With the high school basketball playoffs about to kick off this month, teams are battling for contention in what is expected to be an exciting playoff round. 

Recently, Sterling High School point guard Carlos McKinney and big man Corey Nickerson helped the Raiders pull off a playoff-clinching win against Waltrip, creating a separation of two games in the standings for the final spot in 5A Region, District III. 

Coach Andrea Young is pleased with the Sterling duo’s playmaking.

“Corey is our glue,” Young said. “He does so many things well with his size. He can handle the ball, he’s a good shot-blocker and he can shoot the ball and score. Carlos is a good shooter and we look for him to knock down big shots and get us off to a good start.” 

The Defender spoke with McKinney and Nickerson after Sterling’s win over Waltrip. 

Defender: What were the keys to success in the victory over Waltrip?

McKinney:Moving the ball, passing, getting to our spots and knocking down open shots. My teammates trusted me to knock down shots and I knocked [them down].

Defender: How do you intend to change the outcome in the rematch against Madison?

McKinney:In the last game we got out to a great start. So, we just need to keep up our tempo and limit the turnovers and we will be good.

Defender: What do you love about playing on the court?

McKinney:I love when my teammates are firing on all cylinders like tonight against Waltrip. We were getting hyped and just feeding into the crowd. It is an incredible feeling.”

Defender: How did you get started playing basketball?

Nickerson:My fifth-grade teacher Mrs. Perry. She is the one who started it off for me. Rest in peace.

Defender: When did you know that you can do something with the game of basketball?

Nickerson:It really took off my eighth-grade year. I had a big season and that is when I started getting ranked, noticed and recognized.

About McKinney

College: Uncommitted 

Favorite subject: History

Favorite food: Chicken strips

Hobbies: Reading about current events, watching YouTube

World problem he would solve: Poverty

Shout-outs: “My mama and dad – RIP, Dad, I love you”

About Nickerson 

Twitter: @coreydnickerson 

College: Uncommitted

Offers considering: Blinn, Lamar

Hobbies: Working out, “chilling” with brothers and sisters

NBA players he studies: LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Ben Simmons

Shout-outs: Mom, dad, brother Jarvis, Mrs. Perry, God