Connection Failure

Odds and ends

Some nuggets for your perusal this afternoon …

  • One of the most important people in prep sports in North Carolina announced his retirement on Sunday. Arnold Solomon, who runs the ncpreps.com site and publishes the annual N.C. Prep Football News, is hanging ‘em up after 50 years of covering prep football and sports in the Tar Heel State. He is being replaced by his hand-picked successor — and N.C. prep sports expert — Deana King. Deana is a heck of a person who really knows her stuff in N.C. prep sports circles and has helped Arnold build ncpreps into the pre-eminent site in our state. If you’re a true prep football fan, you know ncpreps.com is the best site — and the NCPFN is the best magazine — anywhere. Congrats to both Arnold (for his retirement) and Deana (for her promotion)!
  • Talked to Thurman Pate and he told me the winner of his UNC-Duke tickets was Corrine Dunn. He pulled a second name to see who it would be and Danny Rice’s name was drawn; Danny bought $100 worth of the tickets Thurman donated to our United Way Day of Basketball. Again — thanks to Thurman; just by himself, he raised about $420 for the Lenoir-Greene United Way!
  • I have four tickets to this weekend’s LeClair Classic in Greenville. The tickets allow you into both games on Friday (Western Carolina vs. West Virginia, 1 p.m.; Illinois vs. ECU, 5 p.m.), Saturday (Illinois/WCU, 11 a.m.; WVU/ECU, 3 p.m.) and Sunday (WVU/Illinois, 10 a.m.; WCU/ECU 2 p.m.). E-mail your requests to me at bhanks@freedomenc.com with ECU baseball tickets in the subject line. I’ll draw for all three sets of winners at 10 a.m. on Friday.
  • Don’t forget I’ll be blogging live from ECU’s Minges Arena tomorrow at 8:30 p.m. for the Kinston-Pittsboro Northwood game. I’ll probably start around 8:15, and I’m going to post some pictures from the game, too. See you then!

UWDOB 2010 final wrap

I know some of you have probably grown a little United Way Day of Basketball-weary, but thanks to you who came out to support the event on Sunday. Thanks to you, we raised about $4,400! In today’s fine article by Christopher K. Yates, we estimated it at $4,100, but after adding up all the receipts and selling some more chances at Thurman Pate’s UNC-Duke tickets, we’re up to the $4,400 amount — the most EVER in the event’s eight-year run.

I have so many thank-you’s, although I’m going to save most of them for a special column in Wednesday’s paper. However, the big ones go to Jonathan Massey, who was my right-hand man for most of the planning and didn’t hesitate to roll up his sleeves when I needed him to work; Wynn Whittington and Dr. Terry Cline, who allow us to use the Kinston High School gym every year for free; Tommy Pharo of Minges Bottling, who has graciously donated 30 cases of awesome Pepsi products to all eight UWDOBs; Ms. Tine Perry, who has worked the scorer’s table for all but one of the UWDOBs; Thurman Pate, who donated 100 tickets for chances for his Duke-UNC tickets at Cameron Indoor Stadium; Joe Hargitt, who donated a $450 pig picking from King’s Barbecue; and those of you who sent me e-mails, Facebook messages and left phone messages in support of this event.  

I also want to particularly thank the legendary Brian North from WCTI ABC-12, who has played in every single game and who had the awesome idea of putting Skip Waters on the free throw line for two shots. North and his partner-in-crime, Derek Bayne, kept the UWDOB all over last night’s news AND sports. Thanks, guys! Although I like the job the other guys do here in our market (Brian Meador of WITN NBC-7 is an unsung hero), North and Bayne do it up right for Lenoir County.

Also, big props to Meador for promoting the event (and the postponement!), the ever-lovely Heather King of WITN’s morning show for having Lenoir-Greene United Way Executive Director June Cummings and I on twice this year and Brian Bailey of WNCT CBS-9 for promoting the event on Saturday. Don’t be down on Meador and Bailey, they were originally scheduled to participate; because of the schedule change and because of the Virginia-East Carolina baseball game on Sunday, they were unable to attend.

