01/30/07 — Tuesday preps outlook

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Tuesday preps outlook

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 30, 2007 2:13 PM

The showdown is tonight.

County wrestling archrivals Charles B. Aycock and Eastern Wayne, each unbeaten in conference play this season, meet at 7 p.m. at New Hope. Not only is the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference regular-season title on the line, but also the No. 1 seed for the N.C. High School Athletic Association dual-team playoffs.

The Golden Falcons (22-1 overall) have won all six meetings against the Warriors since the ECC's inception in 2001. C.B. Aycock is seeking its second straight ECC crown with seventh-year head coach Kevin Smith.

Smith's team clinched a dual-team playoff berth last week against county foe Southern Wayne. Now his senior-ladened squad is focused on its next goal -- the ECC regular-season and tournament crowns.

"All other goals from this point on, we have to build on and that is what we're going to stress to the kids," said Smith.

Eastern Wayne is 14-3 overall.

Also on the wrestling scene, Southern Wayne (7-3, 1-2 ECC) concludes its regular-season schedule at league opponent Wilson Beddingfield. Tarboro is the guest of Greene Central in the Eastern Plains 2-A finale for both teams.

A marathon basketball season has become a four-game sprint.

State-ranked Wilson Hunt looks to rebound from Friday's loss against Kinston when it invades Eastern Wayne tonight. The host Warriors are coming off an emotional double-digit victory over archrival Southern Wayne. Darren Bennett led four Eastern Wayne players in double figures with 15 points.

Hunt won the previous meeting.

Goldsboro's boys travel to Farmville Central in a key EPC contest. The Jaguars grabbed a 20-point, first-half lead and upended the Cougars on their homecourt three weeks ago.

The Cougars (12-8 overall) have lost seven of their last 11 games, including four of six outings against EPC opposition. The league's top four teams advance to the playoffs this season.

In Carolina 1-A Conference action, Princeton's boys (13-7 overall) look to snap a two-game skid at North Duplin. Meanwhile, the Rebels (2-10) carry a modest two-game win streak into the game.

Ayden-Grifton (13-5 overall) puts its perfect conference mark on the line at Spring Creek, which has won three of its last four league contests. Rosewood entertains North Johnston.

Three marquee girls' games will take place at Pikeville, New Hope and Rosewood.

The Golden Falcons, directed by first-year head coach Carrie Reynell, welcome Kinston (1-5 ECC) for a 6 p.m. tip-off. Aycock has prevailed in seven of its last 12 games after an 0-7 start, but is coming off an 18-point loss against state-ranked Wilson Beddingfield.

Eastern Wayne (7-9 overall, 4-2 ECC) turned in an impressive second-half performance at Southern Wayne on Friday. Fourth-year head coach Brent Holland hopes his team carries that momentum into a crucial ECC battle against Hunt, which is also 4-2 in ECC play.

Rosewood and North Johnston dominated the Carolina 1-A ranks last season. The Eagles claimed the regular-season championship, while the Panthers earned the tournament title. North Johnston (14-4 overall) has yet to lose in six conference games this season, while Rosewood (9-8 overall) is coming off an upset loss at Ayden-Grifton.

In other area public-school games, Southern Wayne plays host to Beddingfield, Greene Central is at Tarboro and North Lenoir entertains North Pitt.

On the private-school scene, Wayne Country Day (7-11 overall) looks to snap a three-game skid against Wake Christian. Faith Christian (17-1 overall) takes its 16-game win streak to Mt. Calvary-Hookerton. The Conquerors are 8-0 against all N.C. Christian Schools Association Coastal 2-A Region foes.