Following Wednesday's victory over Lee County in the Chatlee Shootout championship game, members of the Sanderson boys basketball team gather with the first-place plaque.
above the rest
in Chatlee Shootout
Just before the conclusion of the Sanderson boys basketball team's 52-47 victory over Lee County in the Chatlee Shootout's championship game Wednesday night — and before the plaque presentation as well as customary team photo — Spartan head coach Mike Shaw shared his own small celebration with his team.
One by one, walking down the sideline, the head coach slapped the hand of each player — most of them starters as the Spartan back-ups ran the contest's final minute off the clock.
It was a small, simple gesture acknowledging the group's accomplishment.
Later Shaw admitted in the grand scheme of the Spartans' season, the championship might not carry a lot of weight, but regardless, it's worth celebrating.
VIDEO: Spartans crowned champions at Shootout
It took two second-half rallies, but the Sanderson boys basketball team eventually pulled out a 52-47 win over Lee County Wednesday, Dec. 30, winning the Chatlee Shootout championship game. We have a highlight reel to catch you up to speed.
GALLERY: SHS in Shootout
Here are a few photographs we captured at the Sanderson boys basketball game against Lee County in the Chatlee Shootout championship Wednesday, Dec. 30. Click on the picture above to see our gallery.
With Tuesday's win over East Chapel Hill, senior DJ Turner and the Sanderson boys basketball team advanced to the championship game of the Chatlee Shootout at Lee County High School. The finals are slated to tip off at 8 p.m. today (Wednesday, Dec. 30).
Spartans get revenge on Wildcats
Sanderson looks to swat Yellow Jackets in Chatlee Shootout championship game Wednesday
A year removed from falling to East Chapel Hill in the Chatlee Shootout championship game, the Sanderson boys basketball team got its revenge Tuesday night, knocking off the Wildcats 66-56 in this winter's tournament semifinals.
With the victory, the Spartans again advance to the finals, this time facing Lee County — and tournament host — today (Wednesday) at 8 p.m.
"It's nice to get a little payback," said Sanderson head coach Mike Shaw of Tuesday's win. "But we're not done yet. We came here to win three games, and we still have one more to go."
While the Spartans got revenge, it didn't come easy as the two squads played neck-and-neck through three quarters, with Sanderson holding a narrow 41-39 advantage heading into the final period.
VIDEO: Spartans battle
East Chapel Hill Tuesday
The Sanderson boys basketball team used a fourth-quarter surge to knock off East Chapel Hill 61-49 in the Chatlee Shootout Tuesday, Dec. 29. Check out our highlights of the Spartans in action.
in Chantlee Shootout
Here are a few images we captured from Sanderson and Leesville Road boys basketball games at the Chatlee Shootout holiday tournament Tuesday, Dec. 29. Click on photo above to go to our gallery.
Millbrook's Errick Davis (left) slips a pass in between Sanderson's Kevin Black and Montez Hedgepath (30) during the Wildcats' 52-48 win over the Spartans Monday, Dec. 21.
Wildcats stave off Spartans' late push
A win never comes easy on a rival's court, and the Millbrook boys basketball team experienced that first hand in Monday's 52-48 victory over Sanderson.
Although the Spartans never led — and faced a nine-point deficit with 2:18 remaining — Millbrook still needed to hold off a late Sanderson rally to pull out a narrow victory in the crosstown clash.
In fact, without the clutch free-throw shooting of sophomore Shi-Chee Moore and senior B.J. Orr — who each hit a pair foul shots in the final 16 seconds — the Wildcats might have fallen in a contest they seemingly controlled for 46 minutes.
Afterward Millbrook senior Jarrick Brown, who scored a team-high 13 points, said the Wildcats momentarily got away from what they do best — play defense — during the Spartans' surge.
VIDEO: Cats claw out win
The Millbrook boys basketball team led by double digits at times Monday night, but the Wildcats needed to hold off a late Sanderson run to seal a 52-48 victory. Check out our video of the action.
Wakefield's Xavier Saddler-Mee (right) races to the hoop following a steal in the second half of Thursday's win over Sanderson. In the background, teammate Dominique McDonald can be seen cheering Saddler-Mee on.
