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Cavs Corner: Excitement is High as Cavs Head into Postseason Play

BY DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS ANDY POGACH AND ATHLETICS INTERNS COLLEEN GUNNING AND RYAN KILLEN 
Twitter: @daathletics
Instagram: @dacavsathletics 
 

All of the winter varsity teams will be entering postseason play within the next week, and we hope that we can pack Kirby Gym, as both basketball teams anticipate hosting state tournament games next week. 

While we will not know official seeding until Sunday night, the girls team expects to host a playoff game either Tuesday or Thursday evening, and the boys team will likely receive a double bye to the quarterfinal round on Feb. 15. Please check da.org/athletics and our social media outlets on Sunday night for more info. Our swim teams will head to Greensboro for Monday’s state swim meet at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. We will have full coverage and results in next week’s Cavs Corner! 

Thank you to everyone who came to Friday’s CavDome, as we celebrated our six basketball seniors. It was one of the more magical nights in the short history of Kirby Gym, thanks to two wins and a fairytale boys ending that saw senior Benny Klein return from injury to drain a 3-pointer. Hopefully, there will be more magical moments for our basketball teams this season. 

Varsity Boys Basketball

The DA varsity boys basketball team can close out one of its most successful regular seasons in school history with a win Friday night at Wake Christian Academy. The 26–4 Cavs have a chance to finish unbeaten in both Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference and N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 4A play and would very likely earn the No. 1 seed in next week’s state tournament with a win over the Bulldogs. The DA boys took care of two opponents in the past week, both in dominating fashion. In Friday’s senior night game, the Cavs defeated Cary Academy 75–34. The incredible atmosphere in Kirby helped propel the Cavs to a 17–2 lead out of the gate. 

DA shot 59% from the field and a blistering 12–17 from 3-point range as junior Cole Sinclair led all scorers with 18 points. Junior Brent Randleman added 12 points, while junior Toby Harris chipped in 11. Senior Christopher Chaves and sophomore Nik Graves each scored nine. With the game out of reach late, the highlight of the night most certainly was senior Benny Klein’s 3-pointer to end the game. What an incredible moment for Benny, as he has gone through so much in the last two months. 

The atmosphere in the gym Tuesday night was not as raucous, and it showed, with a sleepy start to the boys game before waking up in the second half in a win over the Raleigh Hawks. The Hawks cut the DA lead to 40–31 two minutes into the second half, but it was all Cavs from there, as the home team outscored the Hawks 43–2 over the next 12 minutes. Sinclair was a near perfect 9–10 from the floor for 28 points in the 86–38 victory. Randleman had his eighth straight double-figure scoring night, with 15 points and seven rebounds, and Harris added 13 points and seven rebounds. Another strong offensive night saw the Cavs shoot 58% from the floor and 12–21 from 3. Amazingly, over the last two games, the Cavs are 24–38 from beyond the arc as a team. Nine of the 10 healthy Cavs scored baskets, including some late 3-pointers from juniors Alex Pfeil and Henry Leasure. 

Varsity Girls Basketball

The varsity girls team heads into its final game of the regular season Friday vs. Wake Christian, after two dominating wins over Saint Mary's School and Cary Academy. On Thursday, seventh-grader McKenzie Graves and ninth-grader Joelle Davis jump-started the Cavs’ run on offense early in the first half, finishing with 13 points, 1 steal and 12 points, 3 rebounds, respectively. But it was the full team effort that gave the Cavs a strong lead and kept the team ahead.

Ninth-grader Kendall Harris, junior Amelia Kass and senior Rory Smith kept the Saints away from the hoop with tight defense, forcing multiple Saints turnovers. Ninth-grader Mariam Abdelbarr and senior Claire Middleton continued the Cavs’ momentum on offense to pull away with a strong lead before halftime. Abdelbarr put up 7 points, six rebounds, and three steals. Middleton added in 7 points and five rebounds — including a long 3-pointer from the top of the key. Hunter found the hoop for 4 points with two steals to round out the Cavs’ scoring in the 47–21 win over Saint Mary's. 

