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D.H. Conley, South Central prepare for next round of state playoffs


D.H. Conley's Peyton Farmer, left, smiles after hitting a single during their game against Topsail during the Easter tournament at Sara Law Softball complex on March 31, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)


By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector

Friday, May 18, 2018

D.H. Conley has defied the odds as a 19 seed in the 3-A state softball tournament, making an improbable run past several high-seeded schools on its way to the fourth round.

The Vikings travel to Elon to face No. 2 seed Western Alamance at 6:30 tonight. 

What was an initial shock has grown into confidence and knowledge that no matter the seeding, the Vikings will always have a shot a winning the game.

They began their run with a 4-1 defeat of 14 seed West Johnston, followed up by a huge 5-3 upset over third-seeded Cape Fear in the second round. Continuing the momentum, the Vikings beat out six seed C.B. Aycock 9-7 in Round 3. 

After a 17-8 regular season, the Vikings exploded into the playoffs, catching fire both offensively and defensively at the right time. That fire will need to continue to burn bright as they approach their match-up with Western Alamance, who went 23-3 in the regular season,  but the Vikings have proven that stats and predictions can be thrown out the window in the postseason.


No. 3 Heritage at No. 2 South Central

Two seed South Central will face its toughest test yet, as the Falcons take on three seed Heritage tonight at 6 in Winterville.

This will be the second meeting of the year for the two squads, as SC took the first game on the road April 12, 5-4.

Following a first-round bye, SC managed to avoid an early exit against No. 15 Lumberton, 6-5, in the second round. The Falcons also pulled out a close win against 10 seed Wake Forest, 7-5. Now, the Falcons will face their highest-seeded opponent yet, but one they are familiar with in Heritage.


D.H. Conley at Chapel Hill

The Vikings enter their fourth-round playoff game on Saturday at 1 p.m. against the second seeded Chapel Hill Tigers, who will try to preserve their 12-0 scoring differential against opponents this postseason.

The Vikings, however, also bring to the table a scoreless postseason, recording a 7-0 total through the playoffs.

After defeating 27 seed Lee County 5-0, the Vikings took down 22 seed Cedar Ridge in the second round, 1-0. Their most recent victory was a third-round upset of three seed Terry Sanford, 1-0 on Tuesday night.

The underdog for the second consecutive time, the Vikings look to once again defy their seeding.

Contact Jake Keator at jkeator@reflector.com, 252-329-9594 and follow @JakeKeatorDR on Twitter.


Humans of Greenville


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

High Schools

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…


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.…


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…


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,…

110318JHRfootball-1.jpg (1).jpg

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.…


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…


November 09, 2018

The final week of the high school football regular season is here as local teams, including D.H. Conley (7-3, 5-1), use to make up previously postponed contests during hurricane season. 

The Vikings received some good news Tuesday night, as they learned they will be allowed to continue on into…


November 08, 2018

Ayden-Grifton football brought its regular season to a close on a high note, defeating South Lenoir, 42-0, on Thursday night.

Quarterback Blake McLawhorn threw two touchdown passes on the night, both going to running back JC Darden, who looked much like his older brother, starting running back Ray…


November 08, 2018

Rose forward Tyre Taft had his soccer career at J.H. Rose come to an end Tuesday night after a 1-0 loss to Chapel Hill in the second round of the state playoffs. Taft finished with 17 goals, two assists and 36 points over 39 games played. Taft was a captain and leader of the Rampants on their way…


November 07, 2018

The J.H. Rose soccer team saw its season end in the second round of the state playoffs Tuesday night after a 1-0 upset loss to Chapel Hill. 

The 12-seeded Tigers got on the board early in the first half, as Kevin Morales got the ball past Rose (18-5-1) goal keeper Trey Burelson just over six…

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