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BYH, there are 3 types of people in this world, those who count their blessings and those who are bad with math....

A-G's Darden wins state title

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Ayden-Grifton's Ray Darden has his hand raised after winning the 2-A 195-pound state championship Saturday night.

021719-Darden State finals
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By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector

Saturday, February 16, 2019

GREENSBORO — After two days of intense competition leading up to Saturday night, Ayden-Grifton senior wrestler Ray Darden brought home the state championship crown at 195 pounds during 2-A action at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Darden defeated Will Frady of Smoky Mountain via a 3-2 decision to claim the title. He is the first member of the Chargers’ program to win a state title since Diego Martinez in 2012.

“It feels really good to come out on top,” Darden said. “After cutting weight all season, the tournaments, it all paid off in the end. State champ, it feels pretty good.”

Darden quickly took a slim lead to start the match, but neither wrestler could find a way to gain critical points on the other, leading to a scramble in the final round for Darden to shut the door and earn the title. With just 20 seconds remaining, Frady looked to score by pulling a reversal on Darden, but instead he was locked down with little mobility as time expired.

A-G coach Jeff Wooten gave Darden a simple plan heading into the match, leaving Darden’s experience to help him overcome adversity.

“Coach told me in the beginning of the match to just get the first takedown and just go from there,” Darden said. 

Teammates and supporters who made the trip to the western part of the state cheered loudly for Darden as he walked over to celebrate with them.

“I’m not alone,” he said. “I have my coach and my guys who help me and train me to be here. It’s an individual sport, but my guys coach me up to be this good.”

Darden finished his senior season with a record of 32-1.

He may have brought home the title, but he wasn’t the only A-G wrestler to see success. Teammate Landon Scott finished fifth at 106 pounds. Scott defeated Eddie Leon of South Lenoir by fall in 54 seconds to take fifth.

Also competing in the 2-A category was North Pitt, which saw two wrestlers finish sixth or better. Raheem Jones (185) took fifth after Matteo Fulghieri of Carrboro forfeited, and Khalil Everett (220) finished sixth.

In 4-A competition, South Central’s Jerrell Belcher (220) finished third after defeating John Jimenez of Mooresville by decision, 8-3. Belcher finished his final season with the Falcons with a 53-2 record. SC’s George Ayino (285) was sixth.  

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

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High Schools

March 18, 2019

RALEIGH

Pitt County has firmly placed itself as one of the premier locations in tradition-rich North Carolina for high school basketball. Just take a look at the three teams that competed for state championships Saturday night.

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March 17, 2019

RALEIGH — Chants of “252, 252, 252 …” boomed in Reynolds Coliseum on Saturday during the final minute of South Central High School’s breakthrough and blowout victory over West Charlotte for the Falcons’ first boys’ basketball state championship.

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March 16, 2019

RALEIGH — Standing at the free throw line with his team leading Forest Hills by almost 20 points on Saturday night in Reynolds Coliseum, Farmville Central star Justin Wright knew he and his team were just minutes away from their second state championship in four seasons.

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March 16, 2019

RALEIGH — South Central’s boys’ basketball team turned the NCHSAA 4-A state championship game into a blowout, leading the entire contest against West Charlotte and finishing a 72-46 victory.

Here are video scenes from the game:

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RALEIGH — As the clock moved closer and closer to zeros Saturday afternoon in Reynolds Coliseum, the smiles on the faces of coaches and players for the South Central boys’ basketball team got wider and wider.

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March 16, 2019

RALEIGH — Farmville Central pulled away from Forest Hills, 86-71, and won the NCHSAA 2-A state championship on Saturday night, completing an undefeated season of 32-0.

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March 16, 2019

RALEIGH — By the end of an another emotional game, it was a heartbreaking end to an amazing season for the Farmville Central girls’ basketball team on Saturday night.

The Jaguars were upended by Mountain Heritage, 63-53, in the 2-A state championship game.

The Jags (27-1) finished one…

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March 16, 2019

The end of the high school basketball season is here, and a trio of Pitt County teams are ready to compete for the title of state champion.

4-A BOYS’ FINAL 

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South Central put the state on notice after defeating both No. 2 seed…

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March 16, 2019

Farmville Central’s boys’ and girls’ basketball teams have the chance to make history tonight in Raleigh.

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March 15, 2019

Wednesday evening at South Central was business as usual for the Falcons’ basketball team. The squad ran drills and practiced ahead of Saturday’s 4-A state championship matchup with West Charlotte.

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