The Battle of the Lake is one of the best kept secrets in the state. Once a sleepy little mill town, the city of Mooresville has grown in part due to the growth of  Lake Norman. Mooresville, a city school vs. Lake Norman has become a rivalry and the capacity crowd on Tuesday night showcased the interest the game has to the student bodies of each perspective school. In the girls game, Lake Norman came into the contest with a 17-0 record, 5-0 conference record, not to mention the No. 1 ranking in public school basketball. To put it mildly, head coach McKenzie Graham has steamrolled over the competition where they have only had one game under 12 points and that was a 67-66 win over North Mecklenburg. Against Mooresville, they won easily 76-38 and while they are the odds on favorite to contend for the NCHSAA 4A championship, they are also a team for the future. 

Starting only one senior, 5’10 Kirsten Lewis leads the way averaging 17.6 points per game. There are no juniors, six sophomores and three freshmen. In the win over Mooresville, 5’9 freshman Kelsey Rhyne led the way gaining Phenom Hoops game MVP. She finished with 19 points, hitting five 3-pointers. The southpaw and crafty guard is a skilled all-around player, who demonstrated excellent ball handling and passing skills. More importantly, she is tough, gritty, and simply has a nose for the ball. In addition, 5’11 sophomore sisters Samantha and  Alexis Shehan finished with 17 and 15 points respectively, while 5’10 senior Kirsten Lewis and 5’7 sophomore Addison Sirianni both finished with 10 points. 

In the boys contest, both teams came into the contest with a 11-6 record. Lake Norman sat at 4-1 in the ultra-competitive Greater Metro 4A Conference. Lake Norman is another team that is comprised of quality underclassmen. 6’4 senior Cole Callaway leads the team in scoring with 17.1 points per game while 6’5 sophomore Tre McKinnon chips in 14.6 points per game. Lake Norman head coach Grant Hodges challenged his team early in the season with a tough non-conference schedule. Unfortunately, 6’9 senior Trent Steinour was out with an ankle injury and just returned to the starting lineup. That being said, Lake Norman appears to be hitting their stride moving to a 72-62 home court win over a very tough and scrappy Mooresville team. 

While 6’4 senior Cole Callaway is the team’s leading scorer, Lake Norman has a nice and unique blend of talented underclassmen and veteran players. Against Mooresville, it was the super sophomore duo of 6’9 Trent Steinour and 6’5 Tre McKinnon that led the way. Both players were terrific and gave Coach Hodges just a glimpse of how good they can be this year and years to come. McKinnon finished with a game high 25 points, including four 3-pointers, not to mention 10 rebounds and two steals. Once McKinnon produces a consistent motor on a nightly basis is stock will continue to climb. On the other hand, 6’9 Trent Steinhour will see his stock skyrocket with performance like the one against Mooresville. Steinhour finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks. We’re talking about a mobile and fluid hybrid 4-man that can step out and knock down perimeter shots, including 3-pointers. He has touch and range and runs the floor extremely well. 6’4 senior Cole Callaway finished with 11 points including seven points from the free throw line. 

For Mooresville, head coach Armard Moore had to be pleased with the overall effort of this team. Missing a starter from the rotation, Mooresville made mini-runs throughout the contest to keep the game close before Lake Norman closed it out in the final minutes. One thing is crystal clear, the smaller Mooresville team is tough, scrappy and plays with maximum effort, not to mention they swing and pass the ball extremely well. What they lack in size, they make up with sheer hustle. Leading the way for Mooresville was 6’3 junior Travelle Bryson, who finished with a team high 22 points while 6’2 senior Evaan Ezhilan and 6’3 senior Nylikk Troutman finished with 15 and 10 points respectively.