AREA ROUNDUP: Hunt swims to win in Big East opener

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ROCKY MOUNT — The Hunt High boys swim team picked right up from where it left off last season by swimming to victory in the opening 3-A Big East Conference meet of the season Wednesday in the Harrison Family YMCA pool.

The Warriors, defending conference champions, bested their closest league competition in Rocky Mount by a 190-118 margin. Roanoke Rapids, a 2-A program not affiliated with the Big East, finished second at 139.

Other competing Big East programs, in order of finish, were Fike (75), Southern Nash (68), Franklinton (51) and Northern Nash (31). Also swimming with the Big East schools for purposes of posting regional qualifying times were Eastern Plains Conference members Nash Central, SouthWest Edgecombe and Beddingfield, while Tarboro competed as a member of the 1-A Coastal Plains Conference.

Ethan Maddrey had a hand in four first-place swims for the Warriors, finishing first in the 200-yard freestyle in a time of 1:52.41 and winning the 100 butterfly in 56:59. Maddrey had a hand in two victorious Hunt relay teams, teaming with Sanjeev Francis, Shane Matrejek and Ben Tong in the 400 free. The quartet finished in 3:49.66, while Maddrey, Zac Taylor, Nick Tew and Dom Gaetano captured the 200 medley relay in 1:53.31.

Francis claimed the 100 backstroke, touching the wall in 59.45.

Second-place showings for the Warriors were claimed by Francis in the 200-yard individual medley and Matrejek in the 200 freestyle. Francis, Taylor, Tew and Tong were second in the 200 free relay. In the endurance race, Matrejek finished second in the 500 freestyle.

Posting third-place swims among the Hunt boys were Tong in the 100 breaststroke, Tew in the 100 freestyle and Taylor in the 50 freestyle.

For Fike, Ryo Nakaya was second in the 100 butterfly for the sole top-three finish among the Golden Demons’ boys swimmers.

Southern Nash picked up a first-place finish from Alex Terry, who ruled the 100 freestyle in 59:46 — just three-tenths clear of Franklinton.

On the girls’ side, Rocky Mount breezed to the meet victory with a score of 197 points. Fike and Hunt deadlocked for third at 108.5 as 2-A Nash Central was second at 174.

Northern Nash (88), Southern Nash (66), Roanoke Rapids (42), SouthWest Edgecombe (36), Tarboro (34), Franklinton (20) and Beddingfield (19) followed.

First-place swims among girls in The Wilson Times readership area were posted by Hunt’s Emily Day in the 100 freestyle (1:04.27), Southern Nash’s Madalyn Bardowell in the 200 freestyle (2:32.65) and SouthWest Edgecombe’s Lizzie Johnson in the 500 free (7:12.72).

Day and Johnson took second in the 50 freestyle and 200 freestyle respectively, while Beddingfield’s Annie Greene placed second in the 200 IM.

Third-place swims were logged by Kaiya Patton in the 100 backstroke, Catharine Hill in the 50 freestyle and the 200 medley relay quartet of Kaiya Pittman, Caroline Searcy, Sydney Mitchell and Hill, all of Fike.

Hunt’s relay team of Day, Nora Stinagle, Brinley Warren and Sarah Mercer were third in the 200 free relay, while Beddingfield’s Greene added a third-place finish in the 100 breaststroke.

Southern Nash added a third-place laurel from Winstead in the 100 freestyle with Bardwell, Taylor Bailey and Alissa Bailey joining Winstead for a third-place result in the 400 free relay.


Chargers no match for Grace Christian

SANFORD — The Wilson Christian Academy varsity boys basketball team was no match for the height and experience possessed by Grace Christian on Thursday night.

The host Sanford team, featuring four starters at 6-foot-5 or taller, handed the winless Chargers of first-year head coach Kevin Zander a 73-32 loss.

Brice Murray’s 14 points led the effort for Wilson Christian (0-2).

Zander, in defeat, spoke of positives.

“We are starting to see a lot of good teamwork, and these first two games are showing us some things we need to shore up as we look forward to conference play,” Zander said.

WCA attempts to present Zander with his first win at home at 7:45 p.m. Friday against Durham Flight Homeschool.

