In a season filled with All-Conference, All-Region and even All-State performances by local student-athletes during the basketball season, Millennium Charter Academy wasn’t about to be left out of the party.
Two of MCA’s varsity high school student-athletes can add a new title to their list of accomplishments, as Sarah Shepherd and Kaine Lovill recently received All-State accolades from the Carolina Athletic Association for Schools of Choice. Hundreds of players from schools competing in the CAASC were nominated, and the list was narrowed to the top 24 basketball players for boys and girls from around the state. Shepherd and Lovill, both juniors, were named to the team representing Millennium Charter.
In addition to the pair of high school hoopsters honored by the state association, the CAASC also chooses an All-State team at the middle school level, and in their first year of competing in a state organization, the Lady Lions finished third in their conference, sixth in the state, and placed two girls on the All-State team. Forward Madison Maurer and point guard Karlie Gwyn both grabbed spots on the team.
As a third-year captain, first-year All-Conference selection and returning team MVP, the 6’2” Shepherd led the Central Carolina Conference in rebounds per game, as well as leading the team in minutes played, rebounds, field-goal attempts and blocks. Shepherd was also second on the team in scoring.
As a third-year captain, second-year All-Conference selection and two-time team MVP, the 6’1” Lovill led the Central Carolina Conference in points per 32 minutes, assists, steals and blocks per game, and placed fourth in rebounds while finishing the season as second-best in North Carolina for blocked shots. He ranked as the sixteenth best shot-blocker in the nation.
As a result of their All-State achievements, Shepherd and Lovill participated in an All-State basketball game on March 11 in Greensboro. Shepherd logged four points, three rebounds and two assists in a losing effort, while Lovill registered six rebounds, four assists, three blocks and a steal for his team in a winning effort. Both players are excited to return to action for their final season in the fall.
For the middle school girls, Maurer and Gwyn carried the role of team captains for most of the season. According to their coaches, “They showed the team what a captain should be. They are always the first ones ready to help someone on the team on and off the court. They are also just as happy with their teammates getting the weekly captain honor as they are when they get to be captain. They are the team’s biggest cheer leaders when not on the floor.”
Maurer earned her All-State spot as a forward. This was her first year at MCA and the first time she had ever played a position other than center. Her coaches said she took to her new position with excitement and a desire to be the best she could be. she proved her coach’s suspicion during tryouts and proved able to play any position on the floor. Through the process of taken on a new role, she led the team in minutes played, points per game (7.1), and blocks per game (5.4). She had 3.6 steals per game which was the second-best on the team. She also had 2.2 assists per game.
Gwyn is a third-year player for MCA. She had a rocky road learning how to play the point position during her seventh-grade year due to both eighth-grade point guards moving up to high school competition a year early (which is permitted in many non-NCHSAA leagues). This year, as an eighth-grader, she was ready to lead the team with a firm grip on the ball. She was second in total minutes played. She led the team in assists per game (8.1), steals per game (4.2), and the fewest turnovers with 3.9 per game (10 minute per game minimum). She was also third in scoring with 4.4 points per game.