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Chargers open in style, top Panthers

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Ayden-Grifton's Ricky Johnson, center, dribbles during their game against North Pitt on Nov. 28, 2017. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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By Corey Jones
The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

BETHEL — Ayden-Grifton’s boys’ basketball team opened its season with a road win in a back-and-forth game over North Pitt, 60-57, on Tuesday night in Bethel.

The Panthers took their second lead of the game 3:55 left in the fourth quarter, but their defense wasn’t enough for the Chargers’ inside post game. The hosts led only one other time, scoring first in the game, but the Chargers quickly answered, tying it up and from there controlled the tempo of the game until early in the fourth.

With NP trailing by two, junior Matthew Council was put at the line with less than 50 seconds to play, given the opportunity to tie the game at 59-59. The cheering fans quickly shifted from the Panthers to the Chargers jumping up and down with excitement after Council missed both critical free throws and dropped his head down in frustration.

Ayden-Grifton’s James Richardson was then put on the line, making one of his two free throws and stretching the lead to three for A-G. NP failed to answer on the opposite end of the court before the final horn.

“Nerve racking when he got put at the line. He missed two free throws though, and we got a big rebound and came back down and scored, so I can’t be nothing but happy about that,” A-G coach John Moye said.

Tyler Johnson had 18 points and Richardson 14 for the Chargers. Council and Nasqueonta Staton combined for 26 points for the Panthers. 

“I thought we did a great job defensively. We showed a lot of grit and had a lot of guys who hadn’t played a lot of games,” Moye said. “I thought that we also just rebounded the ball very well and if we continue to do that, we’ll be all right.”

GIRLS’ GAME

North Pitt 53, Ayden-Grifton 23

Turnovers were a factor for both teams but the Panthers were the only team to capitalize, taking the lead early and never looking back in a comfortable 30-point win in the girls’ game.

Senior Nyjanique Langley was the go-to girl, racking up 32 points for the Panthers. The Chargers struggled to get rolling, going 9-for-43 from the floor on 20 percent shooting.

Langley was the only double-digit scorer for either team.

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

John Paul II 48, New Life 9

JPII (48)

Lacey Ross 21, Megan Zelaski 3, Nicole Wynn 16, Nuvia Villeda 4, Maggie Geiger 2, Madison Tiznan 2.

NL (9)

Rachel Upchurch 5, Abigail Winstead 2, Olivia Kelly 2.

Record: JPII 1-2.

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High Schools

November 18, 2018

Annual swimming powerhouse D.H. Conley began its season by winning the boys’ and girls’ divisions in a meet involving Swansboro, South Central and West Carteret.

Standouts Garrett Despres and Trevor Torres each won two individual events. The 200 individual medley saw Despres take…

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November 16, 2018

Two weeks ago, D.H. Conley drove the field looking to upset eventual 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference champion South Central, and they lost by one point.

On Friday night, the Vikings pulled off a miracle to escape Southern Alamance and advance to the second round of the 3-AA state playoffs.

Up…

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November 16, 2018

Farmville Central head football coach Scott Gardner announced Friday that he has retired as the head coach of the Jaguars.

Gardner has spent 28 years in coaching, along with the majority of his life, in the Farmville community. 

“I’ve been thinking about it for a couple of years,…

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November 16, 2018

Ayden-Grifton will take on a familiar foe tonight in the first round of the 2-A East playoffs in Eastern Carolina Conference champion Kinston.

A-G head coach Paul Cornwell is all too familiar with postseason football, and he and his staff also have a good understanding as to how to better attack…

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November 16, 2018

South Central entered this season looking to continue its climb to the top. 

Every year under head coach Andy Tew, the program has seen a rise in its win totals. After a 10-win season last year, the Falcons improved to perfection this year in a season that included wins over local rivals J.H.…

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November 15, 2018

Four members of the D.H. Conley softball program signed their letters of intent on Thursday to play at the college level. 

Madison Bowers, Lexi and Alexis Phillips and Lexi Vincent are all signed to play softball at next level.

The group has been playing together since they were young, as they…

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November 15, 2018

Nazir Monroe-Smith has seemingly done it all. A 1,000-yard rusher his junior year, Monroe-Smith has moved outside to become part of a threatening core of wide receivers in his final season. Preps beat writer Jake Keator spoke with Monroe-Smith about the Falcons’ undefeated season and how he…

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November 13, 2018

Pitt County high school football teams finished a perfect 4-0 in the final week of the regular season, while Greene Central almost pulled out an upset of 2-A Eastern Carolina Conference champion Kinston.

Ayden-Grifton (7-4, 4-2) put up another strong outing, shutting out South Lenoir on the road,…

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November 10, 2018

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association released its brackets Saturday afternoon informing teams of their paths to a state title. 

Ayden-Grifton saw a change in its seeding just before the brackets were finalized. A-G started the day as a 14-seed, scheduled to play South Granville.…

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November 10, 2018

The Greene Central Rams looked to pull off one of the biggest upsets of the season against undefeated Kinston, and nearly did. In the end, however, one key play ended any thought of knocking off the 2-A Eastern Carolina Conference leader.

Looking at a first-and-goal from the 10-yard line, it seemed…

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