Chris East, who has led Millbrook to the state 4A finals three straight years and to state titles the past two years, was named the Associated Press girls high school basketball coach of the year in North Carolina.
East received 10 votes to lead the statewide voting. Kinston’s Hubert Quinerly was second with five votes.
East led Millbrook to a 33-0 finish and a 62-56 victory over Greensboro Page in the N.C. High School Athletic Association championship game.
The Wildcats were loaded with eight players that received scholarships, including the 6-foot-4 Day twins, Briana and Bria, who have signed with Syracuse; Wake Forest recruit Mykia Jones; and UNC Wilmington recruit Ryan Flowers.
East guided the team to become an unselfish, team-minded group.
“We asked them to sacrifice minutes and shots, and kind of approached it as a team-first situation because any one of those kids could have gone to a different school,” East said.
The expectations were enormous after the team won the title in 2012 when most of the standouts were juniors.
“This year, maybe with all the expectations, it was a different kind of tough, if that makes sense,” East said.
Ty Baumgartner led Charlotte Olympic to a 30-0 record including a win over Broughton in the 4A boys’title game. He was named the boys coach of the year.
The male and female players of the year are scheduled to be announced on Friday.
Hicks leads AP voting: Isaiah Hicks led the AP North Carolina all-star basketball balloting. He was named on all 22 ballots cast by media members around the state.
Kennedy Meeks of West Charlotte got 20 votes and Wake Forest University junior commitment Shelton Mitchell of Waxhaw Cuthbertson got 19.
Roxboro Person’s Tyrone Outlaw, Jr. (10 votes) and Clayton’s Gary Clark (9) also made the team.
• No Triangle players made the AP girls all-state team, which was dominated by players from the western part of the state.
Millbrook’s Jones and Flowers plus Holly Springs’ Kiara Leslie were on my ballot.
Voting is always imprecise in North Carolina because the state is so large. Voters, including me, often cast ballots for players they have never seen play.
Lenoir power: A story I wrote about Kinston’s tradition of basketball excellence earlier week provoked some discussion.
In addition to Jerry Stackhouse, Cedric Maxwell, Charles Shackleford, Tommy Mattocks and Reggie Bullock, Kinston High also has produced Wake Forest’s Craig Dawson, Florida State’s Tony Dawson and UT-Arlington’s Bo Ingram, who was the AP state co-player of the year in 2008.
And some people think North Lenoir High’s Mitchell Wiggins, the father of top-ranked 6-10 recruit Andrew Wiggins, should be added to the list.
Mitchell Wiggins played at North Lenoir High and was a first-round NBA draft pick out of Florida State. He played in the NBA for six years. His son is regarded as the best high school player in the country.
Broughton swimming: Kelsey Moore and Elisabeth Holmes, a pair of Broughton swimmers, have accepted swimming scholarships.
Moore, who is headed to UNC Wilmington, was third in the NCHSAA 200-yard freestyle and sixth in the 500 free.
Holmes, who signed with Washington & Lee, was 11th in the 500 free and 16th in the 200 IM.