Myers Park Captures important Southwestern 4A Conference Win
Phenom Hoops travelled to Charlotte, North Carolina to cover the important early season Southwestern 4A Conference game between Butler High School and Myers Park High School. Butler entered the contest with a 2-4 record, but three of the losses came on last second shots where Butler lost by a single point in each. For head coach Myron Lowery, the 2019-20 Butler team is definitely in transition. Coach Lowery lost four scorers to graduation and approximately 72% of the offense. In addition, Coach Lowery has averaged 25 wins for the past five seasons.
For coach Scott Taylor of Myers Park, he returns the core nucleus from last season’s team that went 22-9. He returns Drake Maye, Kameron Mack, Xavier McKelvy, Tyrese Gwinn, and Jacob Newman. Scott Taylor’s team has a nice blend of balance and depth and with the return of Drake Maye and Jacob Newman from the gridiron, this team could be one of the sleeper teams in the NCHSAA 4A.
In a game that was based on runs, Myers Park went on a 16-8 fourth quarter run to secure the impressive 63-55 Southwestern 4A conference win. The first quarter went back and forth with Butler taking a 13-10 lead. The second quarter belonged to Myers Park after 7’0 sophomore Patrick Wessler (Butler) got into early foul trouble and went on a 27-16 run to capture a 37-29 halftime lead. The third quarter belonged to Butler as they outscored Myers Park 18-10 to take a 47-47 tie into the final quarter. With Butler’s Patrick Wessler picking up his fourth foul early in the fourth quarter, it was the depth of Myers Park that proved to be the difference maker. Now, let’s take a closer look at the standout players from each team.
7’0 2022 Patrick Wessler (Butler HS)
How important is Patrick Wessler to this Butler team? It was no secret that Myers Park made their runs with Wessler on the bench. Saddled with early foul trouble, Myers Park made a big second quarter push to take a lead into half time. We’re talking about a highly skilled 7’0 sophomore center who has touch and range. Wessler finished with 22 points including two 3-pointers, but it was his 3-point shot fake with a one dribble pull up that showcased his versatility and high-level skill set. As the old saying goes, you can’t teach size and Wessler has both size and skill. Yes, Wessler does need to get stronger and more athletic, but those things can and will come over time.
6’5 2021 Drake Maye (Myers Park)
The two-sport star returned to the hardwood a few weeks early, but one thing is for certain. Drake Maye would be a hot basketball prospect if he wasn’t one of the top quarterbacks in the country and has already verballed to Alabama. Drake finished with team high 13 points, but it is his rebounding, passing skills and overall feel for the game that makes him such an important piece to the puzzle for Myers Park. Maye simply does so many little things that won’t show up in the box score. He understands the game and his presence along makes him one of the area’s unique and talented players.
Myers Park Balance and Depth
Coach Scott Taylor has balance and depth and surprising good chemistry with the early football additions of Drake Maye and Jacob Newman. Nine different players got into the scoring column with Maye leading the way with 13 points, while senior Tyrese Gwinn and junior Xavier McKelvy both tallying 10 points. In addition, Myers Park got additional scoring from Kaden Elasaar and Kameron Mack with eight points while Jacob Newman tallied six points. When you have this type of balance, Myers Park will be a tough team to beat in conference play.
Professionalism at its best
As we stated earlier, it was a fairly well played game. While Butler struggled to make perimeter shots, it was what you expect out of an early season conference game. That being said, we came away impressed with the professionalism of both head coaches. Coach Myron Lowery and Scott Taylor are two of the best coaches at the high school ranks. Both teams ran some nice sets, but more importantly, we were impressed with the court side demeanor and teaching moments both coaches had with players during the course of the game. Butler and Myers Park competed extremely hard and displayed excellent sportsmanship during the course of the game, which is a direct reflection of their coaches. Professionalism and class go a long way and kudos to both Myron Lowery and Scott Taylor for being excellent role models to the players of their perspective team.