High Schools

Clayton's Gary Clark, Northern's Ricky Council get All-America nominations

tstevens@newsobserver.comJanuary 15, 2014 

Clayton’s Gary Clark and Northern Durham’s Ricky Council are among the 27 high school basketball players in North Carolina who have been nominated to play in the McDonald’s All-America boys’ or girls’ basketball game. Holly Springs’ Kiara Leslie and Cary’s Azura Stevens are on the girls’ list.

Being nominated is the first stage in the selection process. Hundreds of players are nominated, including more than 120 from Ohio and more than 100 from New York and New Jersey.

A national panel of voters selects the 24 boys and 24 girls through a series of votes, reducing the field of candidates with each round of voting.

The squads for the April 2 game in Chicago will be announced on Jan. 29 on ESPNU.

North Carolina has had 31 boys selected, including Oxford Webb’s Isaiah Hicks and West Charlotte’s Kennedy Meeks in 2013. The University of North Carolina has had 62 recruits in the boys’ game.

New backboard: Apex and Panther Creek will resume their Southwest Wake Athletic 4A Conference boys’ basketball game Thursday with a new tempered glass backboard in place.

The Catamounts’ Nubian Spann destroyed a backboard Friday with a dunk that gave Panther Creek a 20-14 lead. The game will be resumed with 6 minutes, 54 seconds left in the second period. Ticket stubs from Friday’s game will be honored for admission.

The teams are undefeated in the conference. Panther Creek is 12-1 overall and is ranked No. 2 in The News & Observer. Apex is 7-6 and ranked No. 12.

Celebration: Davis Whitfield, the N.C. High School Athletic Association commissioner, was pleased with the association’s yearlong centennial celebration that wrapped up with last week’s gala.

“Many people have played a big role in creating and building the association during its 100-year history,” Whitfield said. “We wanted to recognize them. The celebration was a way of showing our appreciation for all of their efforts and hard work.”

Southern Conference honors: Davidson’s Dakota Dukes is the Southern Conference women’s basketball player of the week and Furman’s Whitney Bunn is the league’s freshman of the week.

Dukes, a sophomore from Cary Christian, scored 16 points and had 10 rebounds to lead the Wildcats in a win against Elon and had 24 points and 10 rebounds in a win against UNC Greensboro.

Bunn, a Bunn High graduate, had a career-high 20 points in Furman’s victory against Wofford.

Gymnastics: The N.C. High School Athletic Association does not conduct a state championship in gymnastics, but several area conferences have championships.

Green Hope nipped Panther Creek 151.30 to 150.45 to win the Southwest Wake Athletic title on Saturday. Middle Creek sophomore Elizabeth Farin won the all-around title with 39 points.

Millbrook won its fourth straight Cap Eight 4A title, topping second-place Enloe 154.0 to 148.1. Millbrook’s Lydia Sobhan won the all-around title with a 38.95.

Swimming: The Greater Neuse 4A swimming championships are scheduled for Saturday at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary. The Two Rivers 3A championships will also be Saturday at the Smithfield Recreation and Aquatic Center.

The Cap Eight 4A and the Southwest Wake Athletic 4A championships are set for the TAC on Jan. 25 and the Piedmont Athletic 4A will be Wednesday at the University of North Carolina’s Koury Natatorium.

The N.C. High School Athletic Association championships will be Feb. 6 (1A/2A), Feb. 7 (4A) and Feb. 8 (3A) at the Triangle Aquatic Center.

Stevens: 919-829-8910

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