High Schools

Chatham Central coach shares the secret of 600 basketball victories

tstevens@newsobserver.comFebruary 14, 2014 

Chatham Central girls’ basketball coach Gerald Binkley notched his 600th career win recently without his girls making a basket.

The 32-year coaching veteran got the 600th when Queen’s Grant did not have enough players for a scheduled game in mid-January. Chatham Central picked up a forfeit.

“In all these years, we’ve never had a forfeit that I can remember and definitely not one because the other teams didn’t have five players,” Binkley said. “Then we get one on the 600th.”

Binkley, who has a 605-252 overall record and a 12-8 mark this season, said there is no secret to having coaching success.

“You need to have good players,” he said. “You realize that when you don’t.”

If the team runs a play and the play results in a missed layup, there is not much the coach can do.

“I don’t have a long stick to knock the ball in,” he said. “The girls have to do the playing.”

Binkley has spent his entire career at Chatham Central. Long tenures are a rarity now. He no longer teaches in the classroom, but enjoys being with the players.

“There are so many exceptional young people,” he said. “You don’t always hear a lot about them, but there are so many great ones.”

His teams won N.C. High School Athletic Association titles in 1986, 1999 and 2000. His clubs have won 13 conference championships.

Football rules change: High school football rules will have an additional emphasis on protecting players this fall. Players may not aim and initiate contact to an opponent above the shoulders with the helmet, forearm, hand, fist, elbow or shoulders.

Targeting will be considered illegal contact.

Also, the kicking team on kickoffs must line up within 5 yards of the free kick line. The change will reduce the distance players can run to the free kick line and reduce their speed.

The National Federation of State High School Association’s committee also clarified the definition of a defenseless player: A defenseless player is one who, because of his physical position and focus of concentration, is especially vulnerable to injury.

Bengals on top: Fuquay-Varina is preseason No. 1 in the Impact Baseball 4A poll. The Bengals (27-6) lost to South Mecklenburg in the state championship series in 2013. Sanderson is ranked No. 5 and Harnett Central is No. 10.

Basketball tournaments: The Cap Eight 4A, Greater Neuse 4A, Southwest Wake Athletic 4A, Eastern Plains 2A and Northern Carolina 2A have canceled their conference tournaments. League teams will complete their regular-season schedules next week. State playoff seeding will be based on the regular-season finish.

EPIC basketball: The Eastern Plains Independent Conference tournament semifinals and finals are scheduled for Saturday at Rocky Mount Academy.

The Raleigh Grace Christian boys will play Kinston Parrott in a quarterfinal game Saturday morning with the winner playing Cary Christian at 2:30. St. David’s plays Rocky Mount Academy in the other semifinal at 4. The boys’ finals are at 7.

In the girls’ tournament, Cary Christian plays St. David’s at 11:30  a.m., and Halifax Academy plays Kerr-Vance Academy at 1. The championship game is at 5:30 p.m.

TISAC basketball: The Triangle Independent School Athletic Association will play its boys’ and girls’ tournament semifinals on Saturday at Durham Academy.

The Ravenscroft girls play North Raleigh Christian at 10 a.m., and the Ravenscroft boys play Wake Christian at 11:30. The Durham Academy girls play Cary Academy at 1 and the Durham Academy boys play North Raleigh Christian at 2:30.

The girls’ finals are scheduled for 4 and the boys finals for 6.

Wake County wrestlers: Wake County Schools will allow wrestlers to participate in the NCHSAA regional on Saturday, but other other athletic competition is allowed. Spring sports tryouts will begin on Monday.

NCISAA wrestling: The N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association championship began Friday and resumes 9 a.m. Saturday at High Point Wesleyan.

International Bowl: Ravenscroft senior Avery Edwards made two catches, including one for a touchdown, as Team USA beat Team Canada, 43-7, in the International Bowl all-star game on Feb. 7 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Edwards, a 6-foot-5, 235-pound senior, set school records with 159 receptions for 2,199 yards and 26 receiving touchdowns during his career at Ravenscroft.

“I’ll never forget my teammates, the game and the opportunity to represent the USA against the Canadian team” said Edwards. “However, the week of two-a-day practices against some of the best defensive players in the country really showed me the level of competition that I will see at the college level.”

Stevens: 919-829-8910

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