Central girls and boys complete undefeated seasons

Central Middle School’s girls and boys basketball teams swept Tabor City Thursday to complete their seasons undefeated. Both teams finished with records of 15-0.

Central’s girls downed Tabor City 45-8. I’Reona Johnson scored 15 points. Aaliyah Haley added 10. The Hornet boys scored a 46-30 win over the Eagles. Wendell Smith led Central with 13 points. Antonio McFadden contributed 10. Chris Elleby scored nine points for Tabor City and Austin Mayo netted eight.

                  Queen Maddie Beck and BMOC Cooper Watts

It was “standing room only” and very little of that as Williams hosted Nakina for the Aggies Homecoming game. Williams edged the Mustangs 27-25 in the girls contest. Nakina earned a split with a 39-18 win in the boys contest. Between games, Maddie Beck was named Homecoming Queen and Cooper Watts Big Man on Campus.

Hallsboro’s girls continued their solid play with a 39-20 win over Acme-Delco. Alanna Deal scored 17 points and Aziya Barr added 12 for the Tigers. Acme-Delco’s boys, buoyed by the return of Tahjir Melvin, defeated Hallsboro 45-37. K.J. Brown and Jaheim Brown each scored 14 points for the Trojans. Melvin contributed 13. Jamar Williams and Lavarr Jones scored 13 apiece for the Tigers.


7th Grade, Alexis Godwin and Riley Gore

6th grade, Cameron Ridgeway and Riley Godwin


Wolfpack, Lady Gators advance to third round

The Whiteville Wolfpack pulled out to a 37-24 halftime lead and hung on for a 58-55 victory over Jones Senior in the second round of the 1A east boys basketball playoffs.

Jones Senior cut the Whiteville lead to one in the final period on two occasions, but Whiteville got a three-point play in the final seconds from Demetrius Brown. He converted the foul shot for a 57-52 lead. Janari Hill connected on a 3-point play with 10 seconds left to pull Jones within two at 57-55. Whiteville’s Tyrell Kirk went to the line with 8.5 seconds remaining. He made one of two shots. Jones Senior got off a desperation shot at the buzzer that fell short.

Whiteville was led by Bradley Pridgen with 14 points, followed by Monchovia Gaffney’s 13 and Demeterius Brown with 10. Hill had 21 points and Malik Brooks tallied 13 for Jones Senior.

Whiteville will host #16 James Kenan at 7 p.m. on Saturday. James Kenan defeated #3 Camden 66-44 on Thursday.

Tia Campbell uses a screen from Rosalind Harper (5)

East Columbus’ girls 60-49 win over Lejeune was the direct opposite of Whiteville’s boys contest. The Gators led by just one point, 26-25 at halftime. A 10-0 spurt to open the second half gave East a working margin they maintained throughout the remainder of the game. Lejeune’s 12 of 15 successes from the free throw line in the second half kept the game from becoming a runaway. East Columbus was also solid from the charity stripe, connecting on seven of ten tosses.

Charity Powell and Tia Campbell combined for 46 of East Columbus’s 60 points. Campbell scored nine points in the first quarter. She finished with 17. Powell scored 27 of her 29 points in the final three quarters.

#5 East Columbus travels to #4 Pamlico County for a 4:00 p.m. Saturday contest. Pamlico defeated #29 Whiteville 57-45 in round one before defeating #21 Camden County 62-28 Thursday.


Gator girls, Wolfpack boys open playoffs with wins

East Columbus’ girls advanced to second round play with a 53-48 win over Tarboro. The Gators led 47-26 entering the fourth quarter before Tarboro outscored the host team 22-6.

Both teams go off to a slow start. East led 6-1 after the first period. The Gators stretched the advantage to 26-13 at halftime. Charity Powell led East Columbus with 17 points. Tia Campbell added 13 and Mia Campbell 11.

East Columbus will play host to Jejune, a 40-36 winner over Spring Creek, on thursday.

Whiteville’s boys ‘ defense kept Weldon’s offense under control as the Wolfpack rolled to a 51-34 victory. Whiteville will host Jones Senior on Thursday.

Whiteville’s girls fell 57-45 to Pamlico County and South Columbus dropped a 64-37 decision to North Pitt.

