High School Sports

Prep notebook: Raleigh Christian boys, Friendship Christian girls take 3rd in NCCSA basketball championships

Greenville Christian's Lauren Wagner (20) tires to make the stop on Friendship Christian's Jessica Peterson (1). Coverage from the NCCSA Regional Tournament boys basketball game between the Friendship Christian Falcons and the Faith Christian Conquerors and the girls game between the Friendship Christian Falcons and the Greenville Christian Knights played in Raleigh, N.C. on February 17, 2017. The Friendship Christian girls defeated Greenville Christian 60-6 and the Friendship Christian boys defeated Faith Christian 56-36 to advance.
Greenville Christian's Lauren Wagner (20) tires to make the stop on Friendship Christian's Jessica Peterson (1). Coverage from the NCCSA Regional Tournament boys basketball game between the Friendship Christian Falcons and the Faith Christian Conquerors and the girls game between the Friendship Christian Falcons and the Greenville Christian Knights played in Raleigh, N.C. on February 17, 2017. The Friendship Christian girls defeated Greenville Christian 60-6 and the Friendship Christian boys defeated Faith Christian 56-36 to advance.

Four area basketball teams placed in the top four of the N.C. Christian Schools Association 2A championships last Saturday.

Wilson Christian’s boys finished second with a 63-46 loss to Lexington’s Sheets Memorial in the 2A championship. The Crusaders finished the year 19-13.

Raleigh Christian’s boys won the third-place game 54-52 over Friendship Christian. Both teams finished 17-10.

Friendship Christian’s girls won the third-place game after suffering their only loss of the season in the semifinals. The Falcons ended the year 25-1. Per a conference rule, the Falcons’ top two players – Brazilian transfers Geassy Germano and Obalunanma (Babalu) Ugwu – were not able to play in conference games or the state tournament, according to coach Andy Murr.

Germano and Ugwu are being recruited by ACC schools and play on the same Brazilian U17 national team as Neuse Christian’s three transfers that helped the Lions to a runner-up finish in the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 1A title game.

“I don’t understand all of it. I’ve been told the purpose of the rule is to keep schools from recruiting,” Murr said. He said that the school will petition the conference to change its rules as it pertains to international students.

Kushner steps down: Middle Creek boys basketball coach David Kushner stepped down on Friday after 13 seasons. The Mustangs went to the playoffs in 11 straight years under Kushner and won at least one playoff game in eight straight seasons.

He was 228-123 in his tenure and has coached the Mustangs in each varsity season except the school’s first two, when it went 1-44.

New football coaches: Union Pines has hired Matt Quinn as its next football coach. Quinn was the offensive coordinator at West Side High in Easley, S.C. He replaces Ryan Riggan, who turned the Vikings’ program around in eight seasons and left for a job at nearby Sandhills Community College.

Orange has hired Van Smith, its defensive coordinator, to replace the retired Pat Moser. The Panthers allowed no more than 14 points in any of its 13 games last season. Moser went 58-10 over his final five seasons, the best five-year run on Orange’s school history.

All-star soccer: Eight area players were named to the N.C. Coaches Association East-West All-Star boys soccer game on July 18 in Greensboro. Green Hope, the 4A state champ, landed Zach Curtis and Connor Munz on the team while 3A runner-up Chapel Hill placed Brendan Holly and Sam Linker.

Hunt also placed two players: Jose Anguiano and Cooper Dean. Corinth Holders’ Dillon Parker and North Johnston’s Ian Walston also made the team. Northern Nash coach Joe McCarthy will lead the East.

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