High Schools

Notebook: Cary’s Azura Stevens opens season with 45 points

tstevens@newsobserver.comNovember 20, 2013 

Cary’s Azura Stevens, a 6-foot-4 Duke recruit, opened her senior season in a big way with 45 points in a 69-56 girls basketball victory over Garner on Monday and came back with 34 points and 18 rebounds on Tuesday in a 59-52 win over Wakefield.

Stevens is a four-year starter, although she missed most of the 2012-13 season following a knee injury.

She made 9 of 11 free throws and 17 of 26 shots from the floor in the win over Garner. She added 11 rebounds, 5 blocks, 2 steals and 2 assists.

Stevens helped Cary build an 16-point lead on Wakefield in the fourth quarter before leaving the game.

ESPN HoopGurlz Recruiting has Stevens as the No. 23 women’s basketball recruit in the country. Duke’s incoming recruiting class currently is ranked No. 2 in the country by HoopGurlz.

Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie also has commitments from No. 10-ranked 6-foot-2 Lynee’ Belton of Potomac (Md.) Bullis, No. 17-ranked 6-foot Sierra Calhoun of New York Christ the King, and No. 38-ranked 6-foot-3 Erin Mathias of Pittsburgh Fox Chapel.

Stevens is the second-ranked senior prospect in North Carolina behind Charlotte Providence Day’s 6-foot-4 Jatarie White, who is ranked No. 7 and signed with the University of South Carolina earlier this month.

Big night: Raleigh Trinity Academy sophomore Kristi Demski provided most of the offense for the Tigers in their 47-44 girls basketball victory over Durham Trinity on Tuesday night. The 5-foot-10 swing forward made 8 of 15 3-pointers and finished with 41 points. Junior Jordan Thomas scored the other six.

Gibbons ranked: Cardinal Gibbons, the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3A volleyball champion, is ranked No. 6 in the country by CBS MaxPreps Xcellent 25. The Crusaders finished 28-0. Woodlands, Texas (43-0) is ranked No. 1.

15,000 photos: The News & Observer high school sports online site – http://www.newsobserver.com/high-school-sports/ – has posted 15,605 images of high school athletes so far this fall, according to Cary News sports editor J. Mike Blake, who tracks such things.

The pictures include athletes, bands, cheerleaders, coaches and fans from 68 different schools. The shots include 47 volleyball teams, 46 football teams, 41 soccer teams, 13 girls tennis teams and at least 16 cross country teams. The site also has 385 stories about high school athletics and has hundreds of football, basketball and boys soccer rosters and schedules, plus statistics on most area teams.

Green Hope coach: Mike Hoy, who coached the Green Hope boys soccer team to a 22-3 season, has been named as the Falcons’ girls soccer coach.

“We are pleased to announce that Coach Hoy has accepted our women’s head soccer coach position after serving as our men’s coach this past year,” said Green Hope athletics director Wayne Bragg. “Coach Hoy has a great knowledge of the game and is a very energetic person. We are looking forward to him adding some stability between both of our programs.”

Road man: David Howle agreed to come back to coach the Bunn High football team this year with the understanding that he would miss some games in order to watch his son play at Penn State. At one point, Howle thought he might leave his assistants in charge and miss seven or more Bunn games.

It worked out, however, that Howle has been at eight of the Wildcats’ 12 games and still has attended all 10 of the Penn State games.

“I hadn’t planned to drive all night to Penn State after our games, but I have,” he said. “But it has been good. There aren’t many places around anymore like Bunn. This is a special community that allowed me to do this.”

The Wildcats started 1-3, but won seven of their last eight. Howle said it was difficult to put in a new offense and rebuild with one returning offensive starter.

Bunn, which plays at Washington in the second round of the playoffs on Friday, has been clicking recently. Senior Tevin Ferrell has rushed for 250 or more yards in two of the last three games. He missed two games, but is averaging 134.1 rushing yards in the other 10 games.

Millbrook girls fall: Millbrook has been a dominating girls basketball team the last three years, but lost to East Wake on Tuesday 50-45. Millbrook graduated the bulk of the squad that carried it to the state 4A championship the past two years.

East Wake was led by Angel Rizor’s 15 rebounds and 13 points

Holiday Invitational: The Cary girls expect to be tested during the Holiday Invitation at Cary Academy on Dec. 26-28. The field also includes Chapel Hill, Greensboro Dudley, Durham Hillside, Broughton, Durham Riverside, West Forsyth and West Craven.

The boys tournaments will be played at Broughton on Dec. 26-28 and has two eight-team brackets.

First round pairings in one group is Apex vs. Moss Point, Miss.; Clayton vs. Orlando (Fla.) Lake Highland Prep; Garner vs. Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler; and Broughton vs. Kinston.

The other games are Wilbraham (Mass.) and Monson School vs. Middle Creek; Sanderson vs. Martinsville (Va.) Carlisle; Fayetteville Trinity vs. Columbia (S.C.) Hammond; and Spring (Texas) Homeschool Christian Youth Association.

The field includes University of North Carolina recruits 6-foot-7 Justin Jackson of HCYA, who is No. 8 on the ESPN list of top prospects, and 6-foot Joel Berry of Lake Highland, who is No. 15.

Devin Booker of Moss Point, who is No. 18 on the list, has signed with Kentucky.

Stevens: 919-829-8910

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