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PREPS: Falcons finish unbeaten

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South Central's Cydney Williams, right, celebrates during Thursday's game against D.H. Conley on Feb. 8, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)


The Daily Reflector

Thursday, February 8, 2018

South Central’s boys’ basketball team might have made it look easy at times this season, but SC veteran coach Chris Cherry was aware on Thursday night what his team had just accomplished by completing an unbeaten regular season.

The Falcons were led by the outside shooting of Jahzeer Baker and the team’s other guards at rival D.H. Conley, pulling away for a 76-52 win for a 22-0 record. Conley, which upset SC in the girls’ game, led 25-23 in the second quarter before the Falcons took over with their talent, size and style of play that has them as a lead 4-A state championship contender heading into the postseason.

“It’s a credit to the kids that they come focused every single night and they deserve a lot of credit for that,” Cherry said of being 22-0.

Baker made seven 3-pointers and finished with 23 points. Conley’s Jahmois Barnhill sparked the hot start by the Vikings (13-11, 7-5 Eastern Carolina 3-A/4-A Conference) and scored 25.

There was a time in the third quarter when SC big men Day’ron Sharpe and Luke Davis had six combined points, but the visitors still led 58-32. Tahj Reddick, Shykeim Phillips and Cydney Williams each finished with nine points to aid that effort.

“Those guys have played well all year, and they’ve been consistent,” Cherry said.

Davis and Sharpe both battled foul trouble and scored six apiece.

DHC, which finished in third place in the ECC, made five 3-pointers by the midway point of the second period. It led 20-17, 23-20 and 25-23 in the second before facing a 37-27 halftime deficit.

“They wear you down and then your passes come up a little short and you start getting tired,” Conley coach Rob Maloney said. “It was a struggle and they did a great job, but I am proud of our kids for hanging in there and making it competitive and fighting, because I don’t think we’ll face anybody any better along the way.”


D.H. Conley went up by 10 points with less than 4 minutes remaining in the game and then held off a late South Central rally for the Vikings to win 60-55 and hand ECC champion South Central its only league loss of the season.

Mackena Batts’ 3-pointer made it 57-47 Conley, but Tadahfia Wallace and the Falcons stormed back and Wallace’s 3 made it 57-55 DHC with 1:10 left. SC had a potential tying basket miss during the final minute, and it threw the ball out of bounds when trailing by three points with 9.8 seconds remaining.

A free throw by Batts and two from Hikaru Iwata helped seal the win for the Vikings, who came into the night in a tie for second place in the conference. 

— Ronnie Woodward


3-A states

D.H. Conley swimmers brought home four fourth-place finishes Thursday to highlight the Vikings' appearance at the 3-A state championships at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary.

Conley’s girls placed sixth (122 points) and the boys finished ninth (109) in the team competitions.

Senior Morgan Despres nabbed a pair of fourth-place results in the girls’ 100 freestyle (52.25) and the 200 freestyle (1:54.20), while fellow senior Svea Torres finished in the same spot in the 50 freestyle (24.18)

Despres and Torres, along with Ruth McGee and Abigail Burns, also helped Conley to fourth in the 200 freestyle relay (1:38.61). The same quartet took fifth in the 200 medley relay (1:50.23).

Conley's other top-10 finishers were: Torres (ninth in girls’ 100 breaststroke), Conner Dennison (seventh in boys’ 200 free and 500 free), Trevor Torres (eighth in boys’ 50 freestyle), boys’ 200 medley relay team (Riley Brown, Andrew Landry, Seth Tillery, Torres; eighth), boys’ 400 free relay team (Jacob Bell, Dennison, Garrett Despres, Landry; ninth), boys’ 200 free relay team (Torres, Brown, Turner Cook, Bell; 10th).

J.H. Rose did not log a top-10 finish in an event.

Parrott wins conference

Parrott Academy's girls and boys won Coastal Rivers Conference championships Wednesday.

