- Perfect Slates: There was only one NCHSAA team, among the over 700
which began play this season, which finished with an unblemished record after
the weekend’s NCHSAA state championship games.
Hope Mills South View (32-0) rallied to win the state 4-A women’s championship
game at the Smith Center, downing Greensboro Grimsley 69-64 to become the only
varsity team in the NCHSAA to finish with a perfect basketball record.
- East vs. West: For the seventh time in eight years, the Western
representatives held the edge over the Eastern champions in the NCHSAA state
basketball championships. The West took five of the eight championship games,
including all four games played at Reynolds Coliseum. The Eastern
representative took three of the four games at the Smith Center, with South
View (4-A women, Wilmington New Hanover (4-A men) and Burlington Cummings (2-A
men) winning from the Eastern Regional.
In 2006, the East representatives took six of the eight titles, with only
Bishop McGuinness in the 1-A women and South Mecklenburg in the 4-A women’s
games winning for the West.
Western teams took five of eight championships during the 2005 Super Saturday
activities, six of eight titles in 2004 and seven of eight championships
during the 2003 finals. Only Fayetteville Seventy-First, with its 4-A women’s
triumph over Charlotte Zeb Vance by a 50-47 count, able to give the East a
victory in 2003.
The 2002 championships represent the only time that one side of the state has
swept the other in the 28-year history using the regional format, as the
Western champions captured all eight of those NCHSAA title games, four men’s
games and four women’s games. In 2001, the West went 6-2, with only East
Bladen in the 2-A men’s title game and Winston-Salem Carver in the 3-A women’s
championship breaking through for the East. In 2000, seven of the eight
championships went to Western representatives, with only Whiteville’s narrow
victory over Pittsboro Northwood in the 2-A men’s final preventing a complete
sweep by the West over the East.
- Robinson Boys Do Well: Three of the 16 coaches in the NCHSAA finals
have the last name ³Robinson², and two of the three of them earned state
titles. George Robinson coached Burlington Cummings to the men’s 2-A crown,
and Brian Robinson led the Bishop McGuinness women to the 1-A championship.
Will Robinson was the head coach of the Charlotte Vance Cougars in the men’s
4-A title game, where Vance lost to Wilmington New Hanover 39-35.
- Cetera DeGraffenreid: The Smoky Mountain women’s star, who has
signed with the University of North Carolina, had a tremendous championship,
earning Wendy’s Most Valuable Player honors with a 42-point outburst, leading
the Lady Mustangs to an 85-62 victory over Graham for the 2-A crown at the
Smith Center. DeGraffenreid hit 12 of 25 from the floor but made 16 of 19 foul
shots to go with seven assists, six rebounds and four steals. The 19 foul
shots attempted and 16 made are both women’s state tournament records.
In addition, DeGraffenreid finished her high school career with 3,081 points,
the second best total by an NCHSAA female player ever, behind the 3,225 of
Clinton’s Danyel Parker (1986-89) and ahead of the third-place total of Eden
Morehead’s Amy Simpson (1995-99) of 3,067. The other members of the NCHSAA
3,000-point club are Bunn’s Nakisha Stewart (3,037 in 2001-05) and
Fayetteville Terry Sanford’s Shea Ralph (3,002 points in 1993-96).
DeGraffenreid has been selected to play in the 2007 McDonald’s All-American
game and the 2007 WBCA High School All-American Classic.
- Two for Two: Dwight Jones of Burlington Cummings made it two
Wendy’s MVP awards in two trips to the state finals as the Cavalier star
scored 23 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead Cummings to its second
consecutive state title, a 52-49 triumph over Boonville Starmount for the 2-A
title at the Smith Center. Cummings now has a sterling 6-1 record in NCHSAA
men’s basketball championship games.
- Big Comeback: Hope Mills South View made one of the biggest
comebacks in recent state championship memory on Saturday night as the Tigers
battled back to beat Greensboro Grimsley 69-64 for the 4-A women’s
championship. Coach Brent Barker’s team trailed Grimsley by 14 at halftime and
by 17 at 41-24 with 6:32 remaining in the third quarter. South View was still
behind 49-38 entering the final quarter before outscoring the Whirlies 31-15
in the final eight minutes. The Tigers placed five players in double figures
that offset a big 33-point performance by Grimsley’s Trumae Lucas.
- Domination Continues: the victory by Kernersville Bishop McGuinness
over East Bladen by 79-42 in the state 1-A women’s final at Reynolds Coliseum
continued a solid trend for the Western champ in that classification. The West
has now won 20 of the last 22 titles in the 1-A classification for women
- Time Warner Television: all eight of the state championship
basketball games are now available to Time Warner Cable subscribers across the
state on Carolina Video on Demand, on channel 1234.
- Tough Thomasville: the Thomasville Bulldogs won their fifth NCHSAA
state crown in the last 11 years as the Bulldogs raced past North Edgecombe
86-76 in the state 1-A men’s championship at Reynolds Coliseum. Chris Woods of
Thomasville was the Wendy’s MVP with 23 points and 17 rebounds, hitting eight
of 11 shots form the floor.
- Concord Gridders: A couple of Concord football players were keys
for the Spiders on the hardwood as Concord defeated Kinston in an uptempo
85-79 affair at Reynolds Coliseum for the NCHSAA 3-A men’s championship. Guard
Dee Bost was the quarterback for head coach E.Z. Smith’s state championship
football team, and he quarterbacked the basketball Spiders at the point,
pumping in 27 points en route to earning Wendy’s MVP honors. Lance Lewis, a
starter on both the 2004 and ‘06 NCHSAA state championship football teams,
scored 16 points, grabbed four rebounds and handed out four assists as he was
named his team’s Most Outstanding Player in the final.
- N.C.State Bound: Carver’s Brittany Strachan has committed to play
at N.C. State and she came through with a great performance for her team in
the NCHSAA state 3-A women’s final at Reynolds Coliseum against SouthWest
Edgecombe. Strachan, who was averaging 18.7 ppg, pumped in 29 and grabbed 13
rebounds, earning Wendy’s MVP honors as the Yellow Jackets beat SouthWest
58-49. SouthWest Edgecombe is now 4-4 in eight appearances in NCHSAA women’s
- Other Random Notes: Wendy’s and the Carolinas Ford Dealers are the
presenting sponsors for the NCHSAA sports program... the two sites for the
championships (Smith and Reynolds) was the fifth time two sites have been used
since 1998, when the women’s games were played at Carmichael Auditorium and
the men’s games were held at the Smith Center... Northern Durham and Garner
High Schools served as the official hosts for the championships... the NCHSAA
unveiled new experimental officials shirts, gray with black pinstripes, for
these state championships, a shirt that is less obtrusive than the black and
white striped shirt and would be a specific shirt for high school ball; the
shirt has been well received by officials and booking agents. If approved, the
2008-09 season would be the full implementation year for the gray shirt.