EAST vs. WEST: For 11 times in the past 14 years, the Western representatives have held the edge over the Eastern champions in the NCHSAA
state basketball championships, with the 2013 championships were an even four-four split.
This year’s finals saw three of the four Eastern teams win the games in the Smith Center while the West took three of four at Reynolds Coliseum. The years the East representatives have held the advantage are 2012 and 2006.
In the 2012 championships, the East took five of the eight titles. Eastern teams swept the four games at Reynolds Coliseum while the West representative took three of four at the Smith Center. Eastern teams took both the 2-A and 4-A titles for men and women, along with the 3-A men's crown.
In the 2011 championships, the Western representative took seven of the eight title games, with only Winterville South Central breaking through with a 61-58 overtime victory at Reynolds Coliseum over Hickory for the 3-A women's crown.
In 2010, for the second straight year, the Western representative took six of the eight title games, with Kinston in the 2-A men and Rocky Mount in the 3-A men breaking through for the East.
In 2009, the Western representative took six of the eight finals, with only Dudley in the 3-A women and Northern Guilford in the 3-A men winning out of the East, but later Northern Guilford had to vacate its title.
The West took five of the eight championship games in 2008, and the 2007 count had the West winning five of eight, but 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, was 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 30 plus years 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.
DOMINATION CONTINUES: The victory by Kernersville Bishop McGuinness over River Mill Academy by 57-52 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 25 of the last 27 titles in the 1-A classification for women. The only Eastern teams to break through during this time were Union in 1998 and Lakewood in 1994. It was also the eighth consecutive title for Bishop McGuinness in the women’s championships, now the longest string of state titles in basketball. The previous consecutive streak was owned by Hayesville, which won six under coach Darryl McClure from 1988 through ’93.
RECORD SETTING: Oxford Webb’s Isaiah Hicks, who is bound for the University of North Carolina, had a performance for the ages in the NCHSAA state 3-A championship game as he led the Warriors to a 73-70 overtime decision over Statesville at Reynolds Coliseum.
Hicks scored 34 points and pulled down a whopping 30 rebounds, hitting 13 of 21 shots from the field and also blocking seven shots. It was the most rebounds documented in a state championship game (admittedly there are not box scores or stats for many of the early title games) and tied the men’s state tournament record.
For many years eight district champions advanced to the state tournament, which is similar now to eight teams which advance to regional and then state championship play. That provides some continuity in terms of records.
In the 1984 Eastern Regional semifinals, Harry Burrus of Mattamuskeet poured in 46 points and grabbed 30 rebounds against Acme-Delco—the only other 30-rebound performance documented for state tournament records—although it didn’t happen in a state final.
PERFECT RECORDS: Raleigh Millbrook captured its third consecutive NCHSAA state 4-A women's crown with a 62-56 victory over Greensboro Page at the Smith Center and wound up as the only women’s varsity basketball team in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association to finish undefeated. The Wildcats posted a 33-0 mark.
The Millbrook women's team in the 20th team in the last 26 years to finish unbeaten, with the last perfect mark achieved by last year’s 2-A champion Jordan-Matthews at 31-0.
Charlotte Olympic posted a 30-0 record by winning the NCHSAA 4-A state championship over Raleigh Broughton 56-53, so the Trojans became the first men’s team in the NCHSAA to post a perfect record in the last eight years. Olympic was led by Charlie Adams MVP Deriece Parks, who scored 19 points including four three-pointers. Olympic was eight of 20 from beyond the arc.
Canton Pisgah was the last men’s squad to post a perfect record with an unblemished record at 29-0 in 2005.
Since 1987, there have been eight men’s varsity teams to go through an NCHSAA basketball season without a loss.
DOUBLE THE FUN: Kinston won both the women’s and men’s state basketball championships on Saturday, the 11th time in the history of the tournament that the same school took both men’s and women’s titles in their classification. The last time it occurred was in 2009 when Bishop McGuinness took both 1-A crowns.