It was certainly an eventful day, from the coaches rallying to beat the media in overtime; to Scout and Reggie Bullock playing 1-on-1; to Reggie’s win in the 3-point contest and North Lenoir’s Maurice Morgan winning the dunk contest; to the Munn Maniacs beating the Hawk Krazees in the semifinals and then the Kinston Khaos downing the Maniacs for the student section championship. In fact, here’s a picture of the champion Khaos:

022210-khaos.jpg 

Most of all, thanks to you bloggees — particularly Heelatious and his lovely wife — for supporting our friends and neighbors at the United Way. You have my appreciation.

Here’s a look at the major winners in the student competitions over the eight UWDOBs:

2010

3-point contest: Reggie Bullock, Kinston (runner-up: Zack Cutlip, Arendell Parrott Academy)

Dunk contest: Maurice Morgan, North Lenoir (runner-up: Demoran Garner, South Lenoir)

Student section: Kinston Khaos (runner-up: Munn Maniacs)

2009

3-point shootout: Josh Benoit, Kinston (runner-up: Chris McPhail, North Lenoir)

Dunk contest: Joshea Singleton, Kinston (runner-up: Victor Holloway, Kinston)

Student section: Kinston Khaos (runner-up: Munn Maniacs)

2008

3-point shootout: Reggie Bullock, Kinston (runner-up: Tyler Potter, North Lenoir)

Dunk contest: Akeem “A.K.” Sutton, Kinston (runner-up: Rashee Hawkins, North Lenoir)

Student section: Munn Maniacs (runner-up: Hawk Krazees)

2007

3-point shootout: Reggie Bullock, Kinston (runner-up: Curtis Hines, Kinston)

Dunk contest: Sherrod Croom, Kinston (runner-up: Marcus Hemby, Kinston) 

Student section: Hawk Krazees (runner-up: Munn Maniacs)

2006

3-point shootout: Tyler Potter, Bethel Christian Academy (runner-up: Curtis Hines, Kinston)

Dunk contest: Charles Gamble, Greene Central (runner-up: Quinton Coples, Kinston)

Student section: Munn Maniacs (runner-up: Hawk Krazees)

2005

3-point shootout: Omar Jones, North Lenoir (runner-up: Darryl Jones, Kinston)

Dunk contest: no contest held

2004

3-point shootout: Steven Walker, Arendell Parrott Academy (runner-up: Michael Small, Kinston)

Dunk contest: Montel Jones, Kinston (runner-up: Ben Sutton, Kinston)

2003

3-point shootout: no contest held

Dunk contest: Jeremy Ingram, Kinston (runner-up: Kevin Lee, North Lenoir)

United Way Day of Basketball media, coaches, 3-point and dunk contestants

Media vs. Coaches

Media (coached by Bryan Hanks)

The Free Press: Bryan Hanks, Jon Dawson, Wesley Brown, Richard Clark, Jeremy Ingram, Jonathan Massey, Joe Hargitt, Dusty Davis

Sheriff’s Office: Dep. Randy Moore

TACC-9: Donald Ingram

Glaxo: Alex Bass

WCTI ABC-12: Brian North, Derek Bayne, Antwan Scott, Desmon Brinkley

Coaches (coached by Jimmy Smith)

Kinston: Wells Gulledge, Perry Tyndall, Damico Heath, Battle Holley, B.J. Murphy, Tom Vermillion

North Lenoir: John Eric Waters, John Powell, Calvin Sutton

South Lenoir: Vance Wade, Eddie Colie

Greene Central: Eric Lynch

Parrott Academy: Nathan Perry, Shivar Person

Bethel Academy: Eric Keeton, Bert Potter, Kenny Sutton

Wilson Beddingfield: J.T. Tribula

Slam dunk contest

Kinston: Mike Tyson, Donte Reynolds, Kyle Brown

North Lenoir: Maurice Morgan, Trey Harris

South Lenoir: Tevin Hamilton, Demoran Garner

Greene Central: Bobby Waters, Rashon Edwards, Will Bynum

Parrott Academy: Chase Ward-McEwen

Bethel Academy: Isaac Brown

 

3-point shootout

Kinston: Reggie Bullock, Josh Benoit, Cleveland Banks

North Lenoir: Charlex Huntley, D.J. Artis, Trey Harris

South Lenoir: Massey Britt, Spencer Harrison

Parrott Academy: Zack Cutlip, Thomas Bailey

Bethel Academy: Will Creekmore, Isaac Brown

Greene Central: Desmond Sheppard, Bobby Waters

Congratulations to South Lenoir and Kinston!