Trojan girls, Tiger boys claim titles

Columbus County Middle School B-League play ended Monday. The Chadbourn Tiger boys and Acme-Delco girls hold the top spots in their respective divisions.

Acme-Delco girls’ 34-13 win over Evergreen gave the Trojans a 5-1 league mark and the girls’ title. The Acme-Delco boys also defeated Evergreen 49-28.

Chadbourn’s boys came out on fire at Cerro Gordo, holding a 19-2 lead after one quarter. The Tigers went on to a victory. Chadbourn finishes B-league play undefeated. The Chadbourn girls were looking for revenge against the Stingers. Cerro Gordo’s girls had upset the Tigers 13-9 earlier this season. Chadbourn pulled away at the end to earn a 19-12 victory and finish league play 4-2.

Central’s girls and boys continued their march towards undefeated seasons. The Hornet girls defeated Nakina 43-13 behind 24 points from I’Reona Johnson. Aaliyah Childress scored 10 points for Nakina. Antonio McFadden collected 18 points and Wendell Smith contributed 13 to Central’s 66-30 win in the boys game. Jackson McPherson scored 24 points for Nakina.

Hallsboro swept two games from Nakina. The Hallsboro girls won 25-7 and the Tiger boys garnered a 54-25 victory.

B-League teams were still on the court Tuesday. Several non-conference tilts took place.

Cerro Gordo’s Ainsley Arnold (14) makes a leaping save at the baseline. Also shown are Cerro Gordo’s Jamesee Lawson and Tabor City’s Kaylee Dudney.

Tabor City celebrated Homecoming with a sweep of Cerro Gordo. It was a big afternoon for Bailey Clemons. Clemons nailed two, key three-pointers in the fourth quarter to lead the Eagles to a 21-13 win. In addition, Clemons was named seventh-grade queen. The Tabor City boys edged the Stingers 41-40. Amiliyante Robinson was named Homecoming Queen.

Hallsboro’s girls defeated Chadbourn 41-16. Chadbourn took the boys game, 63-26. Williams took two games from Evergreen. The Aggie girls won 35-13. Williams won the boys contest 50-27.

Three Rivers basketball finals set

Whiteville’s boys and East Columbus’ girls both fought off upset bids by lower seeds to advance to Friday night’s championship games in the three Rivers Conference tournament at South Columbus High School. Seeds held serve in both the girls and boys brackets. Second-seed Red Springs will face East columbus girls at 6 p.m. followed by TRC boys co-champs Fairmont and Whiteville.

Whiteville’s Tyrell Kirk nailed a three-point field goal with 28 seconds remaining to regain the lead from St. Pauls 45-44. Two additional Kirk free throws made the final margin 47-44.

East Columbus’ girls trailed 46-40 entering the final period. The Gators outscored Fairmont 27-14 in the fourth quarter to secure the win.

West Columbus’ girls came out strong against Red Springs and trailed 13-11 after one period. The Red Devils outscored West 40-18 in the second and third quarters to build a comfortable margin. The final score was 67-43.

Fairmont’s boys defeated Red Springs in the final game of the evening, 73-66. This was Fairmont’s 22nd consecutive win over the Red Devil boys.


Thursday’s Middle School action

No real surprises in Columbus County middle school basketball action Thursday. Central’s girls and boys remain undefeated. Chadbourn’s boys locked up the B-League title.

Chadbourn Homecoming Queen and King, Gabriella Rouse and Keywone Sumpter

Acme-Delco’s girls defeated Chadbourn 43-21. A Trojan win at Evergreen Monday clinches the B-League girls title for Acme-Delco. Brandis Kelly scored 18 points to lead the Tigers to a 53-37 win over Acme-Delco. Jaheim Brown scored 15 points for the Trojans. Chadbourn’s Homecoming festivities saw Gabriella Rouse and Keywone Sumpter crowned King and King respectively.

Cerro Gordo Homecoming Queen and King, Sarah Perdue and Matthew McPherson.










Cerro Gordo celebrated Homecoming with a sweep of Evergreen. The Stinger girls won 17-10 and the boys took a 35-22 victory. Sarah Perdue and Matthew McPherson were named Queen and King.