Kinston did it in the 2-A classification, and the last time a school swept both 2-A titles was when Bandys of Catawba County took a pair of championships back in 1982.
LOTS OF TITLES: Kinston added to its storied history in basketball with its ninth all-time title in 19 appearances in the championship (Kinston was known officially as Grainger High prior to 1970). Kinston teams have now earned crowns in 1950, 1955, 1956, 1964, 1965, 2008, 2010 and '12, and ’13, so the Vikings have won three times in the last four years. It was the first head coaching state championship for Kinston’s Perry Tyndall, who assumed the Kinston reins when veteran coach Wells Gulledge resigned after last season.
BROTHER ACT II: Kinston’s Denzel Keyes posted a double-double (18 points, 10 rebounds) for Charlie Adams MVP honors to help the Vikings to their second straight state championship. The individual honor for Keyes came one season after his brother, Angelo, netted 19 points and the same MVP distinction when the Vikings stopped the same Cavaliers. The Keyes brothers are the first MVP siblings in back-to-back finals. The Keyes brothers, who helped Kinston to the 2011 2-AA football final, will reunite next fall at North Carolina A&T State University, where Angelo Keyes is a football student-athlete. Denzel, a muscular 6-5 inside-outside player who had 17 points in the 2012 basketball title tilt, will suit up for the Aggies’ football and basketball programs.
SEEING DOUBLE: Repeat state championships at Reynolds Coliseum included repeat MVPs for Winston-Salem Prep (men’s 1-A) and Charlotte Harding University (women’s 3-A). Mike Hughes, a 6-4 junior, tallied 12 points and seven rebounds for Winston-Salem Prep, a 53-41 victor over Rocky Mount Prep. Harding’s 5-9 Abrea Harris (bound for Alabama-Birmingham) posted 11 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in the Rams’ 56-52 win versus Chapel Hill.
Cuthbertson’s Shelton Mitchell, a 6-3 junior, scored a game-high 22 points for the second time in as many finals. Mitchell has committed verbally to Wake Forest.
OTHER OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCES: Other excellent performances in Saturday’s finals included: Raekwon Harney (W-S Prep) had 12 points, four rebounds and three assists against Rocky Mount Prep…Josh Dawson (Kinston) tallied 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists in the Viking victory…Breon Borders (Statesville) kept the Greyhounds going against Webb with 26 points (11 of 20 FG) and nine rebounds…Lenaira Ruffin (River Mill Academy) scored 17 points and pulled down 15 rebounds in the Jaguars’ tough loss to Bishop McGuinness…Catherine Romaine (Chapel Hill) had 14 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots in the close loss to defending champion Harding University…Millbrook had great balance in its win, including good games from Mykia Jones (15 points, three rebounds), Alex Tomlinson (11 points, four assists) and Ryan Flowers (10 points, seven rebounds, two assists).
TIME WARNER TELEVISION: All eight of the state championship basketball games are available to Time Warner Cable subscribers across the state on Carolina Video on Demand, on channel 199 or 1047.
They were all available on live television on the Time Warner system on Saturday.
OTHER RANDOM NOTES: AAA is the presenting sponsor of the state basketball championships and had representatives participating in the post-game ceremonies in all eight contests…Northern Durham and Garner High Schools served as the official hosts for the championship…evidence of the NCHSAA’s 100th anniversary being celebrated this year were everywhere, including on the official championship program and on flags and signage throughout both arenas…the Bouncing Bulldogs, the famous rope-skipping demonstration team from Durham, provided the halftime entertainment at the men’s 3-A final on Saturday night and the women’s 4-A final earlier and were once again well received by the crowd. The Bouncing Bulldogs, under the direction of Ray Fredrick, have become one of the highlights for fans attending the championship games and have come to the championships for the last 27 years…live statistics and live video streaming of all championship games were available on Saturday on the NCHSAA web site….thanks to Alex Bass of Carolina Preps for providing additional information for the notebook.