Sports Briefs: Jan. 1, 2014

January 2, 2014 

Spartans take third in Wilson

Smithfield-Selma finished third in the Farris and Farris Holiday Tournament at Wilson Hunt, grabbing a 47-43 victory over Wilson Fike Thursday.

The Spartans started both halves with big efforts, outscoring Fike 14-8 in the first quarter and 17-10 in the third quarter. Fike closed out the game with a flourish with an 18-point fourth quarter but SSS held on for the win.

Dannya Tavarez led SSS in scoring with 16 points (including four 3-pointers), while Dazmine Young added 13 (with a trio of 3s).

Diamond Blackston led SSS with eight rebounds, while Charlise Degraffenriend grabbed six boards.

Wilson Hunt beat SSS 63-34 in the first round of the event.

North Johnston splits with Midway

North Johnston split a holiday set of basketball games against Midway Friday night.

The Panther girls rolled, 48-18 behind a 24-point second quarter. Chandler Hines led North (8-3) with 14 points, while Tangela Williams added 11.

Midway used a strong pressing defense to rally by North’s boys for a 57-54 victory. The Panthers led 27-20 at the half and had a good look at a 3-pointer in the final seconds that didn’t go down.

Tanner Spines had a strong game for North with 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Trey Daniels added 14 points.

Martin makes verbal commitment

Cleveland senior running back Isaac Martin has verbally committed to Coastal Carolina University, but he is still keeping his options open in case any of the Division I schools that have shown interest come forward with a scholarship offer.

Martin, who ran for more than 4,000 yards in his career, carried the ball just twice in the annual Shrine Bowl Game of the Carolinas on Dec. 21 and didn’t take an offensive snap in the second half as the Tar Heel squad rode North Carolina recruit Elijah Hood exclusively in the second half.

“I’m still looking for some more Division I offers,” Martin said. “I hoped to get some more exposure in this game, but it’s hard to get that when you’ve got an all-world running back on the team with you.”

Although the game didn’t go as well as he would have liked it to, the Rams’ standout still learned a lot from the experience.

“I learned just how hard you have to work to be great,” he said. “The talent that was on display this week here was strong.”

Sands joins Archer on Rays’ roster

Two former Johnston County rivals are on the same Major League Baseball roster this week after the Tampa Bay Rays claimed former Smithfield-Selma High star Jerry Sands off of waivers from Pittsburgh.

Sands joins Clayton native Chris Archer, a player he matched up against a handful of times against in high school, on the Tampa Bay 40-man roster.

It’s been a busy 14 months for the outfielder/first baseman as Sands was traded to the Red Sox from the Dodgers, then shipped to Pittsburgh before the start of the 2013 season. He played most of the 2013 season at Triple-A in Indianapolis after playing with the Dodgers in 2011 and 2012. Sands hit just .207 with seven home runs and 34 RBIs in 106 games for Indy.

Archer went 10-10 for the Rays, making 27 starts while compiling a 3.47 earned-run average.

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