Stevens

Future Heels to face off

Staff WriterJanuary 7, 2010 

Two future University of North Carolina basketball players and probable McDonald's All-American selections will play Saturday at UNC's Smith Center when Kinston meets Greensboro Dudley.

Kinston is led by 6-foot-7 senior guard Reggie Bullock, who was sensational in last week's GlaxoSmithKline Invitational. He has signed with Carolina. Dudley is led by junior P.J. Hairston, who is committed to the Tar Heels.

Knightdale looking for football coach: Kamelio Johnson will not return as the football coach at Knightdale next season. Knights athletic director Guy Blough said the position will be posted soon. Johnson's club had a 1-10 record in 2009 and finished 4-6 during his first season as coach in 2008.

"The position is wide open," Blough said. "I think we'll be looking for someone with previous head coaching experience. We want a person to establish our program."

Cothron playing well: N.C. State basketball commitment Luke Cothron scored 37 points in Red Springs Flora McDonald's 73-62 victory over 4-A Southern Pines Pine crest on Tuesday. His production came on the heels of a 31-point performance Monday in a 92-83 victory over Raleigh Word of God.

More honors for Bugg: Cardinal Gibbons' Madison Bugg bagged another honor this week. She was chosen to the USA U-18 girls volleyball national team.

The 12-player squad trained at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1.

The team will play in the 2010 NORCECA Girls' Youth Continental Championship held April 3-11 at Guatemala. Earlier, Bugg was selected the North Carolina Gatorade player of the year.

McNeill played for Lumberton: Texas Tech interim football coach Ruffin McNeill is a native of Lumberton and lettered four years as a defensive back at East Carolina. He was a 10-letter winner at Lumberton High and was an assistant coach there for a year.

He was a three-year starter at East Carolina and made coaching stops at Clemson, Austin Peay, East Carolina, North Alabama, Appalachian State, UNLV and Fresno State before going to Texas Tech with recently replaced coach Mike Leach.

Knights perfect in conference: Knightdale climbed to 4-0 in the Greater Neuse 4-A girls basketball standings on Tuesday when Deandre Morgan hit a 3-pointer with five seconds left in a 69-68 victory over Harnett Central. Tyler Nicholson led the Knights with 19 points, and Aaron Smith had 18 points, five assists and four steals.

Rill leads Millbrook: Paul Rill helped Millbrook win a Cap Seven 4-A quad swimming meet on Tuesday against Leesville Road, Broughton and Wake Forest-Rolesville. He won the 100 individual medley and the 100 backstroke. Millbrook nipped Leesville Road 163-160.

Green Hope rolling: Kristen Gaffney scored 26 points in leading the Green Hope girls to a 68-48 Tri-Nine 4-A win over Holly Springs.

Earlier this season, Gaffney had four straight games in which she had at least 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. She is averaging 27 points per game. Green Hope (15-0) has a big league game Tuesday at Athens Drive.

Pappas on all-state team: Cedar Ridge's Josh Pappas became the school's first all-state football player when he was chosen to the Max Preps all-state team. The Red Wolves defensive back intercepted nine passes and returned two for touchdowns last season. He also is a member of the Cedar Ridge basketball and baseball teams.

Reduced role for Sparks: Nicholas Sparks, the best-selling novelist, will not be as active coaching the New Bern High boys track team this season.

Sparks is involved in three movies and a novel this spring, and his son, Miles, will graduate from New Bern in January. Nicholas Sparks will continue to work with Track Eastern Carolina, which will compete in open meets indoors and outdoors.

Sparks believes TEC's 4x200 relay will be extremely strong with Miles Sparks, Fuquawn Green, Tyrell Lindsey, Jerrell Armstrong, John Weekley and Thomas Eubanks. TEC won the national outdoors championship in the 4x200 last summer.

tim.stevens@newsobserver.com or 919-829-8910

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