get ready for Mooresville.”

Northwest handily beat the Wildcats 54-34 on Dec. 19, but Jenkins doesn’t expect a repeat of Lake Norman’s poor shooting that led to the Trojans’ victory in that game.

“It’s going to be a tough place to play,” Jenkins said. “We know they didn’t shoot the ball all that well the last time we played them, but we expect it to be a little different game this time around.

“There’s a host of things that go along with that game, though. … If we can beat them again, that may bump us up to third place. That’d be big for us.”

The Trojans’ girls squad (8-10, 2-6 North Piedmont Conference) are riding a three-game losing streak into this week’s games, having lost to West Iredell 43-39 on Jan. 19.

And the last two weeks have been tumultuous ones for Northwest, which has had three head coaches over the span.

Daryl Crego, who started the season as Northwest’s head coach, was relieved of his duties for still-unspecified reasons by school officials following the Trojans’ loss to West Rowan on Jan. 10.

Jessica Smith, who coaches Northwest Cabarrus’ junior varsity girls team, took over for the Trojans’ loss versus Statesville on Jan. 12.

She has since been replaced for the rest of the season by Moses Smith, formerly an assistant coach on A.L. Brown’s varsity boys squad, who was with the team in their loss to West Iredell last week.

While the Trojans will have a tough time ending their losing streak againstLake Norman — now second in the NPC at 7-1 (14-4 overall), one game behind league leader Statesville — their chances improve significantly later in the week against Mooresville.

The Blue Devils are seventh in the league standings at 1-7 (2-16 overall),with their only NPC victory coming against winless and last-place Carson onJan. 10.

However, Mooresville has lost two straight since that win.