How about some big ups to the varsity boys’ basketball teams from South Lenoir and Kinston? The fourth-seeded Blue Devils defeated No. 3 seed Jacksonville Northside 70-51 to win the East Central 2A tournament; South Lenoir will now face Kitty Hawk First Flight in the first round of the playoffs on Monday on Jimmy Smith Court at Munn Gymnasium.

Kinston blew out Wilson Beddingfield, 80-57, to win the Eastern Plains 2A title; they’ll play a yet-to-be-named wild card team at home on Monday at Viking Gym.

Here’s the kicker: if both South Lenoir and Kinston win on Monday, they’ll face each other on Wednesday at Viking Gym! That would be a Lenoir County prep basketball fan’s dream, wouldn’t it?

Congratulations to Coach Vance Wade and Coach Wells Gulledge for tonight’s wins! Remember you can see those coaches, along with the stars of their teams, at Sunday’s United Way Day of Basketball! (You really thought I’d let a chance to pimp the event go?!?!?)

UWDOB past winners

There are some roster and coach changes for the student sections; click here for the changes.

Here are the student winners from the previous seven years of the United Way Day of Basketball, which takes place at 2 p.m. on Sunday at Kinston High Schoool:

2009

3-point shootout: Josh Benoit, Kinston (runner-up: Chris McPhail, North Lenoir)

Dunk contest: Joshea Singleton, Kinston (runner-up: Victor Holloway, Kinston)

Student section: Kinston Khaos (runner-up: Munn Maniacs)

2008

3-point shootout: Reggie Bullock, Kinston (runner-up: Tyler Potter, North Lenoir)

Dunk contest: Akeem “A.K.” Sutton, Kinston (runner-up: Rashee Hawkins, North Lenoir)

Student section: Munn Maniacs (runner-up: Hawk Krazees)

2007

3-point shootout: Reggie Bullock, Kinston (runner-up: Curtis Hines, Kinston)

Dunk contest: Sherrod Croom, Kinston (runner-up: Marcus Hemby, Kinston) 

Student section: Hawk Krazees (runner-up: Munn Maniacs)

2006

3-point shootout: Tyler Potter, Bethel Christian Academy (runner-up: Curtis Hines, Kinston)

Dunk contest: Charles Gamble, Greene Central (runner-up: Quinton Coples, Kinston)

Student section: Munn Maniacs (runner-up: Hawk Krazees)

2005

3-point shootout: Omar Jones, North Lenoir (runner-up: Darryl Jones, Kinston)

Dunk contest: no contest held

2004

3-point shootout: Steven Walker, Arendell Parrott Academy (runner-up: Michael Small, Kinston)

Dunk contest: Montel Jones, Kinston (runner-up: Ben Sutton, Kinston)

2003

3-point shootout: no contest held

Dunk contest: Jeremy Ingram, Kinston (runner-up: Kevin Lee, North Lenoir)

UWDOB student section game participants — updated Friday, 4:30 p.m.

The defending champion Kinston Khaos, the Hawk Krazees and the Munn Maniacs will be participating in Sunday’s United Way Day of Basketball at Kinston High School. Here are the rosters for the three teams:

