This year, eight Millennium Charter Academy basketball players were selected as all-state candidates by the Carolina Athletic Association for Schools of Choice (CAASC). Four out of the eight student-athletes were part of the middle school girls and boys basketball program: Eliana Spencer, Sophia Kiser, Kas Sanders, and Cooper Motsinger. The other four student-athletes were part of the varsity girls basketball program: Madison Maurer, Caroline Reid, Sarah Shepherd, and Claudia Cooke.
Hundreds of athletes were nominated for all-state honors. The list was narrowed to the top 24 basketball players across the state for middle school girls, middle school boys, varsity girls, and varsity boys. In addition to being selected for all-state honors, the athletes participated in the CAASC all-star Game on March 10. Each coach and player was thrilled to have been able to be part of the all-star game.
The middle school girls finished their season 22-6 and were undefeated in conference. Eighth graders Kiser and Spencer represented their team at the all-star game. Kiser ended her season with an average of 8.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.7 steals. During the all-star game, Kiser played for Team Dark and scored four points. Spencer ended her season with an average of 9.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.9 steals. During the all-star game, Spencer played for Team White and scored six points.
The middle school boys finished their season 11-15 overall and 6-2 in conference. Eighth-graders Motsinger and Sanders were nominated for all state. Both lead their team in statistical categories and important to the team’s success. Coach Zeb Norman explained how each and every one of his boys were a pleasure to coach as well.
Sanders lead his team in points per game, averaging about 8.5 points per game. Coach Norman explained, “The thing I respected the most out of Kas from day one was I could tell he was never scared of anyone, which he continued to prove for the entirety of the season.” He played on the White Team during the all-star game, scoring two points.
Cooper Motsinger was right behind Sanders in points per game, averaging about 8.3. Coach Norman explained, “Cooper was the heart and soul of the team in many ways. One of our constant captains with experience starting the season before. He’s the ultimate competitor to the point Coach Harrison and myself had to encourage him to not be too hard on himself. A tenacious defender, capable scorer, and willing passer with vision.” He played on the Dark Team during the all-star game.
This year marked the third year of varsity basketball, and this season proved one of the best ever for girls basketball at MCA. The Lady Lions finished second in the conference and made the final four of the state championship tournament. Coach John Lovill was selected to Coach Team Dark of the CAASC All Stars and was thrilled to have coached the winning team. The experience was profound for Coach Lovill, having four athletes from his team competing in the game. Coach Lovill explained, “These four student-athletes were absolutely dominant on the court, rising against adversity and carrying us to many victories along the way. They are outstanding representatives of our school and what it means to work hard and make it to the pinnacle of their game. I could not be more proud of their accomplishments.”
This marked senior forward Sarah Shepherd’s second year as an all-conference and all-state candidate. Shepherd led the Lady Lions and the CAASC in rebounds per game while finishing second on the team in minutes played. Shepherd was also third on the team for blocks, which placed her fourth in the conference. Shepherd played on Team White during the all-star game and scored four points.
This year marked junior guard Claudia Cooke’s first year all-conference and all-state selection. Cooke led the Lady Lions and finished second in the CAASC for assists. Cooke led the team in steals, earning second place in the conference, while also leading the Lady Lions in minutes played for the season. Cooke also finished fourth on the team in scoring. Cooke played for Team White and scored total of five points during the all-star game.
This is sophomore forward Caroline Reid’s first year being selected all-conference and all-stat. Reid led the Lady Lions and CAASC in blocks, while finishing second on the team in scoring. Reid also received second on the team and in the conference for rebounds, while also leading the Lady Lions and finishing second in the conference for double-doubles. Reid played on Team Dark during the all-star game and scored three points.
This marked freshman forward Madison Maurer’s first year as an all-conference and all-state selection. Maurer led the team in scoring and free-throw percentage, placing her third in the CAASC. Maurer placed second on the team for steals and blocks, earning second place in the conference. Maurer played on Team Dark and scored 15 points while participating in the all-star game.
Despite the relative youth of the its athletic programs, Millennium has grown in its ability to develop skilled middle and high school basketball players. Offseason workouts will begin directly following the conclusion of the spring sports season. The players are looking forward to getting back to action on the court next season to build on their accomplishments.