High School Basketball

Lexington to hire NC native as Harris’ successor for Wildcats basketball

Lexington has found its successor for longtime basketball coach Bailey Harris.

West Davidson (NC) coach Elliott Pope will be the school’s next boys basketball coach, The State has learned. The school is expected to make an official announcement Thursday morning.

According to The Dispatch of Lexington, North Carolina, Pope resigned his position earlier this month to take a job in South Carolina. The 26-year-old was 19-29 in two seasons at West Davidson, going 12-12 this year and earning Central Carolina Conference Coach of the Year honors.

Before West Davidson, Pope was the head coach and athletic director at Mountain Lake Academy in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is a North Carolina native and graduated from Hopewell High School in Huntersville.

Pope played one year of college basketball at Carson-Newman before knee injuries sidelined his career. He got his college degree at UNC Charlotte.

Pope takes over for Harris, who had been the head coach since 1987-88 before stepping down after the season. Harris won 637 games, sixth most in state history and two state titles. Lexington went 29-1 this year and lost to Berkeley in the Class 5A Lower State championship game.

The Wildcats graduate nine players of this year’s team including all-state selection Mason Carver and guard Bradley Foulks. Carver signed to play at Anderson University and Foulks signed with Southern Wesleyan.