Nakina’s girls topped Tabor City 22-7. Ginia Dozier and Aaliyah Childress scored six points apiece for the Mustangs. Tabor City’s boys won the day’s closest contest, 37-36 over Nakina. Chris Ellery scored 15 points for the Eagles, followed by Treshaun Grate with a dozen. Nakina’s Jackson McPherson led all scorers with 16 points. Xavier Benton contributed eight.

Central’s girls held a slim 10-9 halftime lead over Hallsboro.  The Hornets managed to pull out a 31-26 win despite 17 points from the Tigers’ Alanna Deal. Central’s balanced scoring had I’Reoan Johnson with eight points, Aaliyah Haley and Trinity Smith each had seven. Central’s boys rolled to a 50-32 win over Hallsboro. Antonio McFadden scored 18 points for Central. Jamar Williams led Hallsboro with 12.

Nakina Middle School celebrated Homecoming on February 14. Below are photos of the Nakina royalty.

Nakina Homecoming King and Queen, Jackson McPherson and Vanessa Garcia.
Nakina 6th grade Homecoming Queen and King, Laci Gore and Austin Long
Nakina 7th Grade King and Queen, Stefan Johnson and Jennifer Campos

Potter, McCullen and Warner Honored

Kaylee McCullen

East Columbus’s Harley Potter, Whiteville’s Kaylee McCullen and Will Warner from West Brunswick were recently named to the North Carolina All-State Bowling second team. The North Carolina state bowling tournament was held recently at Planet Fun in Shallotte. The sport of bowling is not sanctioned by the NCHSAA, but is growing in popularity among high school students. There is one tournament for schools of all sizes.

Harley Potter

Potter finished seventh in the boys tournament with a three-game average of 196. New Hanover’s Chad Severt was the crowned the state champion followed by North Brunswick’s Kaan Kurt. Potter rolled a 299 to defeat Severt in the local semifinals (qualifier for state tournament)on January 30. Kaan defeated Potter by one pin (strike to nine pins) in a “roll off” when a tie existed after the regulation 10 frames.

Will Warner, from West Brunswick, is the son of Mac and Martha Warner. The Warner’s were Whiteville residents before relocating to Brunswick County. Warner finished 10th with a 194 average.

Whiteville’s Kaylee McCullen finished 10th in the girls tournament with an average of 148. McCullen finished fourth in the local tournament.

A large crowd of onlookers gathered in Shallotte to view the State bowling finals. Photo submitted by Brian McCall.

Middle School Report

Monday saw visitors and home teams win an equal number of games. Central’s undefeated girls and boys teams had byes.

Hallsboro’s girls defeated Nakina 32-10. Alanna Deal and Aziya Barr scored 10 points each for the Tigers. Ginia Dozier and Yanett Pineda scored four points apiece for the Mustangs. Hallsboro’s boys topped Nakina 48-35. Jamar Willams connected on five, three-point field goals and had 18 points for the Tigers. Stephon Jackson scored 10 points and Jackson McPherson added nine for Nakina.

Chadbourn swept Evergreen. The Chadbourn girls won 34-16. Chadbourn’s boys continued to look like B-League champions with a 49-11 win over the Wildcats.

Acme-Delco’s girls downed Cerro Gordo 29-20. The Stinger boys got some measure of revenge with a high-scoring 56-46 win.

Tabor City and Williams girls were at the other end of the total point spectrum. Williams won a competitive, but low-scoring contest 9-8. Tabor City’s boys defeated Williams 49-26.

Tuesday, Williams and Nakina renewed their rivalry. Nakina came out head in both contests. The Mustang girls won 17-9. Ginia Dozier scored six points for Nakina; Reid Fowler had four points for the Aggies. Nakina’s boys completed the sweep with a 43-33 victory. Stephon Johnson scored 12 points for Nakina; Jackson McPherson added 11 and Xavier Benton contributed eight. Williams’ Riley Gore led all scorers with 18 points.