Community Christian comeback in vain

After erasing a 17-point deficit early in the second half, the host Community Christian varsity boys basketball team could not hang on and dropped a 72-63 nonconference decision to Cresset Christian of Durham in Eastern N.C. School for the Deaf’s Barney Williamson Gym on Thursday night.

The Cyclones of first-year head coach Kenneth Atkinson dipped to 1-2 and play at ENCSD again Friday night against Christ Covenant of Winterville.

CCS owned the lead with approximately a minute and a half remaining. However, Cresst converted a pair of turnovers into 3-point baskets and held off the Cyclones. Cresset outscored the Cyclones 36-21 from 3-point land.

The Cyclones were unable to stop the Cresset tandem of Robert Thompson and A.J. Thompson. A.J. Thompson swished the nets for 39 points and Robert Thompson fired in 24.

Junior Jimmy Forte triggered the Cyclones with 32 points. Christian McFarland and Jeremiah Williams each canned nine points. William Piccolo and Jeremiah Williams each pulled down 12 rebounds for CCS.

“We are a young team,” Atkinson said, “but we are still looking good.”


Cornez 4, R. Thompson 24, A.J. Thompson 39, Kassaqge, Zhang, Marconi 3, Longhi 2.


Jo. Williams 5, Manning 2, Forte 32, McFarland 9, Piccolo 6, J. Williams 9, Moran, Lane.

Score by quarters:

Cresset Christian 18 19 16 19 72

CCS 18 10 21 14 63

Wilson Prep rolls past Faith Christian 84-69

ROCKY MOUNT — Five players scored in double figures in the visiting Wilson Preparatory Academy varsity boys basketball team’s 84-69 victory against Faith Christian on Tuesday.

Senior Tyronne Whitaker triggered the Tigers with 17 points. Freshman Ja’kwon Moore and senior Sean Sanders each bucketed 15 points, while sophomore Nasir Blackston netted 13 and senior Jalen Artis 10.

Moore topped Wilson Prep with seven rebounds, while Blackston corralled six.

WPA bolted to a 20-14 first-quarter lead and boosted the margin to 48-31 at halftime. The Tigers outscored Faith Christian in every quarter but the fourth.

Score by quarters:

Wilson Prep 20 28 26 10 84

Faith Christian 14 17 22 16 69

WPA freshmen win first two games

ROCKY MOUNT — Micah Buck’s 14 points gunned the visiting Wilson Preparatory Academy freshman boys basketball team to a 34-9 win against Faith Christian on Tuesday.

The Tigers outscored their Rocky Mount foe 18-0 in the first half.

WPA launched its season with a 44-28 conquest of DASH United. The Tigers outscored United 26-14 in the second half.

Triggering the Wilson Prep offense were Buck with 17 points and Zion White with 12.


WCA bounces back after shaky start

SANFORD — The visiting Wilson Christian Academy varsity girls basketball team rebounded from a shaky first quarter to post a 50-39 nonconference triumph against Grace Christian on Thursday evening.

The Lady Chargers of the North Carolina Christian School Association 2-A East Region trailed 11-3 after one quarter. But within 50 seconds of the second quarter, WCA had closed the deficit to 11-10.

With the aid of five 3-pointers in the second quarter, the Lady Chargers built a 26-21 halftime lead. Junior Ashley Hartsfield drained a trio of 3-point shots and junior Madison Carnes connected on a pair.

“You never know how good you are until you get hit in the mounth,” commented WCA head coach Brian Trull. “We got hit in the mouth. Grace Christian has a good defense — they were scrappy and aggressive. They put pressure on us in the full court and in the half court. Once we adjusted, we got our game under control.”

The Lady Chargers took command with a 17-4 third quarter led by senior post players McKenna Griffin and Christy Jones.

Griffin tossed in a game-high 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Jones pulled down 12 rebounds. Hartsfield netted 12 points and Carnes nine. 

Sophomore point guard Lea Gossett managed five steals and four assists.

Anna Baraldi’s 12 points paced Grace. Wilson Christian, undefeated in three outings, returns home to opppose Durham Flight Homeschool at 6 p.m. Friday.


