West Johnston ended Clayton’s perfect run with a thrilling five-set volleyball victory Thursday evening. It was the two rivals’ second straight five-set battle this season.
The Wildcats’ 25-13, 15-25, 25-18, 22-25, 15-4 victory left both teams with 11-1 records in Greater Neuse River 4A Conference play with two matches to go in the regular season.
The West (17-2) attack was led by seniors Abby Barbour and Kelsey Ellis. Barbour finished with 14 kills, seven blocks and five digs, while Ellis had 12 kills and three aces.
Clayton (19-1) never led in the set tally, but answered each of the Wildcats’ first two set wins before the Wildcats rolled through the fifth set for the victory.
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Wildcats move to 7-0: West Johnston ran its football record to 7-0 with a 42-6 win over Harnett Central on Thursday night. The Wildcats’ Tony Mack ran for three touchdowns and 160 yards on 12 carries, while quarterback Andre Wilson threw for 176 yards and three TDs.
The Wildcats’ defense has allowed fewer points than in the previous week for four straight weeks against Greater Neuse River 4A Conference opponents. West (4-0 in the league) held Central to 132 total yards of offense on Thursday and less than two yards gained per rush attempt.
South Johnston holds on in conference opener: South Johnston fended off Western Harnett’s second-half push for a 20-17 football victory Thursday night in the Two Rivers 3A Conference opener for both teams.
South (3-4 overall) led 20- at the half and was led offensively by DeParris Patterson’s 127 yards rushing and two TDs. Fabian McDonald added 90 yards rushing and a TD as well.
Princeton runs by Hobbton: Princeton kept its perfect start to Carolina 1A Conference play going with a 56-14 victory over Hobbton on Thursday night.
The Bulldogs (3-4 overall, 2-0 conference) ran for seven touchdowns and went 7-for-7 on two-point conversion attempts on the night, running all seven of those in as well.
Matthew Stallworth ran for four TDs, while Earl Gibson added a pair of scoring runs. Trace James accounted for the other rushing TD and was one of three Bulldogs with two successful two-point conversion runs.
Nathan Ramby and Gibson had pairs of two-point runs, while Lamar Wilkins added the other conversion run.
Panthers move into tie for first: North Johnston’s girls tennis team moved into a tie for first place in the Eastern Plains 2A Conference with a 5-4 win over Washington on Thursday. Both teams are 8-1 in conference matches.
North Johnston (11-6 overall) and Washington (6-7) split singles play 3-3 with North’s Abigail Morris, Emily Benedict and Lanie Headley earning wins. After a split of the first two doubles matches — with North’s Morris and Headley winning at No. 2 singles, the Panthers’ duo of Savannah Beasley and Allison Bunn edged Washington’s Mary Grace Wilder and Kayla Clark, 8-6, to clinch the win for North Johnston.
“What an exciting match to watch and be a part of,” said North coach David Anderson. “It was very tense and stressful all the way to the last point. However, our young ladies were very poised and focused.
“Our young ladies played the match of their lives.”
The Panthers can wrap up no worse than a share of their first girls tennis conference title in school history with a win over North Pitt in their regular-season finale.