High schools

All-sports titles decided by narrow margins

June 10, 2014 

Garner's Zach Hancock (13) battles Clayton's Sean Kimble (16) for a loose ball during Garner's 2-1 victory September 16, 2013.

DEAN STRICKLAND — DEAN STRICKLAND

The Wells Fargo Conference Cup was so close this year in some area conferences that the outcome of one game would have made the difference in the annual all-sports competition.

In the Greater Neuse 4A, for example, the eight league teams competed in hundreds of games spread across more than a dozen sports over 10 months before Garner nipped Clayton 235-233 to end Clayton’s five-year run atop the league’s all-sports standings.

Wells Fargo Conference Cup points are awarded on the final standings in each conference sport. If Clayton had finished a bit higher or Garner a little lower in any sport, the all-sports standings would have been different.

If Clayton had beaten Garner in a boys’ soccer game Oct. 9 instead of the teams tying at 2, Clayton would have won the regular-season title, and as a result, shared the Conference Cup championship.

If the Clayton football team had beaten Garner instead of losing 35-28, or if the Clayton boys’ track team had finished fifth instead of seventh in the league track championships, the all-sports outcome would have been different, too.

The same close all-sports races existed in other leagues, too. Wake Forest’s Franklin Academy edged Raleigh Charter 64-62.5 in the North Central 1A, and Rosewood topped Princeton 98-96 in the Carolina 1A. Corinth Holders took the Two Rivers 3A title 200.5 to 198 over Cleveland.

Carrboro had the biggest margin of victory in the all-sports competition among area conferences. The Jaguars topped Siler City Jordan-Matthews 94-70 in the Mid-State 2A.

Millbrook won the Cap Eight 4A, 144.5-121.5 over Broughton, and East Chapel Hill defeated second-place Durham Jordan 92.5-88 in the Piedmont Athletic 4A.

Green Hope, a perennial contender for the state’s top overall 4A program, took the Southwest Wake 4A Conference Cup with a 141.5-132 advantage over Apex.

Chapel Hill beat Cardinal Gibbons 116.5-110.5 in the Big Eight 3A in showdown between two of the state’s top programs.

Granville Central beat Louisburg 56-48.5 in the Tar Roanoke 1A, and in the Northern Carolina 2A, Durham Science & Math had an 91-84 edge over Bunn.

Norris successor: Jody Brown, who has 20 years of college coaching experience, has been named volleyball coach at Chapel Hill High. He succeeds Sherry Norris, the state’s all-time leader in volleyball wins.

Brown coached Florida Atlantic for 18 seasons before stepping away three years ago to spend more time with his family. He has worked in the USA Volleyball development program and in Tasmania as part of the Australian development program.

He and his wife moved to Chapel Hill when she took a position at the University of North Carolina.

“It is a great honor to have this opportunity at Chapel Hill,” Brown said. “Coach Norris has done such a tremendous job building this program.”

Voyager names coach: Voyager Academy, a public charter high school in Durham, has named Mike Huff as its varsity boys’ basketball coach. Huff, the school’s junior varsity coach the past two seasons, is replacing Patrick Walton.

“Huff possesses a high level of knowledge, experience and enthusiasm for coaching basketball,” Voyager Academy athletics director Mike Germino said. “He will be a valuable asset for the boys in our program.”

The Vikings are a member of the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s North Central Athletic 1A.

NCAA track: Raleigh’s Wayne Davis III and Clayton’s Keni Harrison are among the favorites entering this week’s NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore.

Harrison swept the 100- and 400-meter hurdles at the SEC championships last month. She won the 100 in 12.86 seconds and the 400 in 54.76 seconds. The former Clayton High standout has won three SEC championships this school year, including the 60 indoor title during March.

Davis, a Southeast Raleigh grad and the defending NCAA champion, broke the Texas A&M record in winning the 110-meter hurdles at the NCAA West preliminaries. He finished in 13.20 seconds, lowering his school record.

Stevens: 919-829-8910

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