BY DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS ANDY POGACH AND ATHLETICS INTERNS COLLEEN GUNNING AND RYAN KILLEN
One of our favorite events of the year will be happening tomorrow night as our varsity basketball teams will be hosting Lower School Night at the CavDome! We hope that all DA families will come out and support the hoops teams with the girls game starting at 5:30 p.m. and the boys to follow at 7 p.m. There will be games and prizes at half time of each game for our Lower School students.
We will also be honoring two groups of students on Friday night during the boys game. The state championship girls cross-country team and fall all-state athletes will be recognized during quarter breaks for their accomplishments.
Tonight is a big night for DA’s swim program as the teams will be hosting their one “home” swim meet of the season at Campus Hills Pool. The teams will be honoring their five seniors prior to the meet.
Finally, both basketball teams participated in all-program practices this week with a huge success. New athletics intern Ryan Killen gives his report on the practices at the conclusion of Cavs Corner.
Varsity Boys Basketball
By virtue of a 70–41 win on Tuesday night, the DA boys basketball team has reached the 20-win mark for the fourth year in a row. Coach Tim McKenna’s squad is now 20–4 on the season and 3–0 in TISAC play after three victories in the last week. On Tuesday, junior Brent Randleman led all scorers with 16 points, while classmate Cole Sinclair added 15 points and senior Christopher Chaves scored a career-high 11 as the Cavs led from start to finish in the win over Cary Academy. A trio of Cavs chipped in eight points (sophomore Nik Graves, junior Toby Harris and senior Davis Beischer).
The win comes off a grueling 24-hour stretch that saw the boys take an emotional 10-point home win over Ravenscroft on Friday and win an overtime thriller over Village Christian Academy on Saturday night. The boys defeated the Ravens 73–63 behind 27 points from Sinclair. Harris added 20 points and six rebounds while shooting 5–10 from three-point range. Sinclair and Harris have already entered the DA record books this year by having the third and fourth most threes in a single season.
On Saturday, it was Harris’ three with 10 seconds left in overtime that gave the Cavs a win over the Knights. Graves had a prime time performance with 11 points and 10 assists. Sinclair had a team-high 24 points, with 11 of them coming in the third period. The boys team continues to be ranked in both the High School OT eastern NC poll and the Phenom Hoops statewide independent school poll. We hope you can join us Friday night in Kirby Gym as the Cavs host Trinity School of Durham and Chapel Hill. Tip time is 7 p.m.
Varsity Girls Basketball
The varsity girls basketball team is 8–9 on the season. The DA girls picked up their first conference win with a dominating performance against Cary Academy on Tuesday, after falling to conference leaders North Raleigh Christian Academy and Ravenscroft last week. In Tuesday's road game, the Cavs got things going from the jump, taking a 13-point lead in the first five minutes of the game. Ninth-grader Miriam Abdelbarr led all scorers with a season-high 15 points, five rebounds. The DA offense was unstoppable with big contributions from every rostered player. Ninth-grader Joelle Davis put up 12 points and two rebounds, and senior Katie Hunter finished with an impressive eight points, three rebounds and three assists. Senior center Claire Middleton powered through the CA defense for eight points, 11 rebounds and four blocks. Ninth-grader Kendall Harris was key in the team's success, pulling down seven offensive rebounds and dishing to teammates for second chance points. The Cavs kept up the intensity for all four quarters and locked in on defense to maintain their double-digit lead for a 56–33 victory.
The big win follows a tough 49–28 loss to conference runner-up Ravenscroft. The Ravens came out strong immediately going up eight points, but the Cavs battled back to stay competitive. Defensive boards from Middleton and Harris played a huge part in the Cavs being able to hold off the Ravens offense from extra put-back opportunities. It wasn't until late in the third quarter that the Ravens were able to pull ahead with the lead. Middleton led the team with a strong 10 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks. Davis knocked down three threes for her nine points, and Harris finished with five points, five rebounds.
The Cavaliers host Trinity School of Durham and Chapel Hill at 5:30 p.m. Friday.
Girls swimming went up against both Ravenscroft and Saint Mary’s this past Thursday, squeaking out a 33–32 win over the Ravens, but falling 72–14 to St. Mary’s. Boys swimming squared off against Ravenscroft, losing by a score of 65–29.
Ninth-grader Spencer Jennings played a key role in the girls’ narrow win over the Ravens. Jennings not only won the 100-yard backstroke with a fantastic time of 1:01.83, but also finished second in the 50-yard freestyle. Ninth-grader MacKenna Morris also made a big contribution to the win with a second-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle and a third-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle. Jennings and Morris’s performances, combined with a few second-place finishes in team relays, allowed the Cavs to come away with a split result on the night.
For the boys, sophomore Alfred Honore won the 100-yard butterfly with a very impressive time of 54.27 seconds, more than eight seconds better than Ravenscroft’s second-place finisher. Sophomore Stewart Roessler also came through with a second-place finish, but it was not enough to take down the Ravens. Both boys and girls teams are back in action at 4:30 p.m. today for the Cavs’ only home meet of the season.
A new tradition was born this year at Durham Academy. Once a season, all DA athletics programs, middle school through varsity, will hold joint practice. On Monday afternoon in Kirby Gym, the varsity boys basketball team, JV team, Middle School green team and Middle School white team all practiced together. On Wednesday, all DA girls basketball teams combined to do the same.
“It was good, a little stressful, but it helped push me,” eighth-grader Audry Kilgore said. “I am only Middle School (level) right now, so I want to get better.”
It was an amazing chance for the Middle School players to interact with the much more experienced varsity players, and give them a glimpse of what it is like to play at the next level. But it was not solely for the Middle Schoolers; Upper School players also had the opportunity to get something out of it.
“I didn't know a lot of the Middle Schoolers so was nice to meet some of them,” ninth-grader Adam Roeder said. “But especially the JV players … those are some of my classmates, but I don't really get to interact in a basketball setting (with them) since we are on different teams, so that was really cool.”
Both the boys varsity team and girls varsity team rosters are heavy with underclassmen, so Roeder was definitely not the only one who appreciated that opportunity.
All in all, the first of hopefully many annual “all-program practices” was a success. According to JV boys coach Mike Harris, it went even better than he had expected.
“I thought it was fantastic,” Harris remarked. “It was fun, especially to see the Middle School kids you know be out there against kids that are like a foot-and-a-half taller than them, and just for them to be able to watch at the end the varsity team do a shooting drill … They were just watching as if they were fans in the stands watching celebrities. So to build that sort of community, I think was great.”
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.