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North Meck wins big on special night for McDonald’s All-American Isaiah Evans

It was a special night at North Mecklenburg High School Tuesday as five-star Duke recruit Isaiah Evans was presented his McDonald’s All-American jersey.

But it was a little sad, too.

In a dominant 97-43 win over Skyland Roberson, the Vikings played without their star guard Trey Maxwell. And North Meck doesn’t know when, or if, its second leading scorer will return.

Maxwell averages 18 points per game, behind Evans’ 27 ppg.

“All I know is that he hurt his knee,” Vikings’ coach Duane Lewis said after the game. “He will be going to therapy for it and I don’t know if he is out for the rest of the year. The doctors will determine that. Obviously we hope he can play again but he won’t play the rest of this week.”

In Maxwell’s absence, Lewis said other players will have to increase their production. The Vikings have a big test with a second round playoff game against South Mecklenburg Friday.

“Once we knew (Maxwell) was hurt, I told the guys, ‘Nobody can replace Trey, but each one of you can be a little bit better,’” Lewis said. “Offensively, we can make up points. Ashton (Pierce) can always score more, Chadlyn (Traylor) can score more. But, Trey is a dog man. He does so much for us.”

Evans think his team is ready for any challenge, no matter who is on the court. Or not.

“We’ve just got a next man up mentality,” Evans said. “We try to keep ourselves prepared so that when the next man is up, they are ready and we are ready to go as a team.”

Evans said he didn’t know about the jersey ceremony leading up to the game. He said that Lewis usually likes to keep things like that a surprise.

He is the third Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ player to be a McDonald’s All-American and the 10th player in the Observer’s coverage area.

“It’s very special knowing that such a small number of people have been able to (become a McDonald’s All-American) from my area,” Evans said. “It’s just really special.”

Evans has drawn a lot of comparisons to the likes of NBA stars Brandon Ingram and Kevin Durant in how he plays.

While he doesn’t mind the comparisons, he wants to make one thing clear:

He plays like Isaiah Evans.

“I get the Brandon Ingram and Kevin Durant comparisons,” Evans said. “But, I don’t know, I’m just a different type of player. I’m my own type of player.”

Lewis said it’s been an honor to coach Evans and appreciates his loyalty to the program.

In a era where a lot of high profile players like Evans transfer to preparatory schools or private schools to play basketball, Evans stuck it out at North Meck.

“It’s just in his blood,” Lewis said. “Being loyal is who (Evans) is. That is who we are at North Meck. So, it’s ingrained into him, but it’s also who he is naturally.”

PHOTOS: Skyland Roberson at North Meck