Tim Stevens

Green Hope girls start 7-0

Sophomore Kristen Gaffney has helped Green Hope win its first seven girls basketball games.

The 6-foot-1 Gaffney had triple-doubles in her two games leading to Tuesday night's a Tri-Nine 4-A game against Cary.

Gaffney had 28 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists in a 56-46 victory over Wakefield on Dec. 2 and had 34 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in an 83-45 win over Lee County on Dec. 4 in less than three periods.

"She is a perimeter player that we can use inside," said Green Hope coach Mike Robinson. "We just try to create mismatches. If a big, slower girl is guarding her, Kristen works outside. If it is a shorter girl, we can hit her inside."

Gaffney leads the area in scoring with 26 points per game. She was outstanding in a 53-51 win over league rival Athens Drive, scoring 31 points.

Green Hope was 15-12 last season when Gaffney was a freshman on the varsity.

This year, 5-11 Alyssa Paul and 5-10 Tyler Hood are helping inside.

Green Hope improved as the year progressed last season. The Falcons reached the Tri-Nine tournament final before losing to Apex.

Green Hope is 7-0 overall and 3-0 in the league.

Finals on TV: The N.C. High School Athletic Association 4-AA football championship on Saturday will be televised live by News 14 Carolina. The 7:30 p.m. game at N.C. State's Carter-Finley Stadium will match Matthews Butler against Fayetteville Britt.

All eight championship games, including the 3-AA final between South Johnston and Belmont South Point and the 4-A title game between Harnett Central and Asheville Reynolds, will be available next week free to Time Warner Cable digital customers on Carolina on Demand - Channel 1234.

Admission to the games is $10 for the day. If spectators leave the stadium, they will have to pay to be readmitted.

James still a Deacon: Sanderson football coach Tony Lewis said rumors about standout wide receiver Matt Jones switching his football commitment from Wake Forest to Duke are inaccurate.

"I saw him Sunday, I've seen him at school, and to my knowledge he is still excited about going to Wake Forest," Lewis said on Tuesday.

Lewis said James had an outstanding season for the Spartans.

The 6-foot-5, 205-pound James had 720 receiving yards, 270 rushing yards, 300 yards on returns and scored six touchdowns.

Clayton rebounds: The Clayton girls avenged their only basketball loss of the season with a 39-38 victory over Wakefield on Monday night. Wakefield had handed the Comets a 75-58 loss earlier in the season.

Vernessa Hinnant, Manikka Young and Latesha Williams each scored 10 points for the Comets.

Two-sport star: Kareem Martin, a 6-foot-2, 235-pound defensive end at Roanoke Rapids, got his basketball season off to a fast start with 22 points, 17 rebounds and 12 blocked shots recently.

But the bigger news is that Martin, who is ranked among the top football prospects in North Carolina, has cut his potential college list to Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Duke, according to Roanoke Rapids coach Russell Weinstein.

Weinstein told The Charlotte Observer that Martin had 163 tackles, caused eight fumbles, recovered three fumbles, made 25 tackles for loss, blocked two kicks, intercepted a pass and had about a dozen sacks.

He also caught 14 passes for 320 yards and five touchdowns.

Standout drops Heels: Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes football running back Marcus Lattimore has dropped North Carolina from his list, according to Byrnes athletic director Bobby Bentley.

Lattimore is ranked among the top high school football running backs in the country.

Lattimore now has South Carolina, Penn State, Auburn, Georgia and Oregon on his list, Bentley told The Charlotte Observer on Tuesday.