Sports Briefs: Jan. 29, 2014

January 27, 2014 

Neuse Charter takes outright Carolina 1A lead

Neuse Charter jumped to 7-1 in the Carolina 1A Conference boys basketball race with back-to-back wins over Rosewood and North Duplin, Jan. 23-24.

NCSs win, along with Princetons decision over James Kenan, gave the Cougars possession of first place alone in the league.

The Cougars downed Rosewood 56-54 Thursday night, taking advantage of Jimmie Sanders IIIs hot start (9 of his teams first 12 points) and solid nights from Jourdan Sanders and Darrius Stevens.

Sanders III finished with a game-high 16 points, while Stevens (5-for-5 from the field) and Jourdan Sanders had 11 each.

The Cougars downed North Duplin 66-61, holding off the Rebels after a wild fourth quarter that saw the two teams combine for 44 points scored.

“We have been getting a lot better at facing certain defenses and showing balance as many of our players are capable to have big nights, said NCS coach Jimmie Sanders Jr.

Jarrod Sealey had five assists and three steals for Neuse Charter.

Knightdale boys top West Johnston

West Johnston jumped out to a nine-point first-quarter lead in the boys game but fell victim to a 19-point output in the second half as Knightdale prevailed, 75-54, Friday. Ronshag Allan-Shabazz of Knightdale led all scorers with 28 points on 11-of-16 shooting from the field.

Cameron Williams had 11 to pace West Johnston, which also got nine points each from Tre Frederick and Ryne Turner.

Clayton grabs pair of road wins

Clayton scored 20 points in the third period to build a 17-point lead and coasted to a 42-33 Greater Neuse River 4A Conference girls basketball victory against Harnett Central. The Comets scored only three points in the fourth quarter.

Taisha Murphy led the Comets with 17 points, while Ashley Murphy added eight.

Gary Clark scored 19 points and pulled down 14 rebounds in Clayton’s 74-48 boys victory against Harnett Central. Clayton leads the league with an 8-0 record and are 15-3 overall.

Chris Dixon had 14 points and Dawson Medlin had 11 for the Comets.

Swimming regionals, wrestling conference tournaments on tap

Berths in the NCHSAA state swimming championships are on the line beginning Friday as the area swimming regionals begin. The 3A eastern regionals will be held Friday at Triangle Aquatics Center in Cary, while the 4A eastern regionals are Saturday morning at the same location.

In wrestling, it’s the first big weekend of individual-focused competition of February with all of the area conferences holding their respective conference individual tournaments. East Wake hosts the Greater Neuse River 4A Conference members, while Johnston County schools Smithfield-Selma (Two Rivers 3A) and Princeton (Carolina 1A) host their respective tournaments. North Johnston is in the Eastern Plains 2A event at North Pitt.

Princeton finishes strong

Princeton held James Kenan to six fourth-quarter points and edged out a 56-54 Carolina 1A Conference boys basketball win Friday night. Princeton trailed 48-41 entering the fourth quarter.

Five Princeton (8-7, 4-3) players scored nine or more points on the night, led by Tanner Woodard’s 15.

Bulldogs claim fifth league win

Charley Cox had 20 points to help pace Princeton’s girls by James Kenan 53-41 Friday night and move to 5-2 in the Carolina 1A Conference. Savanna Massengill finished with 14 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots on the night. Tori Paul pulled down five rebounds for Princeton (8-8 overall).

National champs offer Cleveland lineman a scholarship

National champion Florida State offered a football scholarship to Cleveland High defensive lineman Sterling Johnson on Wednesday, but FSU is just one of several schools that has noticed the 6-foot-5, 274-pound junior.

Johnson already had offers from Clemson, N.C. State, Virginia Tech, Florida and Wake Forest and others are expected.

“I think a lot of the recruiters are going by Garner to talk to (runner) Nyheim Hines and then coming here and vice versa,” Cleveland coach Marc Morris said. “Sterling works extremely hard and works in the weight room just as hard. He is a fine young man.

“You just don’t see many kids his size who can run like he does. Big linemen like him are hard to find.”

Johnson was the Two Rivers 3A Conference defensive lineman of the year in 2013.

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