The winter season has come to a close for DA’s eight Cavalier basketball teams and our swim team will send more than 20 swimmers to Monday’s state meet. In this week’s Cavs Corner, we recap the final week of the season for the varsity basketball teams. Both had their seasons come to an end Tuesday night in Kirby Gym in the first round of the state tournament. This week’s issue also highlights the accomplishments of the six other DA basketball teams.
With the close of the winter season, we look forward to spring varsity teams opening their season on Monday. Please join us in hoping for good weather for the start of their seasons!
Home playoff double-header brings excitement to Kirby Gym
For the first time since the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association went to its current format, the DA boys hosted a game in the state tournament. Fresh off their 54-31 win at North Raleigh Christian on Friday night — in which the varsity boys clinched their first conference championship in 11 years — the Cavs, seeded No. 8, hosted High Point Christian Academy, seeded No. 9, in the first round of the 3A state championship tournament. The Cougars came into the game 17-9 on the season and used hot 3-point shooting to take a 78-58 win over the Cavs to advance to the second round. While DA hit 11 3-pointers in the game, HPCA was a sizzling 14-23 from deep and seemed to have an answer for every run the Cavs made. Sophomore Michael Savarino had career-highs in points (16) and rebounds (5) to lead DA, while senior Caleb Vanderburg had a career-high nine assists in the loss. The 23 wins for the boys team matches the second best single-season win total in school history.
The varsity girls team also received the No. 8 seed in the state tournament and hosted No. 9 Charlotte Latin on Tuesday in the first round. Both teams were in the zone offensively in the first period as the two squads combined to score 34 points. Latin pulled away in the third period and took a 66-46 win, ending the Cavs’ season at 15-10. Junior Izzy Strigel led DA with 19 points while junior Erin Dilweg added 11 points and 4 steals. Sophomore Imani Spence finished with 6 points and 12 boards.
Four varsity basketball players were named all-conference: senior Jorden Davis and juniors Charlie Mendys, Erin Dilweg and Izzy Strigel.
JUNIOR VARSITY & MIDDLE SCHOOL UPDATES
While the varsity teams both had outstanding seasons, the two JV basketball programs won their respective TISAC titles. In fact, all eight DA basketball teams had winning records.
The JV girls basketball team, under the direction of Nikki Graves, finished 11-4 and claimed the outright TISAC title with Friday’s 33-30 win at North Raleigh Christian. The JV Cavs avenged their only league loss and finished on a high note. Graves pointed to junior Kendall Bushick and freshmen Charlotte Easley and Isabella Strauss as standout performers.
Tyrone Gould and I had the pleasure of coaching the JV boys basketball team this year. After a season-opening loss to Riverside, we rattled off seven straight wins, including three decided in the final possession and a huge 8-point win at Ravenscroft. By winning our final four games, we finished at 14-3 and won the conference championship outright.
The strength of this year’s team was its defense, as we limited our opponents to fewer than 30 points in more than half of our games. Sophomore Michael Jaffe was the leader on the court, as he was tops on the team in scoring (7.8 ppg) assists (2.5 apg) and steals (2.1 spg). Freshman Davis McCain was second on the team in both scoring (6.7 ppg) and rebounding (5.3 rpg), while sophomore Henry Rogers was our rebounding leader at 6.0 rpg. Sophomores Jasiah Davis (5.3 ppg / 1.9 spg) and Shaffer Woody (4.6 ppg / 2.5 rpg) also contributed on both ends of the floor to the team’s success.
Middle School Girls White
The Middle School girls white team under coach Ben Michelman finished the season 6-4 and ended the season on a high note by winning the final three games and five of the last six. While Michelman was pleased with their late-season success, he noted that one of the highlights of their season came in a loss to Ravenscroft.
“After being held scoreless for most of the first half against a bigger, more experienced Ravenscroft team, Emmie Savarino hit a buzzer-beating 3- pointer to end the half,” he noted. “In the second half, we played the Ravens evenly, due to our newfound confidence and aggressiveness.”
Eighth-grader Helene Worthington was named a standout performer by Michelman for her back-to-back double-digit scoring against Duke School and Carolina Friends.
Middle School Boys Green
No basketball team on campus had more close, exciting finishes than Jon Lantzy’s Middle School boys green team. After three straight nail-biters in mid-January, the green team players reprised their role as the “Cardiac Cavs” with a come-from-behind 25-22 season-ending win at Triangle Day on Friday. The 10-2 green team lost only to Phillips Middle and Ravenscroft.
“All the boys made great strides improving their individual skills,” Lantzy said. “We had fun doing it, and the results speak for themselves!”
Middle School Boys White
Mike Harris’ Middle School boys white team had a phenomenal season, finishing with 11 consecutive wins after a season-opening defeat at Phillips Middle. The white team won its games by an average margin of victory of 25 points per game and held its opponents to just 23 points per game. The white team was fueled by their backcourt of eighth-graders Brent Randleman (9 ppg) and Toby Harris (8 ppg), as well as seventh-grader Nik Graves (6 ppg). The strong inside game was led by eighth-grader Brock Biestek (10 rpg) as well as Jason Gibson and seventh-grader Ian Evans.
Middle School Girls Green
The 2016-17 Middle School girls green hoops team finished the season 6-2 under the guidance of coach Andy Pronto. The green girls’ only losses on the season came at the hands of Triangle Day School as the Cavs swept Trinity of Durham (three wins), Ravenscroft (two wins) and Emerson Waldorf this year.
“The green team came into the season just that ... green, but they all came a long way with their play and their understanding of the game,” Pronto said. “Everyone showed up with a smile on their face and worked hard daily. They played amazing team defense and were always looking for their open teammates on offense. It was a joy to coach the green team this season.”
Remember to check the athletics portion of the DA website for start dates of our spring sport teams. Varsity programs open up on Monday, Feb. 20, while the JV and Middle School programs will start later in the week of the following week.
There will be a mandatory meeting for all Middle School students interested in playing a spring sport on Tuesday, Feb. 21, from 3:05 to 3:20 p.m. in the Middle School gym. Coaches from all spring sports will be in attendance to answer questions.
As always, thank you for your support of DA Athletics!
KEEPING UP WITH THE CAVS
As always, you can keep up with the Cavs on Durham Academy’s website and the DA App:
www.da.org/athletics: Schedules and Results
- For a list of all teams, their schedules and directions to games, visit www.da.org/teams.
- Click on an individual team to subscribe to automatic alerts about athletics results, postponements and cancellations, calendar and athletic event reminders. You can also import team schedules into your electronic calendars.
- For a recap of athletics results and scores, visit www.da.org/scoreboard.
- All information about the daily athletics schedule is also available on DA’s Athletics Hotline: 919-489-2534 (ext. 5).
The DA App: Schedules and Results
- The DA App allows you to keep up with athletics wherever you are. You can download the app from iTunes at http://bit.ly/DACavaliers. The DA App pulls athletics content directly from the DA website and delivers it to iOS-based devices including iPhone and iPad.
- The Athletics portion of the DA App (after launching, click Menu, then click Athletics to open) features results of recent games, a list of upcoming contests and team records.