KINSTON KHAOS

Joshua Lovick

Landon DeBruhl

Blake Herring

Robb Harrall

Cody Heath

Spencer Moye

Adrienne Jarman

Anna Keith

Mackenzie Brown

Mackenzie DeBruhl

Jeremy Merritt

Dorean “D-Man” Cannon

Mary Bec Keith

Coach: Jason Wade

HAWK KRAZEES

Molly McKinley

Bethany Fillippeli

Darylanne Radford

Ashley Hipkiss

Scotty Ginn

Wilson Sutton

Luke Baird

Jacob Maready

Asad Muhammed

Najee Jackson

Wesley Brantley

Brad Jarman

Evan Jarman

Greg Goodson

Grayson Phillips

Spencer Bass

Coaches: John Pyle and Jennifer Spence

MUNN MANIACS

Lorri Cole

Ebony Hall

Jasmine Jones

Will Grady

Brad Hunter

Everett Charlton

Ty Eason

Jacob Jones

C.J. Jones

Dean Daughety

Aaron Davis

Cody Smith

Monte Williams

Tori Combs

Joseph Soto

Coaches: Daphne Pollock and Susan Glover

A sick day…

Well, you guys can keep going at it as I lay in bed sick as a dog. I’ll be back tomorrow.

Some nuggets though, to leave you with:

  • I can’t believe anyone would question Coach Montague or his resume. I’ve covered baseball all over the state and it’s this simple: he is one of the top 10 prep baseball coaches — arguably — of all time in North Carolina. The fact that he’s done it with Lenoir County kids (while other schools in the state recruit from all over their area) is a testament to his ability.
  • Heelsfan is full of hot air sometimes (OK, most of the time), but I respect that SOB as much as I do anyone in Lenoir County. He is passionate about his Heels and he loves the kids he coaches. Nothing wrong about that. I’ve had to kill two comments seriously denigrating him this morning — and the next time I have to do it, I’m banning you. He has ALWAYS supported this blog and (most of the time) me while I’ve been here, so I’m not going to hear it or read it — especially on MY blog.
  • I will have some more United Way Day of Basketball updates here tomorrow morning, but I want to go ahead and say “Thank You” to Coach Jason Wade for allowing some of his players to participate on Sunday. Thank you, sir. This is going to be one of the best UWDOBs ever, and it’s because of people like Coach Wade (and Wynn Whittington, Brent Williams and Mike King) who is going to let his kids help raise money for the United Way.
  • Congratulations to Farmville Central for the Jaguars’ upset last night at Kinston. They played a heck of a game and earned the victory. And I can understand the players, coaches and fans being happy — but I was sorely disappointed in some of the things I heard FC fans saying after the game ended. To say some of the things were borderline racist would be an understatement. Some of those FC fans should not be allowed to attend prep events. NOTE: This is not directed at Coach Larry Williford or any of his players — he coached and they played with tons of class. But some of those fans … I’ll just hold my tongue.
  • I want to send out a personal “thank you” to my assistant managing editor, Nancy Saunders. She is holding down the fort at The Free Press while my sick butt is at home today. THANK YOU, Nancy; you rock.

Hoops reminders (and requests)

Don’t forget that tonight is Senior Night at Kinston High School — the games against Farmville Central are scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. with the JV boys, 6 p.m. with the varsity girls and approximately 7:30 p.m. with the varsity boys.

It’ll be your last chance to see Reggie Bullock, Dory Hines, Josh Benoit and the Kinston boys until the state playoffs begin next week. The Eastern Plains 2A will hold its conference semifinals and finals at Tarboro later this week.

Let me clarify that … it’ll be your last chance to see Bullock and Co. play UNLESS you come to Sunday’s United Way Day of Basketball at Kinston High School. As the week bears on, I’ll have more details here, including all the rosters and events. There will be some pretty cool announcements as we prepare for Sunday … and pray for good weather.

Back to tonight’s Kinston game, though: can we get a good crowd out there, please? I have been pretty disappointed at the small crowds (about 65 to 70 percent full) that have come to Viking Gym this year. I know it can’t be the PA guy, ’cause I know him and he’s a hell of a fellow. And it can’t be the level of basketball — there have been some very, very good games there this year.

Folks (and Tar Heels fans) — counting tonight, you will only have (at most) four more times to get to see this team play at Viking Gym. That’s if the brackets fall the right way and Kinston gets to host three sectional games in the playoffs. It’s likely that the Vikings will only get two games at home in the state playoffs, meaning you will only get to see Kinston at home three more times before the Vikes get to the regionals in Greenville.