Saddler-Mee, Wolverines knock off Sanderson in opener
His coach's explanation at halftime made sense to junior Xavier Saddler-Mee during the Wakefield boys basketball team's 64-49 victory over Sanderson Thursday night.
Trailing the Spartans 29-27 at the break, Wolverine head coach Pat Kennedy implored his squad to fight harder, and expend more energy than they showed in a somewhat lethargic first half of their Cap-7 Conference opener.
"Coach told us that if we wanted to win, we have to pick it up and it starts with defense," Saddler-Mee recalled. "And I put it on myself to try and lock down their best player, play him tight and try to deny him the ball, and I was able to get a couple steals. It seemed like they just threw it to me."
In fact, in one 30-second period — stretching from the end of the third and into the fourth quarter — the guard singlehandedly dashed the Spartans' spirits.
GALERRY: Wolverines, Spartans hit the hardwood
Here are a few images we captured at the Wakefield/Sanderson girls and boys basketball games Dec. 10. Click on the picture above to see our photos.
Spartans pummel Panther Creek
Carter drops in 30 points against Catamounts; James adds 20
It's hard to think of a better way for the Sanderson boys basketball team to head into this week's Cap-7 Conference opener with Wakefield than Monday's 84-66 romp of Panther Creek.
Led by a the lengthy duo of Chris Carter and Matt James, who combined to scored 50 points — 30 and 20, respectively — the Spartans looked very much like a conference contender.
They were especially dominant in the second half, abusing the Catamounts for 24 points in the third quarter and another 24 in the fourth. Carter cashed in 21 points in the final half, converting several easy buckets in transition.
The Spartans' set the pace, getting up and down the court a break-neck speed, and seemingly grew stronger as the game went on.
NorthRaleighSports.com recently spoke with Sanderson senior Chris Carter about this year's Spartan boys basketball team, playing for Coach Mike Shaw and which games he's looking forward to this season. Click here to see what he had to say.
Sanderson guard Kevin Black (front) scored six points in Tuesday's win over Athens Drive.
Spartans sprint out early, hold on for win
Sanderson boys basketball coach Mike Shaw found the best way to sum his Spartans’ fast start in Tuesday’s 58-47 victory over Athens Drive with a baseball term.
Shaw called the Jaguars use of a zone defense instead of a man-to-man look a “curveball.” But the off-speed pitch didn’t catch the Spartans off-balance.
Sophomore Franklin Wolfe dropped in a lay-in, followed by a three-pointer, helping Sanderson to a 5-0 lead out of the gates. Athens Drive battled back, tying the game at 6-6, but the Spartans retaliated with a 8-2 run, and closed out the quarter leading 14-8.
“They surprised us a little bit because we didn’t expect them to come out in a zone,” Shaw said. “But we made a lot of good adjustments. To be honest, we haven’t even practiced against zone too much. We have been mostly practicing against our own man defense. But we reacted great anyway.”
In fact, the Spartans, led by Matt James’ 16 points, controlled the tempo the majority of the contest – aside from a sluggish third quarter.
score win over Jaguars
Check out a few photographs from boys basketball game between Sanderson and Athens Drive Dec. 1.
GALLERY: Sanderson squares off with Bulldogs
The Sanderson boys basketball team battled Southeast Raleigh Nov. 19. To see what our photographers caught, click on the picture above.
Sanderson senior Matt James scored 20 points in a Thursday's loss to Southeast Raleigh.
Spartans' 4th-quarter push too late in loss
Two days after a decisive 20-point victory over Cary on opening night, the Sanderson boys basketball team suffered a bout of overconfidence against Southeast Raleigh Thursday night, said Spartans head coach Mike Shaw.
The result was a 64-52 loss, though Sanderson did manage to push the Bulldogs late after a lackluster start.
Trailing by 16 points at the end of three quarters, the Spartans stretched out the game, sending Southeast to the foul line 26 times in the final quarter. The Bulldogs converted 21 times, but Sanderson still managed to draw closer and with D.J. Turner's jumper with 1:35 left, the squad was within six points, 55-49.
However, the Spartans wouldn't pull any closer, and Southeast sealed the win — fittingly at the line.
Matt James led Sanderson's late charge, scoring nine of his team-high 20 points in the final period.