Dec 26, 2012
Wilson Greenfield coach Rob Salter is a man who has built one of the most successful North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association 1A basketball programs in the Tar Heel state.
With his Knights making their third appearance in the HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational, he’s ready for his team to translate their outstanding NCISAA success to this week’s tournament. This is Greenfield’s third appearance in the Holiday Invitational; in 2009, the Knights finished sixth and last year, they were eliminated after losing their only two games in the tournament.
Salter said his Knights used their disappointing showing in Raleigh last year to turn around their season.
“We didn’t play as well as we thought we could,” Salter said of the 2011 HSOT. “However, it was the turning point of our season and showed us we had to come out and play well every night.”
Salter again has an experienced and talented squad coming to the HSOT. It’s led by Jamie Johnson, a 5-11 junior guard who was averaging 22 points per game early in the season. Johnson has impressed his coach with his shooting eye.
“If there’s a better shooter in North Carolina, I’d like to see him,” Salter said of Johnson.
Junior Xavier Mills, a 5-11 guard, has recovered well from an offseason injury and is a star in the making.
“He’s so explosive and quick,” Salter said of Mills. “He’s a born leader and the type of player who brings it every single possession. He’s really important for us.”
Ashley Williams is a 6-5 junior wing who Salter describes as simply “a scorer.” Robby Stokely, 6-9, 260, is a powerful player who always finishes around the rim.
However, the Knights will be without one of their key players in 6-8 junior post Logan McClane, who tore an ACL in his knee in late November and is out for the season.
Salter has been impressed with this edition of the Knights.
“We have a great bunch of great kids who have committed themselves to the program,” Salter said. “They expect to win and want to play the best teams they can. That’s what makes you better and we thrive on that.”
Salter said his Knights are also excited to be a part of the HSOT for the third time in four years.
“This is one of the best tournaments in the country,” Salter said. “Anytime the committee invites us to be a part of it, we’re honored. We hope we can represent North Carolina and our school well.”
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