Also — the East Central 2A tournament is being held at South Lenoir High School this week. I haven’t received a schedule yet, but when someone hooks me up with one, I’ll post it here. And what is the deal with the Eastern Carolina 3A (North Lenoir’s conference)? I know one of you smart people out there can let me know…

Weather postponements (updated 1:45 p.m.)

I’ll keep you updated here all day, as I hear it, on all the weather postponements in our area (along with the postponements at Kinston.com):

SPORTS (THANK YOU!!! to Ryan Herman for the bulk of these!)

  • United Way Day of Basketball: moved from Sunday to Sunday, Feb. 21
  • Farmville Central at Kinston prep hoops: moved from tonight to Saturday, Feb. 13
  • North Pitt at Kinston prep hoops: moved from Saturday to Monday
  • N. Lenoir at C.B. Aycock: moved from tonight to Wednesday
  • S. Lenoir at Croatan: moved from tonight to TBD
  • Tarboro at Greene Central: moved from tonight tentatively to Wednesday
  • Rocky Mount Academy at APA: moved from tonight to TBD
  • Ayden-Grifton at Goldsboro Rosewood: moved from tonight to Wednesday
  • Raleigh Christian at Bethel: varsity girls to tip-off at 4:30 p.m. today, with boys to follow. All homecoming activities still scheduled.
  • Jones Senior at SW Onslow: will play tonight as scheduled
  • (For Killdozer!) The basketball camp at KHS scheduled for tomorrow has been postponed to TBD
  • E. Carteret, Richlands at S. Lenoir wrestling: postponed with no make-up date set yet

OTHER

  • Quiz Bowl at the Kinston library: moved from Saturday until Saturday, Feb. 6
  • The Lego Tournament at LCC: moved from Saturday until TBD
  • Southwood Memorial Christian Church’s gospel sing: moved from Sunday until TBD 

Morning News Report; Jan. 29, 2010

THE BAD WEATHER, IT’S ON THE WAY

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for today and tomorrow. Go get your bread and milk now!

My take: As you can see below, we’ve postponed the United Way Day of Basketball until Sunday, Feb. 21. The good news is that we wanted to get out way ahead of this storm — which seems legitimate. The bad news is that you now get to hear about this for three more weeks. Woo-hoo!

WILLIE NELSON’S BAND BUSTED IN KENANSVILLE (AND A HOT RUMOR)

A strange thing happened in Kenansville last night — Willie Nelson canceled his scheduled concert with an injury, then members of his band were cited for possession of marijuana and moonshine.

Sounds like a country song, eh?

My take: OK, some insider knowledge here … with this caveat — I wasn’t there, but this is from a VERY, VERY reliable source.

Evidently, Ol’ Willie was outside his bus smoking a doobie in plain view of the public when a Duplin County law enforcement type approached him and politely said something to the effect of “Mr. Nelson, we’re going to look the other way on this, but please go back into your bus to do that.”

As the story goes, Willie got pissed off and canceled the show, which led the authorities to search his band. They discovered the weed and moonshine and charged the band members with possession.

And as Paul Harvey would say — if he was still alive — that’s the rest of the story. If it’s true.

THE HOOS BREAK MY HEART INTO 1,000 PIECES

The Virginia Cavaliers led by 10 points with less than 4 minutes left in last night’s home game against Virginia Tech, but hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the game to overtime.

In OT though, the God-fearing young men from the University of Virginia lost a hard-fought battle to the godless turkey-worshipping hordes from VPI, 76-71.

My take: What hurts worse about this is that UVa could’ve been 4-1 in the ACC going into Chapel Hill Sunday night. Now, the Hoos have lost back-to-back league games as they head into the House That Dean Built (That Matt Doherty Nearly Tore Down Before Ol’ Roy Came To Save The Day).

So here it is: who wants to place a bet on the game? Name the stakes, give me some points and we’ll settle our bet at the UWDOB on Feb. 21. In case you forget, I lost last year’s bet … so it AIN’T happening this year.

The iPod shuffle

Thriller — Michael Jackson

Take My Breath Away — Jessica Simpson

Who We Be — DMX

Another One Bites The Dust — Queen

Too Much — Elvis Presley