Myers Park Lady Mustangs Invited to NYC "Mythical National Championship" in April

27-1 Charlotte, NC High School Team Must "Win Out;" Get North Carolina Athletic Association Approval to Play in Dick's Nationals Tournament
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - March 6, 2015 - PRLog -- CHARLOTTE, NC (March 6, 2015) – The 27-1 Myers Park Lady Mustangs - debatably one of the best women's high school basketball teams in North Carolina history - is one of four U.S. women's teams invited to play in the Dick's Nationals tournament in NYC April 3-4. All games will be televised on an ESPN network and the final game will be held at Madison Square Garden.

The invitation is contingent on the top 10, nationally ranked Myers Park squad repeating as NC 4A Champions and getting approval from the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) easy feat.

The tournament pairs up nationally ranked high school teams in a mini "March Madness" style tournament. The trip includes an all-expense paid trip for players and coaches, including sightseeing, and $10,000 in athletic gear for the school.

Myers Park has had incredible success in recent years and have a 117-4 record in the past four years. During this time, the Mustangs have not lost to another Mecklenburg County team.  The team's current national rankings are: Maxpreps (#7), Blue Star Media (#5), ESPNW (#14) and USA Today (#8).  By any measure, MPHS has proven itself as one of the top teams in the United States in the past four years.

2011-2015 Myers Park High School Women's Basketball Record

*2011-2012          Coach Wes Hepler          31-1 (Lost to West Forsyth 43-40 in State Playoffs)

*2012-2013          Coach Barbara Nelson      29-1 (Lost to Southeast Guilford 48-45 in State Playoffs)

*2013-2014          Coach Barbara Nelson      30-1 (Lost to #1 Blackman (TN) 70-58 in Florida tournament)

*2014-2015          Coach Barbara Nelson      27-1 (Lost to #3 Blackman (TN) 56-39 on Blackman's home court)

Currently, the NCHSAA prohibits team practice and play after the March 14 state championship games. Because the Dick's National Tournament is 19 days afterwards, the Myers Park HS administration and CMS athletic department have formally requested a waiver to play from NCHSAA. The team also must win its semi-final and final games...not an easy feat.

Coach Barbara Nelson has said that the Mustangs take no game for granted and that it will be an uphill battle to repeat as state champions. However, the team must have approval to play in the tournament prior to playing in the NCHSAA championship game. The NCHSAA has initially cited their official regulations and denied the trip. CMS and Myers Park High School have formally appealed.

The athletic association rule is designed to keep sports in a specific time frame. "In the past, state officials have said they want to keep winter sports from spilling over into the spring sports...period," said Dan Owens, a Myers Park player parent. "This rule surely wasn't designed for this type of once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"This team has excelled beyond everybody's imagination," said Owens. "The players' work ethic is tremendous. This team very much deserves this fabulous athletic and cultural opportunity if they can win their last two games. They have exemplified selfless teamwork and are great ambassadors for the sport, the area and the state," he said. "We're confident the state athletic association will look at the big picture on this."

"No one has said we can reach the pinnacle of winning the state 4A championship again this year. Our team is totally focused on this goal," said MPHS Parent Michael Haire. "But, this trip also showcases and promotes excellence in women's basketball in our area...and it also promotes Charlotte and North Carolina on national television, as well. If we are able to go, this fabulous opportunity accomplishes many of the sports and civic goals that a lot of people work hard each day to achieve," Haire said.

Media Contact
Dan Owens

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