05/25/05 — Prep sports: North Lenoir tennis team downs previously unbeaten Gray's Creek

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Prep sports: North Lenoir tennis team downs previously unbeaten Gray's Creek

Published in Sports on May 25, 2005 1:46 PM

HOPE MILLS -- North Lenoir prevailed in two of three doubles matches and upset previously unbeaten Gray's Creek 5-4 in their N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 2-A dual-team men's tennis semifinal Tuesday afternoon.

The Hawks (17-3) advanced to Thursday's regional title tilt against Eastern Plains Conference rival Greene Central. Match time is 3:30 p.m. at the Snow Hill Tennis Complex.

"In doubles, all the matches were close at first, but numbers one and three began to pull away," first-year North Lenoir coach Courtney Harrell said. "They continued to pick up steam. Jared (O'dell), after coming off an excellent singles performance, played the best doubles I've seen from him all year."

The top-seeded tandem of Alex Mills-J. O'dell and the No. 3 duo of Ryan Ipock-James Parker each posted a 10-4 decision.

O'dell, Parker and Jerry Mills also prevailed in their respective singles matches. O'dell dropped just two games. Mills claimed a come-from-behind three-set win, while Parker cruised in straight sets.

"Jared was outstanding taking control of his match quickly and never letting it get away from him," said Harrell. "James was unusually calm today which was key in a high-pressure match like today.

"Jerry really pulled it out for us in singles. I was very proud of him. I had a feeling this would be his day, but I didn't realize his match would be so key (in the win)."

Gray's Creek finished 26-1.

Two of the Hawks' three regular-season losses occurred against the Rams, the two-time defending eastern regional champions.

"This team has now reached the final four in the state and I know we've done the best that we can possibly do," Harrell said. "We will face Greene Central with no pressure, no expectations and most importantly -- no regrets."

Rams coast to win

SNOW HILL -- Greene Central waltzed into its third consecutive N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 2-A eastern regional dual-team final with a 6-0 decision against Warren County on Tuesday afternoon.

The Rams (20-0) posted their 19th shutout of the season heading into Thursday's match against Eastern Plains Conference rival North Lenoir.

"We played great tennis today," Greene Central coach Brad Sauls said. "Warren County has an excellent team, but we were able to out-hit them today. Their entire team had good technique and moved well, but we were just more consistent.

"We started out with a lead on all the courts and never gave it up."

Seniors Brent Darden, Lin Hall and Chris Hardy combined to lose three games at the top three spots in singles. Travis Moore dropped a game in the opening set before winning 6-1, 6-0.

Sixth-seeded Bryan Pollock cruised 6-2, 6-1. Banks Nimmo experienced a little trouble in a 6-2, 6-4 victory.

"Travis beat a very good player fairly easily," said Sauls. "He played very steady and waited for the right opportunity to put the ball away. He played unbelievably smart for a first-year starter.

"Banks did a great job of closing the match out in a 5-4 game. He hit some big first serves and really attacked his opponent. He showed a lot of maturity in that game."

Warren County concluded its season 14-5.


Panthers escape in 1-A

KENLY -- Pinch-runner Amanda Sharpe tallied the game-winning run on a sacrifice fly as North Johnston upended North Brunswick 1-0 in their N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A contest Tuesday evening.

The Panthers avenged a loss to the Scorpions in last year's eastern semifinals.

Robyn Creech started the North Johnston seventh with a single up the middle. Sharpe hustled to third on Whitney Parrish's base hit and tagged up when Brandy Edwards lofted a two-strike pitch into shallow right-field territory.

The North Brunswick defender caught the ball and threw home, but Sharpe beat the tag.

Creech finished the evening 2-for-3. Parrish, Amanda Pope, Hannah Ellis and winning pitcher Candace Evans each batted 1-for-3.

Evans (17-2) allowed four Scorpion baserunners. One runner was gunned down on a steal attempt at second base. The Panthers turned a fourth-inning double play to erase a potential scoring threat.

Evans yielded two hits and struck out nine in a complete-game effort.

"Candace pitched one of the best games of her career," said North Johnston coach George Daniels.

North Johnston (17-2) entertains Heide Trask, which upset Union in extra innings, in the eastern semifinals Thursday at 7 p.m. The winner advances to Walnut Creek for the final four.

Lane Tree Ladies Golf

For the week ending May 22, Gwen Kelly took low net and low putts. Cathy Calhoun claimed game of the week. At the Eastern League finals on May 10 and 11 in New Bern, Libby Newsome won second low net in the first flight.

Keller Williams Golf

Goldsboro's Norm Hicks finished second in the A Flight in a Keller Williams Golf Tour event held at Harbour Pointe on May 21. Kevin Harrington took fifth in the A Flight, while J.T. Taylor claimed fourth in the B Flight. The next event is June 4 at Emerald Golf Course.


Scott Henn recently aced the 160-yard, par three, No. 12 at Goldsboro Municipal Golf Course using a seven iron. He aced the same hole last year. Tom Ferencz witnessed the ace.

Dixie Youth Majors

WCDS 22, SJAFB Blue 2 -- Cody Neal and Aaron Debusk paced WCDS on the mound. Neal, Russell Turner, Catherine Ford and Tee Uzzell led WCDS (8-4) at the plate in their team's final game.