The Dudley Panthers proved they are the top team in the Triad 3-A last Friday with the Panthers sweeping the Northeast Guilford Rams. Dudley rides the big games of Mekia Valentine for the girls and William Graves is the man for the boys. Graves hit for 40 points for the Panthers as they moved to 10-0 in the conference with the 71-60 victory over the Rams. Jim Modlin said William had 40 and not 42 as was reported in the News and Record, and I (Andy Durham) also had William with 40 just like Mr. Modlin from Fitness Today on Randleman Road. For those readers that were not aware, I broadcast these high school basketball games on the radio on Friday nights at 950 AM on your radio dial(Durham has been on the local radio now for 20 years) and Jim Modlin a former East Carolina Pirate and Ragsdale H.S. hoops star is the man doing color commentary. That makes Jim like the analyst of the games, sort of like Billy Packer, but not a donkey(also known as a jackass in biblical times), like Billy.
The Dudley girls kept their conference mark perfect with a 62-43 win over Northeast. Valentine hit for 20 and the young ladies from Pantherland are now 23-1 overall to go with their 10-0 league mark. Who can stop these red-hot Panthers? That’s been asked many times over this year and it is a question that will not be answered at least until both Panther teams get to the Regionals.
The Dudley girls are getting good support for Valentine from Tiaera Reynolds, Siera Little, and now Jocelyn Williams inside, and that should help the Panthers down the stretch. The Dudley boys will need some big time help if for some reason,(foul problems or injury) they were to lose Graves. We need to mention that Mercedes King connected for 23 for the Northeast Guilford girls and Mercedes is showing signs of becoming one of the area’s best female players. The Northeast boys played very unsure of themselves at the end of the game after leading Duldey 14-12 at the end of the first quarter. The Northeast boys need to have better guard play during end game situations and Big Jim Modlin said they need to foul sooner when they are behind late in the game.
High Point Central took two from the Page Pirates at Page on Friday night and the boys from Central are now locked up with Smith with key Metro 4-A games coming up this week. The Black Bison beat the Pirates by just 2 points(74-72) in the boys matchup and in the game that preceeded the men’s affair the Black Bison ladies stopped Page 76-67 in overtime. The Central girls are making a late season run but they still will not catch the Grimsley girls who just about have the Metro wrapped up with one week left to go. The Grimsley girls eased past Smith 46-37 Friday to move to 11-0 and 18-1 for the year. The Metro 4-A belongs to the Grimsley girls just like I have been saying all season.
The H.P. Central boys have a three pronged attack with Jermaine Armstrong, Raemon Smith, and Jerry Chandler getting it done. Armstrong got it done to the tune of 32 points in the Bison win over Page. Liberty University has been scouting Chandler, who might have a shot at a football/basketball career at the Virginia school.
Greensboro Day School saw it’s season mark jump to 27-2 as the Bengals made easy work of High Point Wesleyan 94-64. Johnny Thomas was the top Bengal with 21, while Brandon Davis hit for 15, Travis Leonard 12, Josh Lanham 11, and Bruce Woodall added 10. GDS is prepping for it’s state tournament which comes to Greensboro in late February. The Bengals have been playing like the #1 team in the state for the entire 2005/2006 campain.
The Smith Golden Eagle boys kept pace with H.P. Central after the Eagles 75-52 victory over Grimsley. Smith is looking solid as they enter the last week of the regular season and prepare for the Metro 4-A conference tournament. The Golden Eagles continue to be led by their one/two punch of Brian Wynn and Tavarus Alston. Alston had 22 and Wynn chipped in 17 versus the Whirlies. Avery Hardy is starting to provide help inside the lane and with Curtis Duff and Seth Hawkins the Eagles have a solid five. Smith and Central are both 8-2 as we hit the last week of the conference season.
