02/18/13 — WCDS boys, girls receive at-large invitations to NCISAA 1-A hoops playoffs

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WCDS boys, girls receive at-large invitations to NCISAA 1-A hoops playoffs

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 18, 2013 1:47 PM

There's no place like home.

At least for one more game.

Wayne Country Day earned at-large bids to the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association Class 1-A boys' and girls' basketball playoffs on Sunday afternoon.

The Charger boys (16-8 overall) drew a No. 7 seed and opening-round contest against 10th-seeded Cape Fear Christian Academy. The Charger girls (10-12) are seeded fifth and will play host to 12th-seeded Ridgecroft School, the final team selected for the tournament.

The girls' game tips off at 5:30 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults. Children ages eight and under are admitted free.

"I am very proud of both the boys' and girls' teams here at Wayne Country Day," athletics director Michael Taylor said. "They have worked extremely hard throughout the year. I am also very proud of (girls coach) Eric (Perry) and (boys coach) Terry (Jones), and all of their hard work and dedication to the basketball programs here at Wayne Country Day."

Four seniors lead the Wayne Country Day girls, who are making their sixth consecutive postseason appearance and 12th since 2000. The Chargers have reached the final four each of the past four seasons, including a state championship run in 2009 and a state runner-up finish in 2010.

Sarah Best, who was named the Coastal Plains Independent 1-A Conference player-of-the-year, averages 16 points a game. She is joined by fellow seniors and all-CPIC picks Karis Hawkins, Hannah Pearson and Bailee Creger.

WCDS has compiled a 12-10 playoff record since 2000.

"We have progressed as a team this year," Perry said. "We are playing our best ball now and look forward to making a run in the state tournament. Our tough schedule has hopefully prepared us to make another run.

"The girls are motivated and excited."

The Wayne Country Day boys are facing Cape Fear Christian for the first time since 2008 and third time overall in postseason play. The Chargers are making their 14th consecutive trip to the playoffs and have amassed a 10-13 record during their previous 13 appearances.

Junior Lee Atkinson, the CPIC player-of-the-year, leads the Chargers' offensive attack. Senior 1,000-point scorer Deshar Thomas, transfer Joel Davis, freshman Jamal Forde and sophomore Vic Miller also give WCDS plenty of scoring options in its offense.

"It's been a great year ... definitely the best team we've been able to field in my tenure (as coach)," Jones said. "Not the best pure athletes, but from a building a championship-potential team, this year is at its peak. We enter the state tournament with a great track to do something big.

"The higher-seeded teams that stand in our way, we're very familiar with, if not having beaten them already. If there was ever a year to make a run, this is it."

Perennial powerhouse Word of God is the boys' No. 1 seed. Reigning state champion Trinity Christian-Fayetteville is the top-seeded team among the girls.

The quarter- and semifinal-round games are Thursday and Friday at Covenant Day School. The championship is scheduled for Saturday at Providence Day School.