Central’s girls beat Chadbourn 36 -18 Melena Hester and I’Reona Johnson scored six points each for the Hornets. Gabby Rouse and K. Rouse netted nine apiece for Chadbourn. Central’s boys had their thinnest final margin of the season, winning 56-51 over Chadbourn. Ervin Moore scored 16 points for Central. Wendell Smith and Antonio McFadden added 14 each. Brandis Kelly scored 12 points for the Tigers. Darrius Marshall and Keywone Sumpter contributed 10 points apiece.

Viking girls spring TRC first round upset

Tah’nijah McKoy drives to the basket against Jerica Gamble.

Tah’nijah McKoy continued with her high percentage free throw shooting, catapulting West Columbus to a 43-36 victory over Whiteville in Three Rivers Conference girls first round play. McKoy scored 18 points for West including seven of eight from the charity stripe. The Vikings’ win was the only case of a lower-seed winning on a higher-seeds’ home court in first round action.

The Whiteville boys had no trouble with East Columbus, winning 75-48. The Gator boys probably needed to win the tournament to qualify for the playoffs. The top-seed East Columbus girls downed South Robeson 52-34.

South Columbus’ girls and boys were both defeated in round one. The girls lost 57-41 at Fairmont. The Stallion boys made a run at the end of their game at Red Springs, but fell 51-47. South’s girls are still looking to gain an at-large playoff bid.

West Columbus’s boys dropped a  71-57 decision to St. Pauls likely ending the Vikings season.

Top-seeded Fairmont’s boys defeated South Robeson 84-50. The Golden Tornadoes welcomed Jarique Moore back onto the court. Moore, a starter for Fairmont earlier in the season, had missed the final weeks of conference play with an injury. Red Springs second-seed girls team eliminated St. Pauls 69-25.

Thursday’s semifinals will be played at South Columbus. The schedule follows.

4 p.m. Girls, #6 West Columbus vs #2 Red Springs

5:30 p.m. Boys, #3 St. Pauls vs #2 Whiteville

7 p.m. Girls, #4 Fairmont vs #1 East Columbus

8:30 p.m. Boys, #4 Red Springs vs #1 Fairmont


Regular season basketball concludes

The biggest story from Friday and Saturday TRC basketball play was flying under the radar. With a victory in either Friday or Saturday’s games, the East Columbus boys could qualify for a 1A state playoff spot. With a make up game at league-leading Fairmont looming on Saturday, Friday’s home contest against West Columbus appeared to be the Gators best bet for an eighth win. East trailed by just one point at halftime, West Columbus pulled way in the second half for a 64-45 win. “We played our best half of the season.” Viking coach W.T. Edwards said. “Hopefully this will serve as a springboard for the conference tournament.” Jake Brownlee scored 22 points of the Vikings. Dalijuwan Willis added 15 and E.J Miller 11. Zenas Ward and John Baldwin scored 11 points apiece for the Gators.

The West Columbus girls led TRC champion East Columbus 24-23 at halftime. A 20- 9 Gator advantage provided enough cushion for East to come away with a 60-52 victory. Charity Powell scored 27 points, including seven of nine free throws in the final period to lead East. Tia Campbell adde 14 points. Laramie Whitehead and Tah’nijah McKoy each scored 15 points for the Vikings. McCoy was 13 of 15 from the free throw line, including 12 of 14 in the fourth quarter.

Fairmont’s boys clinched a share of their seventh consecutive Three Rivers championship with an 85-55 win over East Columbus Saturday. Alex Moore scored 14 points to lead the Gators. Charity Powell matched her Friday night scoring output with 27 points as the Gators finished off another undefeated conference slate. This is the sixth consecutive TRC championship for the Gator girls. During the four seasons of the current conference configuration East Columbus has compiled a conference mark of 54-2.

South Columbus’ girls pulled an upset, at least from a conference standings perspective, by defeating Whiteville 37-34. The game was a back and forth affair with the lead changing hands five times in the final period. Madison Spencer scored 13 points to lead South. Breanna McCellon score 20 points for Whiteville.

Whiteville’s boys ran out to a 23-5 first quarter lead and cruised to a 58-20 win over the Stallion boys. No Wolfpack player scored in double figures, but 11 players scored at least two points. Tyrell Kirk, B.J.Edwards and Cameron Richardson scored eight points apiece. All of Kirk’s points came in the game’s initial six minutes.