The Eastern Guilford girls and boys are now both 8-1 in conference play after a sweep of West Stokes last Friday. The Glenn Bobcat boys are finishing strong behind Eric Wallace, who had 22 in Glenn’s 81-69 win over Parkland. Glenn could give Dudley a run for their money if they meet each other again this year down in Greenville, N.C. at the Regionals.
Concern in Eden as four Morehead students were involved in a automobile accident early Saturday morning after a Friday night 91-72 hoops win over Bartlett Yancey. Jay Allen and Antonio Hairston were the two basketball players that were injured. The other two young men played football. Allen may be paralyzed and Hairston is still in very bad shape as well.
My high school wrestling cub reporter Joey Gladson tells me that Ragsdale is the team that everyone is pointing to as the States draw closer. Morehead and McMichael are other area schools that have a good chance to win it all and from what I was reading over the weekend Northwest Guilford took the METRO 4-A conference tournament and Ragsdale did the same on the 3-A level. Will Stafford was a winner for Northwest at 130 and Jacob Creed was the top man with the best chance to claim a state title for Ragsdale. Gladson tells me that former Southeast wrestler Mike Hall who was in the 215 class for the Falcons is now wrestling for UNC-Pembroke. Hall began his college career playing football for Averett up in Danville, Virginia. Hall now has a winning record for UNC-P with three years of eligibility left to go. Hall is also looking to join UNC-P’s football team in 2006. Speaking of wrestling, the WWE will be at the Greensboro coliseum next Monday night February 13th.
Speaking of football the Greensboro Revolution had tryouts on Super Bowl Sunday at the Coliseum and former Grimsley Whirlie Jonathan Graham was one of the first ones to make the team. Jon Graham played football and basketball for Grimsley and later played football at Winston-Salem State. Congratulations Jon- Jon and be the receiver you need to be for the Revolution.
Congrats to coaches Mac Morris and Phil Weaver for being named to the N.C. High School Athletic Directors Asscociation Hall of Fame. The local coaches served Page and Grimsley very well over the years. These two giants of coaching have represented their community with respect and dignity in athletics.
Speaking of Grimsley, they should be very strong in baseball this season. Alan Ashkinazy has put together a unit that banker Jason Stewart says will be the toughest on the local diamond. Stewart’s nephew Josh is a shortstop on the club and Ashkinazy has pulled in Clint Moore and two other players from Southeast Guilford to round out his team. Alan is all about energy and his Grimsley team will be ready to out work and out hustle any team in our area. Ashkinazy says his Whirlies will be the team to beat.
Our staff visited Velocity Sports training center this week and came away impressed. Their one on one approach to athletic training is the way to go if you want to move up to the next level, if it be college or pro. Velocity Sports can get you ready for the NFL combine if that’s where you are headed or they can work with groups like the group that was there on the Monday I stopped in, the High Point Christian Cougars. I had heard of the Cougars but this was the first time I had seen any of them in person. Mr. Troutman and company, keep up the good work at Velocity Sports.
I do hate to close out this session on sour note, but when I was watching local television after the Super Bowl(and Congrats to Kevin Colvin and all the Pittsburg Steeler fans out there:COWHER POWER), I happened upon a program with a host that thinks he knows something about local sports but he doesn’t have a clue what is going on. The host is a transplant that came through Greensboro a few years back and now he has made his so-called triumphant return and he is calling out Skip Prosser saying Skip ought to hand in his resignation. This host says he knows local ACC hoops and that Prosser should listen to what this television castaway has to say or else. If Prosser decides to leave the ACC he will do it on his own, and not because some second city rerun host looking for a knee-jerk reaction told Skip to skip town. How can a man who knows nothing about basketball tell a NCAA coach what he needs to be doing. This host is working an angle that Steve(the hoops star from LDI) would never tolerate and that means the host will not be a fellow whose time is long for this market. Sometimes it just isn’t worth it, trying to watch sports and learn at the same time at the LDI Academy. I will have more on this mess in the future.