NCHSAA Men and Women Championship Notebook

Tidbits of information and other minutiae from the 2007 North Carolina High School Athletic Association Basketball Championships held over the weekend.

  • Perfect Slates: There was only one NCHSAA team, among the over 700 which began play this season, which finished with an unblemished record after the weekend's NCHSAA state championship games.
    Hope Mills South View (32-0) rallied to win the state 4-A women's championship game at the Smith Center, downing Greensboro Grimsley 69-64 to become the only varsity team in the NCHSAA to finish with a perfect basketball record.
  • East vs. West: For the seventh time in eight years, the Western representatives held the edge over the Eastern champions in the NCHSAA state basketball championships. The West took five of the eight championship games, including all four games played at Reynolds Coliseum. The Eastern representative took three of the four games at the Smith Center, with South View (4-A women, Wilmington New Hanover (4-A men) and Burlington Cummings (2-A men) winning from the Eastern Regional.
    In 2006, the East representatives took six of the eight titles, with only Bishop McGuinness in the 1-A women and South Mecklenburg in the 4-A women's games winning for the West.
    Western teams took five of eight championships during the 2005 Super Saturday activities, six of eight titles in 2004 and seven of eight championships during the 2003 finals. Only Fayetteville Seventy-First, with its 4-A women's triumph over Charlotte Zeb Vance by a 50-47 count, able to give the East a victory in 2003.
    The 2002 championships represent the only time that one side of the state has swept the other in the 28-year history using the regional format, as the Western champions captured all eight of those NCHSAA title games, four men's games and four women's games. In 2001, the West went 6-2, with only East Bladen in the 2-A men's title game and Winston-Salem Carver in the 3-A women's championship breaking through for the East. In 2000, seven of the eight championships went to Western representatives, with only Whiteville's narrow victory over Pittsboro Northwood in the 2-A men's final preventing a complete sweep by the West over the East.
  • Robinson Boys Do Well: Three of the 16 coaches in the NCHSAA finals have the last name ³Robinson², and two of the three of them earned state titles. George Robinson coached Burlington Cummings to the men's 2-A crown, and Brian Robinson led the Bishop McGuinness women to the 1-A championship. Will Robinson was the head coach of the Charlotte Vance Cougars in the men's 4-A title game, where Vance lost to Wilmington New Hanover 39-35.
  • Cetera DeGraffenreid: The Smoky Mountain women's star, who has signed with the University of North Carolina, had a tremendous championship, earning Wendy's Most Valuable Player honors with a 42-point outburst, leading the Lady Mustangs to an 85-62 victory over Graham for the 2-A crown at the Smith Center. DeGraffenreid hit 12 of 25 from the floor but made 16 of 19 foul shots to go with seven assists, six rebounds and four steals. The 19 foul shots attempted and 16 made are both women's state tournament records.
    In addition, DeGraffenreid finished her high school career with 3,081 points, the second best total by an NCHSAA female player ever, behind the 3,225 of Clinton's Danyel Parker (1986-89) and ahead of the third-place total of Eden Morehead's Amy Simpson (1995-99) of 3,067. The other members of the NCHSAA 3,000-point club are Bunn's Nakisha Stewart (3,037 in 2001-05) and Fayetteville Terry Sanford's Shea Ralph (3,002 points in 1993-96).
    DeGraffenreid has been selected to play in the 2007 McDonald's All-American game and the 2007 WBCA High School All-American Classic.
  • Two for Two: Dwight Jones of Burlington Cummings made it two Wendy's MVP awards in two trips to the state finals as the Cavalier star scored 23 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead Cummings to its second consecutive state title, a 52-49 triumph over Boonville Starmount for the 2-A title at the Smith Center. Cummings now has a sterling 6-1 record in NCHSAA men's basketball championship games.
  • Big Comeback: Hope Mills South View made one of the biggest comebacks in recent state championship memory on Saturday night as the Tigers battled back to beat Greensboro Grimsley 69-64 for the 4-A women's championship. Coach Brent Barker's team trailed Grimsley by 14 at halftime and by 17 at 41-24 with 6:32 remaining in the third quarter. South View was still behind 49-38 entering the final quarter before outscoring the Whirlies 31-15 in the final eight minutes. The Tigers placed five players in double figures that offset a big 33-point performance by Grimsley's Trumae Lucas.
  • Domination Continues: the victory by Kernersville Bishop McGuinness over East Bladen by 79-42 in the state 1-A women's final at Reynolds Coliseum continued a solid trend for the Western champ in that classification. The West has now won 20 of the last 22 titles in the 1-A classification for women
  • Time Warner Television: all eight of the state championship basketball games are now available to Time Warner Cable subscribers across the state on Carolina Video on Demand, on channel 1234.
  • Tough Thomasville: the Thomasville Bulldogs won their fifth NCHSAA state crown in the last 11 years as the Bulldogs raced past North Edgecombe 86-76 in the state 1-A men's championship at Reynolds Coliseum. Chris Woods of Thomasville was the Wendy's MVP with 23 points and 17 rebounds, hitting eight of 11 shots form the floor.
  • Concord Gridders: A couple of Concord football players were keys for the Spiders on the hardwood as Concord defeated Kinston in an uptempo 85-79 affair at Reynolds Coliseum for the NCHSAA 3-A men's championship. Guard Dee Bost was the quarterback for head coach E.Z. Smith's state championship football team, and he quarterbacked the basketball Spiders at the point, pumping in 27 points en route to earning Wendy's MVP honors. Lance Lewis, a starter on both the 2004 and ‘06 NCHSAA state championship football teams, scored 16 points, grabbed four rebounds and handed out four assists as he was named his team's Most Outstanding Player in the final.
  • N.C.State Bound: Carver's Brittany Strachan has committed to play at N.C. State and she came through with a great performance for her team in the NCHSAA state 3-A women's final at Reynolds Coliseum against SouthWest Edgecombe. Strachan, who was averaging 18.7 ppg, pumped in 29 and grabbed 13 rebounds, earning Wendy's MVP honors as the Yellow Jackets beat SouthWest 58-49. SouthWest Edgecombe is now 4-4 in eight appearances in NCHSAA women's finals.
  • Other Random Notes: Wendy's and the Carolinas Ford Dealers are the presenting sponsors for the NCHSAA sports program... the two sites for the championships (Smith and Reynolds) was the fifth time two sites have been used since 1998, when the women's games were played at Carmichael Auditorium and the men's games were held at the Smith Center... Northern Durham and Garner High Schools served as the official hosts for the championships... the NCHSAA unveiled new experimental officials shirts, gray with black pinstripes, for these state championships, a shirt that is less obtrusive than the black and white striped shirt and would be a specific shirt for high school ball; the shirt has been well received by officials and booking agents. If approved, the 2008-09 season would be the full implementation year for the gray shirt.

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