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AREA ROUNDUP: Cougars dominate track events to claim 2-A EPC boys title

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ROCKY MOUNT — With a sweep of the relays and overall dominance in the track events, SouthWest Edgecombe piled up enough points to surpass North Pitt and win the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference boys track and field championship Thursday. 

Host Nash Central rode a trio of first-place finishes from Myka Hedgepeth to win the girls meet, downing runner-up North Johnston by 18 points.

The Cougars put up 131 points to 115 by North Pitt in the boys meet. Nash Central was third with 105, followed by Farmville Central (96), Beddingfield (68) and North Johnston (31).

SouthWest Edgecombe won all four relays, including the 4x200-meter foursome of Jamari Staton, Jarquez Dickens, Tayshaun Pittman and Cortezz Jones with a time of 1 minute, 30.36 seconds that tops the previous best in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2-A East Region of 1:31.71 set by Northeastern on Wednesday. The Cougars won the 4x100 (Demari Mabry, Jelan Smith, Pittman, Staton) in 43.86 while the 4x400 tandem (Larry Jones, Mabry, Rayshun Wooten and Cortezz Jones) finished in 3:43.23. The 4x800 quartet (Mabry, Wooten, De’Ontray Ebron and Keon White) won in 9:38.09.

Wooten won the 1,600 run in 5:14.14 while Mabry edged Ebron in the 800 run. His winning time of 2:17.41 was .92 faster than Ebron. Larry Jones clipped Cortezz Jones in the 400 by two one-hundredths of a second as he won in 52.72.

Staton won the 200 in 22.96, beating North Johnston’s Jalen Jenkins in second and Cortezz Jones in third place.

Joshua White of SouthWest Edgecombe was the runner-up in the triple while Cougars teammate Gerry Lynch came in second in the 3,200 run.

Beddingfield senior Willie Bridgers placed second in the discus and third in the shot put. The Bruins 4x200 relay finished second.

Hedgepeth, who won her third straight Scott Jones Memorial Classic Girls Most Outstanding Performer award three weeks ago, scored 38 of the Lady Bulldogs’ 137 points. She won the 100 hurdles (16.24), high jump (4-10) and triple jump (30-5.5) while finishing second to teammate Sarah Hicks in the pole vault.

North Johnston sophomore Tatiana Powell won the 100 and 200 dashes in 12.91 and 26.82, respectively. Angela James-Creech (3:01.97) edged Lady Panthers teammate Beonka Agosto (3:04.87) in the 800 run.

The North Johnston 4x800 team of James-Creech, Sydney Swartz, Agosto and Mackenzie Swartz won with a time of 12:17.43.

Haley Bunn was second in the 1,600 and Sydney Swartz was the 3,200 runner-up for North Johnston, which placed second in the 4x100.

Beddingfield was third in the team standings with 111 points, followed by Farmville Central (71), SouthWest Edgecombe (47) and North Pitt (42).

Senior Mikaela Taylor of Beddingfield won both the 1,600 and 3,200 runs in 6:37.01 and 14:45.25, respectively, while finishing third in the 800.

Lady Bruins junior Makayla Everette won the discus with a distance of 110-09 and took second in the shot put. Everette was an inch behind SouthWest Edgecombe’s Alonee Smallwood, who produced a winning heave of 34-3.

Freshman Brianna Atkinson of Beddingfield won the 400 dash in 1:04.72 while sophomore Ihjanae Cooper ruled the 300 hurdles in 52.88 for the Lady Bruins.

Runner-up showings for Beddingfield included freshman Socoria Hunter in the 200 dash and the 4x400 relay team.

SouthWest’s 4x200 relay placed second.

All qualifying athletes and relay teams will compete in the NCHSAA 2-A East Regional meet on Saturday, May 11, at Fike High.

GIRLS SOCCER

Lady Demons secure 2nd in Big East

FRANKLINTON — After giving up a goal in the first three minutes to host Franklinton, Fike scored five straight goals on the way to a 6-2 victory that secured the No. 2 spot in the 3-A Big East Conference girls soccer standings.

The Lady Demons, now 8-8-1, finished 7-3 in conference play, a game ahead of Rocky Mount. The Red Rams concluded 7-9 overall and 3-7 in league matches.

Sophomore Kendall Harris scored two goals and had an assist for Fike, a pass that junior Reece Nelson slammed into the net to tie the score in the 17th minute. The Lady Demons took the lead for good on freshman Hannah Mosley’s unassisted goal in the 28th minute. Harris then punched in a goal just before halftime for a 3-0 lead. Harris scored again 15 minutes into the second half.