Girls' conference champions: Grace Fountain (200 freestyle, 100 freestyle, conference swimmer of the year), Emily Piwowarski (100 butterfly), Allie Grace Frank (500 freestyle), Katie Frank (100 backstroke); 200 medley relay (Brianne Cregan, Maggie Tyndall, Piwowarski, Fountain), 400 freestyle relay (Piwowarski, Katie Frank, Tyndall, Fountain).

Boys' conference champions: John Michael Leighton (50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, co-conference swimmer of the year), Lucas Ouano (200 freestyle, 500 freestyle, co-conference swimmer of the year), 200 freestyle relay (William McPhaul, Ouano, Palmer Bratton, Leighton); 400 freestyle relay (Jacob John, Bratton, Ouano, Leighton).


D.H. Conley 22

South Central 11

Leading scorers: DHC — Nadiayah Randolph-5,  Summer Hart-7, Valentino Cavillo-5.

Record: Conley 18-1, 12-0 ECC.



Bethel 40, Chicod 20

Leaders: B — Zykela Staton 12; C — Emma Duke 9.

Record: Bethel 8-5, 8-4.

Farmville 48, Hope 26

Farmville leaders — Kylah Silver 14, Trinity Nichols 7.


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

High Schools

October 20, 2018

South Central continued its undefeated football season with a decisive victory over New Bern on Friday night, 52-8.

In their first game in two weeks, the Falcons dominated with their multifaceted run game and took advantage of the Bears’ offensive mistakes.

After a sloppy but uneventful first…


October 20, 2018

Four Pitt County high school volleyball programs are ready to make some noise in postseason play. J.H. Rose, D.H. Conley, South Central and Ayden-Grifton all are eyeing a state title this year after terrific regular seasons.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association plans to reveal the…


October 19, 2018

D.H. Conley bested rival J.H. Rose on the gridiron for the second straight year Friday night, 48-21, increasing their win streak to six straight in the process.

“This is an awesome feeling,” Conley head coach Nate Conner said. “The most important thing is that it puts us in a…


October 19, 2018

It’s time for another installment of one of the best rivalries in the state as D.H. Conley (5-2, 3-0) travels just under seven miles down the road to face J.H. Rose (5-2, 2-1) tonight in high school football action.

With two high-scoring offenses coming together it will be a shootout, and…


October 18, 2018

The Ayden-Grifton Chargers volleyball team celebrated senior night by defeating South Lenoir Wednesday to improve to 19-1 on the season.

The Chargers (11-0 in league play) won in straight sets, 25-13, 25-8 and 25-19.

The match marked the final time seniors Jordan Cannon, Zion Hardy and Kristen…

October 18, 2018

Zion Hardy, known by her teammates as “The Beast,” is one of three seniors on a Chargers volleyball roster that has only 10 players. Hardy spoke with preps Beat Writer Jake Keator after a 3-0 win on senior night about the Chargers season and winning back-to-back conference titles.



October 16, 2018

J.H. Rose put on a performance reminiscent of the beginning of its season with a 55-0 rout of Southern Wayne last Wednesday night. 

The game seemed to be a walk in the park for head coach Dave Wojtecki and Rose (5-2, 2-1), who held a comfortable 42-0 lead at halftime.

The Rampants switched up…


October 13, 2018

After winning yet another local volleyball showdown against fellow powerhouse South Central on Friday night, D.H. Conley coach Jennifer Gillikin perhaps best summed up her team’s season thus far when asked what she does to help her team avoid a letdown.

“What do you mean by a letdown?…


October 13, 2018

North Johnston kicker Graham Walston spoiled homecoming for the Farmville Central Jaguars on Friday night, kicking a 20-yard field goal as time expired to cap off a furious second half comeback. The Panthers walked away with a 31-29 victory. 

Tied at 29 late in the fourth quarter, FC (2-6, 1-…


October 12, 2018

The weather once again played a factor in the scheduling of high school football games in Pitt County this week. In preparation for the arrival of the remnants of Hurricane Michael, J.H. Rose and D.H. Conley both played road games on Wednesday and both teams walked away with wins.

The trip by Ayden-…

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