Veteran Greenville Rose baseball coach Ronald Vincent said the Mideastern Conference was the toughest league this season that he has ever coached in.
Vincent is the state leader with 819 career wins. His 19-5 Rose team easily handled Garner, 9-2, in a first round 4A game and entered the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs as a No. 3 seed.
“New Bern (19-5) is great and so is Wilmington Ashley (16-6),” Vincent said. “We’ve got a nice club, but so does (Wilmington) Hoggard (14-9) and (Wilmington) Laney (13-9). There is no break. It was a great league.”
The top five teams from the Mideastern advanced through the first round.
The Tri-Nine also advanced its top five: Green Hope (No. 1), Middle Creek (2), Fuquay-Varina (3), Apex (4) and Holly Springs (5). The top seeds from the Tri-Nine (West Johnston), PAC Six (East Chapel Hill) and the Cap Eight (Wakefield) were eliminated.
Green Hope was an impressive 10-0 winner over Northern Durham. Will Gilbert pitched a five-inning no-hitter. He struck out six.
Doubleheader: East Chapel Hill High is scheduled to host an unusual doubleheader Tuesday night. The Wildcats girls’ soccer team will play Leesville Road at 5:30 p.m., in an NCHSAA third-round game and East Chapel Hill girls’ lacrosse team will play Green Hope in the NCHSAA Eastern finals at 7.
Athens Drive plays at Cardinal Gibbons in the boys’ lacrosse Eastern finals.
MIT bound: Richard Lu of NCHSAA 1A runner-up Durham Science & Math and Francesca Perone of 2A girls’ team champion Carrboro are headed to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Lu finished second behind Johnny Oglesby of state champion North Rowan in the 110 hurdles and Perone was on Carrboro’s winning 4X800 relay and its third-place 4X400 relay. She was third in the 1,600 meters.
Jordan lacrosse: The Durham Jordan boys’ lacrosse team (15-2) was eliminated in the first round of the NCHSAA playoffs, but the Falcons’ Sam Lindsey had an exceptional season. He scored 47 goals and had 39 assists for 86 points, the tops in the area. He has committed to Marquette.
Williamson steps down: Russell Williamson, head football coach at Princeton High for the past 11 years, announced his resignation from teaching and coaching on Monday. The Bulldogs had their best year under Williamson in 2009, going 10-4 and advancing to the third round of the 1A playoffs. That season saw Princeton end a 28-year drought without a playoff victory.
“I’ve never been a selfish person but this time I thought about what was best for me. It was time,” he said.
The Bulldogs were 4-8 last season, but should return much of their lineup for the 2012 season.
No-hitter: Holly Springs’ Erica Nunn and Abbe Snidemiller combined for a five-inning softball no-hitter in a 14-0 first round victory over Northern Durham. Nunn notched eight strikeouts in three innings. The Hawks are at home against Scotland Tuesday night.
Rainout: Green Hope and Wakefield were rained out of their NCHSAA dual-team match on Monday. They will try to play Tuesday.
Track championships: The NCHSAA track and field championships are Friday (3A) and Saturday (4A) at N.C. A&T in Greensboro.
The N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association track finals are Friday and Saturday at High Point University (1A/2A) and Charlotte Country Day (3A).
NCISAA lacrosse: Ravenscroft (17-2) is the top-seeded team in the NCISAA girls’ lacrosse playoffs. The Ravens open the tournament Tuesday against Forsyth Country Day.
Golfer of the year: UNC-Wilmington’s Thomas Bass, who played at Holly Springs High, has been selected Colonial Athletic Association golfer of the year. Bass, a junior, led the Seahawks with a 73.19 stroke average and had four top-eight finishes this season.