Junior Vallery Gore sandwiched a pair of goals around Franklinton’s second goal, the first on an assist by Akauri Nakaya.

The Lady Demons posted 16 shots on goal to four by the Red Rams as Fike senior goalkeeper JahAsia Pernell was credited with three saves.

Fike will learn of its seeding in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A playoffs that start next week.

Gossett’s 5 goals help WCA tie 6-6

WENDELL — Sophomore Lea Gossett continued her late-season assault with five goals to help the Wilson Christian Academy varsity girls soccer team to finish the regular season with a 6-6 deadlock at East Wake Academy on Thursday.

The Lady Chargers of head coach Don Samson trailed 6-5 when Gossett, aided by an assist from junior Lydia Renfrow, connected for her fifth goal with approximately 10 minutes left in regulation.

Now with 26 goals on the season, Gossett scored in the 22nd, 38th, 47th, 53rd and 70th minutes. Collecting assists were junior Ashley Hartsfield on Gossett’s first goal, senior Brenda Reece on her third and Renfrow on her fifth. Gossett nailed a penalty kick for her second goal.

Knocking in Wilson Christian’s other goal in the second half was sophomore Lindsey Hunter on an assist from Hartsfield.

Wilson Christian trailed 3-2 at halftime and never led. East Wake found the back of the Wilson Christian goal in the 15th, 31st, 37th, 44th, 46th and 67 minutes.

The Lady Chargers posted a 11-4-1 regular-season record and enter the North Carolina Christian Schools Association 2-A playoffs as the No. 1 seed from the East Region. Åfter a first-round bye, Wilson Christian plays its first postseason match against an opponent to be determined at home at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

“This was exactly the game we needed to get ready for the playoffs,” Samson contended. “We had a really sluggish start.”

Samson explained his players were guilty of bad habits that had surfaced as the result of playing lesser foes.

“As the game went on,” he said, “we really adjusted to playing a higher level of soccer. And Lea took over.”

SOFTBALL

Lose-lose plight for Lady Bruins

FARMVILLE — The Beddingfield High varsity softball team lost twice despite playing just one game Thursday evening.

In their regular-season finale, the Lady Bruins were dealt a 10-3 loss by Farmville Central. The outcome left the teams tied for second place in the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference. Beddingfield then lost the flip of the coin to determine the league’s No. 2 seed in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2-A playoffs.

The Lady Jaguars, who lost at Beddingfield on Tuesday night, snapped a 3-3 tie with a seven-run outburst in the bottom of the sixth inning. Farmville Central slammed six of its nine hits in the inning. Sydney Wade tripled and Kate Lancaster doubled.

Beddingfield struck for a run in the top of the first, but the Lady Jaguars answered with Lancaster’s solo home run in the bottom half of the inning. Farmville Central forged a 3-1 lead in the fifth, but the Lady Bruins drew even with two runs in the top of the sixth.

Senior Karissa Hayes, junior Anna Gardner, sophomore Brittany Dudley and freshmen Abby Edmundson and Brilyn Honeycutt hit safely for Beddingfield. Gardner and Edmundson each drove in a run and Honeycutt doubled.

Neleh Bottoms, a sophomore right-hander, took the pitching loss.

Winning Lady Jaguars pitcher Abby Foster spaced five hits and three walks while striking out three.

Lancaster powered the winning offense with a homer, double and three RBIs. Sydney Wade went 2 for 4 and drove in two runs.

“We played hard and didn’t make any errors,” said Mitch Hayes, who directed the Beddingfield team in the absence of head coach Jeremy Howard. “I couldn’t be prouder of them.

“Farmville Central’s outfield is bigger than ours and they did a good job of hitting the ball in the gaps. A double at our place is a triple on their field.”

Beddingfield, with a 12-6 record, awaits its plight in the playoffs.

Score by innings:

Beddingfield 100 002 0 3

Farmville Cent. 100 027 x 10

WP-Abby Foster 7 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 Bb, 3 SO. LP-Neleh Bottoms 6 IP, 9 H, 10 R, 10 ER 5 BB, 4 SO.

LEADING HITTERS — Beddingfield: Anna Gardner 1-2, RBI; Karissa Hayes 1-4, Brittany Dudley 1-2, Abby Edmundson 1-2, Brilyn Honeycutt 1-3, 2B; Farmville Central: Kate Lancaster 2-3, HR, 2B, 3 RBI; Sydney Wade 2-4, 3B, 2 RBI; Caroline Breault 1-3, 2 RBI; Ava Loper 1-3, RBI.

