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 1. Bull City L. 3-1 
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Charlotte Elite outpace High Point Heat 114-103 - Jan 19, 2016

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After several tough, early season losses the Charlotte Elite seem to be rounding into the team many thought they'd be this season. Coming off of a buzzer-beater loss last weekend, in which the Elite showed glimpses of why they're the TRBL Western Conference defending champions, the team from Charlotte came out Saturday afternoon with a vengeance.

Even without team captain and leading scorer, Terrone Sheffey II, playing the first quarter the Elite jumped on the Heat 36-18. This was due, in large part, to one of Charlotte's best two-way players, Shaun Kirkland (27 points, 21 rebounds and 4 steals), scoring on an array of emphatic dunks, put-backs and drives to the basket.

In the second quarter the game was much more evenly matched as both teams' floor leaders entered the game. Will Griffin (32 points, 2 assists and 5 rebounds) carried the Heat, as he's done all season, while Sheffey (20 points, 2 assists and 6 rebounds) made sure that Charlotte didn't suffer one its customary second quarter letdowns. At halftime the score was 61-42 in favor of the Charlotte Elite.

The third period saw the Elite's two leading scorers combine for 19 of the team's 26 points, with Kirkland collecting 7 of their 12 rebounds during that quarter of play. The Heat, on the other hand, relied on a much more balanced attack, in which six different players scored. Still, Charlotte was able to extend its lead going into the fourth and final period to 23 points.

The last quarter saw an eruption of offense by the gritty team from High Point. Led by 19 fourth quarter points from Griffin, the Heat outscored Charlotte 39-27 and twice cut the lead to nine points. However, the conference champs made enough plays down the stretch to hold off the feisty High Point squad and extend their tenuous hold on the TRBL Western Conference Point Series, winning 114-103. The Elite were led in assists by Ryan Scott (12 points and 7 assists) on a rare off shooting day and Martin Barrett continues to show his versatility and maturation by nearly missing a double-double with 16 points and 9 rebounds.

Next up for Charlotte is a rematch with their crosstown rival, the Huntersville Hoopforlyfe, next Sunday in Huntersville.

Ian Gregory
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