The next night was Senior Night in the CavDome vs. Cary Academy, and the Cavs picked up another big conference win. Again, it was the full team effort that lifted the Cavs up 54–31, with scores from all players. Abdelbarr and Middleton led the team in both scoring and rebounding with 14 points, six rebounds and 12 points, 10 rebounds, respectively. Tough defense and constant on-ball pressure from the Cavs held the Chargers to just 1 point in the second quarter. The team continued the energy on offense, finding the hoop to maintain a steady lead, which the Chargers couldn't close in the end. With this win, the team moves to 13–11 on the season and 5–4 in conference play, and takes third in the TISAC standings.

Varsity Swimming

At the TISAC conference meet this week, DA girls swimming placed fourth out of six in the TISAC, while the boys placed third of five. Cary Academy came out as winners in both the girls and boys competitions after obtaining impressive scores of 191 and 177, respectively. 

Ninth-grader Spencer Jennings stole the spotlight for the Cavs girls once again. She finished third in both the 100 backstroke and 200 freestyle, an impressive feat considering the massive number of elite swimmers within the TISAC. The girls also managed to finish fourth in both the 200 and 400 freestyle relays to get their score to 55. 

On the boys side, the Cavs’ day was highlighted by multiple third-place finishers. Senior Tate Eppinger finished third in the 50-yard freestyle, while sophomore Stewart Roessler finished third in the 200 freestyle. Sophomore Alfred Honore not only finished third in the 100 breastroke and 200 IM, but his 100 breastroke time of 1:03.60 set a Durham Academy school record. That is his second school record in as many weeks. The boys also finished first in the 4x50 freestyle relay to bring their score to 81 for the night. Twenty-four of the Cavs will be back for one more meet — the NCISAA state meet on Feb. 10 at Greensboro Aquatics Center.
 



Spring Sport Start Dates 

Spring sports are here! Please see the chart below for start dates and locations:

  • Varsity Boys Lacrosse: Feb. 17 at 3:30 p.m., boys lacrosse field
  • Varsity Girls Lacrosse: Feb. 17 at 3:30 p.m., Alumni Field
  • Varsity Boys Tennis: Feb. 12 at 3:30 p.m., tennis courts
  • Varsity Girls Soccer: Feb. 17 at 3:30 p.m., Moylan Field for workouts (official tryouts begin Feb. 24)
  • Varsity Track and Field: Feb. 17 at 3:30 p.m., the track
  • Varsity Boys Golf: Feb. 17, Hope Valley Country Club
  • Varsity Baseball: Feb. 12, 3:30 p.m., baseball field
  • Varsity Softball: Feb. 12 at 3:30 p.m., softball field
  • JV Girls Lacrosse (grades 7–9): Feb. 24, practice field
  • JV Baseball (grades 7–9): Feb. 24, baseball field
  • JV Boys Tennis (grades 7–9): Feb. 24, William Edwards’ classroom (Upper School STEM & Humanities Center)
  • Middle School Track and Field: Feb. 25, track
  • Middle School Girls Soccer: Feb. 24, Middle School upper field
  • Middle School Boys Lacrosse: Feb. 24, Middle School lower field

In addition, there will be a meeting for all Middle Schoolers interested in playing on a spring team on Tuesday, Feb. 18, after school in the Middle School Gym. Coaches, administrators and athletic trainers will be there to answer any questions. 
 



Varsity Winter Athletics Awards

All winter varsity athletes and their families are invited to celebrate the winter sports season on Tuesday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m. in Brumley Performing Arts Building on the Lower School campus. Our coaches will reflect on their season and hand out awards. Light refreshments will be served.



Keeping up with the Cavs

As always, you can keep up with the Cavs on Durham Academy’s website and the Durham Academy App (available on the Apple App Store).

  • 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.
  • 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.