Griffin 16, Hartsfield 12, Carnes 9, Vick 4, Jones 4, Gossett 3, Barnes 2.


Baraldi 12, Prater 9, Brumbles 7, Aksot 5, Miller 4, Cook 2.

Score by quarters:

WCA 3 23 17 7 50

Grace Christian 11 10 4 14 39

Free-throw accuracy keys Wilson Prep

ROCKY MOUNT — Trinity Mobley and Destiny Ainstead combined for a 23-for-23 performance at the foul line to lead the Wilson Preparatory Academy varsity girls basketball team to a 47-44 road win against Faith Christian on Wednesday.

Mobley swished 14 attempts and Ainstead nailed nine as the Lady Tigers escaped by outscoring Faith 9-5 in the fourth quarter. Trailing 28-24 at halftime, Faith rallied to a 39-38 edge with a quarter remaining.

Ainstead poured in 23 points and Mobley fired in 20. Jadore Lucas-Barnes led the Lady Tigers with seven rebounds.

Score by quarters:

Wilson Prep 12 16 10 9 47

Faith Christian 13 11 15 5 44

WPA overwhelms Haliwa-Soponi

HOLLISTER — The Wilson Preparatory Academy varsity girls basketball team blistered the nets for 20 points in each quarter in overwhelming Haliwa-Soponi Tribal 80-10 on Tuesday.

Trinity Mobley fired in 28 points for the Lady Tigers, while Destiny Ainstead drilled in 24. Jadora Lucas-Barnes added 20 points.

Wilson Prep statistics credited Mobley with connecting on 13 of 14 shots from the floor, Ainstead 10 of 11 and Lucas-Barnes 9 of 10. Lucas-Barnes ruled the backboards with 22 rebounds, while Mobley notched 14 steals. Mobley and Ainstead each collected five assists.

WPA pitched a 20-0 shutout in the last quarter.


Southern Nash pins Bunn, Northeast Prep

BUNN — The Southern Nash High wrestling team launched its season with a pair of nonconference wins at Bunn High on Wednesday evening.

The Firebirds of the 3-A Big East Conference clipped Bunn 52-21 and overwhelmed Northeast Prep 66-12.

Daniel Medina not only went undefeated in the two matches but claimed his 100th career win.

Also avoiding defeat were Jose Rodriguez, Kendrell Woodard, Eric Braxton, Noah Fulghum, Ben Emig, Raymond Villareal, Blake Boykin and Rylon Hight.


Taylor sets CBA 55-hurdles mark

ROCKY MOUNT — Led by a record-setting performance from Keontai Taylor, the Charles B. Aycock High indoor track teams posted five-place finishes in the Polar Bear Indoor Track meet at Nash Central High on Thursday.

Taylor established a school record of 7.84 seconds in winning the 55-meter hurdles. 

His time eclipsed the previous standard of 8.84 established by Micah Castillo in 2016. The time qualified Taylor for the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Indoor Championships in February.

Davis Carroll emerged the Golden Falcons lone double winner, seizing the 1,000-meter run in 3:09 and the 1,600 in 5:05.

Matthew Stoudt claimed the 3,200 in 12:42, while the 4x400 relay of Dimitri Kalbrenner, Jason Dezern, Shane Nash and Mason Bailey prevailed in 4:37.24.

Posting a runner-up finish was Hunter McDairmid in the 3,200,

Placing third were Todd Gardner in the 1,000, Keeshawn Applewhite in the 55 dash and the 4x800 relay of Antonio Garcia, Curtis Simmons, William Horton and Eduardo Pinon.

For the Lady Falcons, Taylor Nevin-Burke took second in the 1,000 and third in the 1,600. 

Denai Watkins finished third in the 55 dash, and Kaden May was second in the shot put. The 4x800 relay of Kristen Ridgle, Jasmine LaTour, Elizabeth Carmack and Nevin-Burke finished second, as did the 4x200 relay of Watkins, Shi’tricia Speight, Trinity Person and Dasani Jackson. Carmack salvaged third in the 1,000.

CBA and Nash Central were joined by Southern Wayne, Rocky Mount and Franklinton. 

Team scores had not been finalized as of Thursday evening.