The Charlotte 49ers now have a record of 3-2 after cranking out a win in a close game against High Point at 70-67 this past Friday.
The Niners are experiencing quite a battle with themselves, taking one step forward and two steps back fairly often early in the season. They continue to rush into a winning record, yet are still struggling to play as a unit.
After a triple digit win and two losses, Charlotte began spreading out their play and using all of their teammates, as they hadn’t really been doing before, in a win against Presbyterian.
With four players in double digits, 45 points off of the bench, 17 points off of turnovers, three players with five or more rebounds and five players combining for 17 assists, Charlotte certainly made strides in their teamwork in their win against Presbyterian.
“We have to know not to settle, not to just rest on one win,” Charlotte’s current leading-scorer, Jon Davis said.
Of course, with any win there are things to learn from and things to improve upon, which is something that Charlotte coach Mark Price definitely realizes.
In their game against High Point, Charlotte faced a little bit of a tough situation when players started fouling out and getting hurt.
Hudson Price played admirably, scoring 17 points going 4-4 from the field, 2-2 from the three point line and 7-7 from the free throw line. Price exemplified how a player should handle himself as a teammate, stepping up and doing exactly what his team needed from him regardless of the situation. A major piece of the puzzle Charlotte is working so hard to finish.
Unfortunately in this win, the Niners faltered a little bit in their improvements as a team. They continued to spread out their scoring yet again, but they played a little more as individuals in this battle than as a team. Alongside Price, Najee Garvin had 13 points and Davis had 9 while Luka Vasic and Jailan Haslem each scored 8 points.
Comparatively, in the win against the Blue Hose, the 49ers had 17 total assists and scored 45 bench points, while against the Panthers they only acquired 10 assists and 24 points off of the bench.
Unlike Price alone, the team was not so lucky from the free throw line, going 20-37, missing an unacceptable number of free throws.
Even so, Charlotte had a very well executed defense, holding High Point’s leading scorer in Andre Fox to 10 points and only had 14 turnovers themselves. The Niners also forced 20 turnovers by the Panthers to gather 28 points.
“We had to play a lot of young guys and I’m proud of them for hanging in and I’m proud of them for getting the win. It wasn’t pretty and we missed way too many free throws as we had a chance to put it away and that’s a learning lesson for our young guys,” said Mark Price.
With a final record last season of 13-17, knowing not to settle is something this team does in fact need to keep in mind as they progress through this season. Charlotte absolutely has all the right pieces, they simply need to keep allowing themselves to be coachable and keep working on fitting all of those pieces together to make something truly great.