Garner Cleveland: Sports

Garner basketball standout Thomas Allen transferring out of state for senior season

Garner’s Thomas Allen (12) drives the lane as Millbrook’s Kai Crutchfield (5) defends during the 2016 NCHSAA playoffs.
Garner’s Thomas Allen (12) drives the lane as Millbrook’s Kai Crutchfield (5) defends during the 2016 NCHSAA playoffs.

Garner boys basketball standout Thomas Allen announced on Thursday that he would play his senior season at Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H. Allen helped lead the Trojans to the 2014 NCHSAA 4A state championship and to the regional championship game this past season.

“First of all, let me thank the Garner community for an amazing three years. I wouldn’t trade them for anything; it’s really been a long journey,” Allen said in a note posted on Twitter. “(I’m) glad to be a part of something big. … After long talks with my parents, I feel that this is the best decision for me.”

He also expressed thanks to Garner head coach Eddie Gray, assistant coach Kent Blooms, coaches Steve Smith and Donald Williams, his teammates and the “Blue Crew” for a great three years.

Allen was the Greater Neuse River 4A Conference and a second-team N.C. Basketball Coaches Association second-team selection for the 2015-16 season. He averaged 21.5 points, 5.6 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 2.5 steals a game for the Trojans, who went 29-3.

Brewster has won five New England Prepatory School Athletic Council championships since 2008 and its Class of 2015 boys squad sent a dozen players onto play collegiately. Its list of alumni includes former N.C. State player T.J. Warren.

Allen had been considering some interesting options for the 2017-18 season and considered reclassifying as a senior after talking with N.C. State coaches about the option early this year, but ultimately decided he wanted another year of high school play.

Five will play in East-West football game: Success for the East All-Star squad’s offense in this summer’s N.C. Coaches Association East-West All-Star Football Game will rest largely on the backs of local standouts. Three of the five area players selected for this year’s game will play offensive line: Cleveland’s Zach Jacobs, Clayton’s Brooks Verona and Southeast Raleigh’s Donte Wooten.

They will join West Johnston’s Deandre Blevins (a defensive back) and Clayton’s Blake Joyner (a receiver) on the field for the annual game, which will be played July 20 at Jameison Stadium on the campus of Grimsley High School in Greensboro.

The East coaching staff will feature a Johnston County product as well. Corinth Holders assistant coach Don Andrews is an assistant for the East squad. He has also coached at Smithfield-Selma and North Johnston previously.

Clayton to host Club Lacrosse Tournament: Clayton will play host to the 2016 N.C. Club Lacrosse Cup, the May 14-15 at the Clayton Civitan Park. The event is for high school-age club teams and will feature a local squad, the Clayton Lacrosse Club Warriors.

Nine teams in total will take part in a double-elimination tournament that could bring as many as 1,000 people to the area. Other teams competing include Voyager Academy of Durham, Jack Britt of Fayetteville, Fayetteville Village, Charlotte-Concord Christ the King, Concord Cox Mill, Hendersonville, Denver and the Charlotte Secondary School.For more information on the tournament, search for The NC Lacrosse Cup on Facebook.

Long trip, fast start for Swanson: Atlanta Braves’ top prospect Dansby Swanson had a fast start in Double-A baseball after a late-night promotion from the Carolina Mudcats’ on April 30. Swanson made the seven-plus-hour drive from Zebulon to Jacksonville, Fla. on Saturday, then went 2-for-3 that evening with a home run.

“I found out [about the promotion] last night after our game and just kind of started scrambling to get all my stuff packed up,” Swanson told “It was a quick turnaround, but they made the transition pretty easy for me as far as helping me get all my stuff together so I could get out as quickly as possible.

“Honestly, I was pretty exhausted after a long day of travel and being up so early and getting everything put together. But, obviously, it turned out great.”

West grad is Mr. Campbell: West Johnston High grad Matt Parrish was named Mr. Campbell at the fifth annual CAMMYS, Campbell University’s year-end athletic awards banquet. Parrish is a senior standout on the Camels’ baseball team.

Parrish has also been named as one of 10 national finalist for the Senior CLASS Award. The award goes to a NCAA Division I athlete who is a senior who excels in their community, the classroom, in character and in competition.

The former Sam Narron Baseball Award winner is a two-time Academic All-American and was hitting .365 with 34 RBI through April’s games.