01/19/07 — Area high school teams return to action

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Area high school teams return to action

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 19, 2007 2:32 PM

After a four-day break for semester exams, area basketball teams hit the hardwood tonight to let off some steam.

Goldsboro High's boys hope to continue climbing the Class 2-A Eastern Plains Conference ladder after dropping their first two league games. The Cougars (11-6 overall, 1-2 EPC) are the guests of Greene Central, which suffered a shocking loss in its basketball program earlier this week.

Assistant boys coach Kevin Hart died from a massive heart attack Sunday after celebrating his 36th birthday. The Greene Central graduate and former assistant at Barton College was pronounced dead at Pitt Memorial Hospital.

Hart was buried Thursday morning at Snow Hill Cemetery.

The Rams, the reigning EPC tournament champions, seized sole possession of the conference lead at 3-0 with a one-point decision over archrival Farmville Central seven days ago. Greene Central is 11-5 overall.

The Cougar girls, 2-14 overall and directed by first-year coach Brandy Smith, remain winless on the EPC scene at 0-3. Smith's team took defending N.C. High School Athletic Association 2-A state champion Farmville Central to the wire and let a late fourth-quarter lead slip away at Tarboro.

A county rivalry headlines ECC play this week.

Charles B. Aycock travels down Highway 117 to Dudley for contests against Southern Wayne. The Golden Falcon boys are 0-17 overall, while the Saints are 7-8 overall with first-year head coach Russell Royal.

On the girls' side, Aycock (6-11, 1-2 ECC) looks to rebound from a disastrous opening-half performance against Hunt. The Golden Falcons rebounded, however, and nearly erased the visiting Warriors' 20-point lead. Southern Wayne (7-8) has yet to defeat an ECC opponent.

Eastern Wayne's boys travel to Kinston, which is 15-2 overall and ranked No. 4 in the latest NCPreps.com 3-A poll. The Warrior girls (5-8) enter their contest tied for second in ECC play with Wilson Hunt.

Archrivals Spring Creek and North Duplin meet in Calypso for a Carolina 1-A Conference varsity doubleheader. The Gators face the Rebels, who still seek their first victory of the season in boys' and girls' action.

Two more archrivals square off just outside the Wayne County line in Princeton. The Dawgs share the Carolina 1-A boys' lead with Ayden-Grifton, and the Eagle girls are looking to keep pace with North Johnston on their side of the ledger.

Wayne Country Day's boys carry a three-game win streak to Greenfield, the defending N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A state champion. The Chargers (7-8 overall) have averaged 80-plus in their last three outings and face a Knights team that has played a murderous non-conference schedule.

Rosewood entertains Louisburg in wrestling to help prepare both teams for the season-ending conference tournament, and the dual-team state playoffs. The Eagles (20-6 overall) collected their 11th consecutive regular-season conference title nearly a week ago, while the Warriors finished second.

Faith Christian and Wayne Christian will play Saturday doubleheaders. Faith Christian entertains Gateway (Va.) Christian, while Wayne Christian celebrates Homecoming with a non-conference battle against Grace Christian of Sanford.

Also Saturday, C.B. Aycock and Rosewood will participate in the Firebird Duals at Southern Nash. The Golden Falcons put their 16-0 record on the line in the day-long tournament, which eulogizes former Southern Nash coach Thomas Cowles.

Eastern Wayne travels to perennial 3-A powerhouse Havelock for a six-team dual against five Coastal 8 Conference programs. The Warriors finished second in the 16-team, Battle at Little Big Horn invitational contested last Saturday.