Lady Rams knocked out of playoff berth 

AYDEN — A late rally by Greene Central wasn’t enough to overcome host Ayden-Grifton as the Lady Rams lost 12-8 in a game that decided third place in the 2-A Eastern Carolina Conference varsity softball standings Thursday evening.

Greene Central fell behind 5-0 after two innings and, despite scoring three-runs in the sixth, couldn’t overcome the early deficit. The Lady Rams finished 7-5 in ECC play and 11-7 overall while the Lady Chargers, 14-7 overall, moved ahead of Greene Central and into third place at 8-4, taking the ECC’s third and last automatic berth to the upcoming North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2-A playoffs.

 

Score by innings:

Greene Central 002 123 0 8

Ayden-Grifton 140 340 x 12

WP-Kim Gurkins 7 IP, 10 H, 8 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO. LP-Laura Wade 6 IP, 18 H, 12 R, 12 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO.

LEADING HITTERS — Greene Central: Katelin Uzzell 3-5, 2 R, 2B, 3B, RBI; Daly Keel 4-4, R, 2B; Abby Burress 3-4, R, 2B, RBI; Madison Holloman 2-3, R; Amber Speight 2-5, 2 R, 2B, RBI. Ayden-Grifton: Taylor Bowen 4-4, 2B, 3 RBIs; Kiley Guthrie 3-4, 3 R; Kristen Hardee 2-4, 2 R, 2B, 3 RBIs.

BASEBALL

Falcons’ season ended by New Bern

NEW BERN — The last chance C.B. Aycock had to extend its postseason streak for a 14th year went down in a hail of runs over the fifth and sixth innings by host New Bern in the first round of the 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference baseball tournament Tuesday.

The Golden Falcons, seeded eighth, finished the season 5-18 with the 12-3 loss. No. 3-seeded New Bern pulled out a 3-2 win in nine innings Wednesday over No. 2 J.H. Rose in the second round. The Bears (20-4) will face No. 1 D.H. Conley in the championship game Friday.

Aycock scored three runs in the top of the fourth to tie the score 4-4 but the Bears answered with one in the bottom of the inning before putting up four runs each in the fifth and sixth innings.

The Falcons had just two hits — a two-run double from Carson Gipson and an RBI double by Austin Booth.

Reliever Noah Overton got the loss on the mound.

Aycock last missed the North Carolina High School Athletic Association playoffs in 2005 but came back to win its second state title two years later in 2007.

 

Score by innings:

C.B. Aycock 000 300 0 3

New Bern 300 144 x 12

LEADING HITTERS — C.B. Aycock: Carson Gipson 1-3, 2B, 2 RBIs; Austin Booth 1-3, R, 2B, RBI.

BOYS TENNIS

Rams stop Whiteville in dual-team 1st round

WHITEVILLE —  Greene Central went on the road Wednesday the first round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2-A dual-team boys tennis playoffs and earned a home match in the second round by knocking off Whiteville, 5-3.

The 2-A Eastern Carolina Conference-champion Rams (17-1) handed the Wolfpack of the 1-A/2-A Three Rivers Conference its first loss in 17 matches. The Rams will host Richlands on Tuesday, May 7, for the second round.

The teams split singles with Tucker Williams at No. 2, Cameron Beaman at No. 3 and Jeremy Dawson at No. 6 each won in straight sets for the Rams. No. 1 Brandon Gilbert lost a third-set tiebreaker to Whiteville’s Bridger Warwick 

But the Rams swept doubles as Gilbert-Beaman won No. 1  and Williams-Dawson won No. 2 doubles soon after 10-3 to end the match.

 

GREENE CENTRAL 5, WHITEVILLE 3

Bridger Warwick (W) def. Brandon Gilbert 6-2, 4-6, (10-8); Tucker Williams (GC) def. Tyler Floyd 6-3, 6-1; Cameron Beaman (GC) def. Tanner Hesler 6-4, 6-3; Andrew Cahn (W) def. Drake Robart 6-2, 6-2; Jeremy Dawson (GC) def. Bryce Kroenwatter 6-2, 6-0; Zach Storms (W) def. Luke Edmondson 6-3, 6-4.

Gilbert-Beaman (GC) def. Floyd-Hesler 10-2; Williams-Dawson (GC) def. Cahn-Evan Wright 10-3.

JUNIOR VARSITY

WCA dealt 1-0 loss

RALEIGH — The Wilson Christian Academy girls soccer team was dealt a 1-0 loss by St. Mary’s on Thursday afternoon.

Lady Chargers goalkeeper Melia Hughes was credited with six saves.

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