Cavs Corner: State Tournament Action is Off to a Terrific Start

By Andy Pogach, Assistant Director of Athletics and Sports Information Director, Varsity Girls Tennis Coach 
Twitter: @daathletics
Instagram: @dacavsathletics 

It is state tournament week, and our varsity teams have competed admirably so far. Our swim teams had a successful state meet in Greensboro on Monday, with the boys placing sixth and the girls placing eighth. And on Tuesday, the girls hoops team rallied for a 4-point win over conference rival Cary Academy in the first round of the state tournament. The girls will play at Charlotte Latin in the second round this evening. The boys basketball team will make their tournament debut on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in Kirby Gym with a final four berth on the line. We hope you can make it out to support the Cavs! 


The boys and girls swim teams ended their successful seasons with strong showings at the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association state meet Monday in Greensboro. The girls team finished in eighth place, an eight-spot jump over last year’s finish. The boys squad was sixth this year, six spots better than last year’s 12th-place finish. On the girls side, eighth-grader Spencer Jennings led the way with two “A” finals appearances (the only eighth-grader to do so), placing sixth in the 100 backstroke and eighth in the 100 freestyle. Seventh-grader Maya Dolan was 10th in the 200 IM and 15th in the 100 butterfly. Junior Natalie Montefiori placed 15th in the 500 freestyle. All three DA relay teams had top-eight placements, led by a seventh-place finish in both the 200 IM and 400 free. Jennings, Dolan, senior Haley Leversedge and eighth-grader Meghan Phu were on the 200 IM team, while Jennings, Dolan, Leversedge and eighth-grader MacKenna Morris were on the 400 freestyle relay team. Leversedge joined with Phu, Morris and sophomore Quinn Shanahan on the eighth-place 200 free relay team.

Like the girls squad, the boys were led by a group of young swimmers, as ninth-grader Alfred Honore earned 25 points for the Cavs with a third-place finish in the 100 butterfly and a ninth-place finish in the 100 breaststroke. Ninth-grader Stewart Roessler added a seventh-place finish in the 500 free and a 10th-place finish in the 200 free. Senior Nathan Dalva-Baird was 12th in the 50 free, and ninth-grader Lars Oehler finished 14th in the 500 free. These four swimmers teamed up to place fifth in the 400 freestyle relay and ninth in the 200 IM. The 200 free team — consisting of senior Jasper Wolf, sophomore Jay Shanahan, junior Jacob Palmer and Dalva-Baird — placed ninth. Congratulations to head coach Sarah Chaires and her swimmers on a great season!

Girls Basketball

The varsity girls basketball team will be in action this evening as the 13–12 Cavaliers battle sixth-seeded Charlotte Latin in the second round of the NCISAA 4A state tournament. The Cavs won their first-round game 35–31 over Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference rival Cary Academy on Tuesday night in Kirby Gym. Eighth-grader Joelle Davis led the way with 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Her top-of-the-key 3 off an assist from junior Claire Middleton with three minutes remaining gave the Cavs the lead for good. Senior Imani Spence added 7 points and nine boards and had a huge hoop and free throw late in the fourth. Senior Jenny Drury chipped in 8 points and four steals. Drury and Davis scored the only points of the first period for DA, with each hitting a 3 as the game was tied at 6 after one quarter. Trailing 16–14 at the half, the Chargers came out fast in the third period to take an 18–16 lead. Drury’s lay-in at the third-period buzzer gave DA a 24–23 lead, but the Chargers answered with some big buckets midway through the fourth. Davis’ 3-pointer and Spence’s big plays late had the Cavs up 2 when sophomore Amelia Spence calmly sank two free throws in the final seconds to seal the victory.

The state tournament win comes just four days after a 67–38 loss to TISAC champ and state tournament top seed North Raleigh Christian. The Knights led by just 2 points after one period but stormed out to a 19–6 second period and were then able to cruise in the second half for the win. Davis’ 12 points, along with Spence’s 10 points, led the Cavs. Tonight’s game at Charlotte Latin will be a rematch of a 51–37 Hawks win over the Cavs back in late November. In that game, DA trailed by just five points after three periods but could not handle a late Hawks run in Charlotte. The winner of tonight’s game will play at Ravenscroft on Saturday in the state quarterfinals.

Boys Basketball

The boys basketball team captured a share of the 2019 TISAC championship with their 85–50 win Friday night at North Raleigh. The 27–3 Cavs are seeded third in this week’s state tournament and will host the winner of tonight’s Providence Day-Ravenscroft matchup at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the state quarterfinals. It took the Cavaliers about 20 minutes Friday night before they could finally pull away from the energized Knights in Raleigh. Leading by just 46–41 midway through the third, the Cavs ended the game on a 39–9 run, with a final score of 85–50. The Cavs were bolstered by the hot shooting of sophomore Cole Sinclair, who hit three 3-pointers in a four-possession span to allow the Cavs to open up an 18-point lead.

Ninth-grader MJ Rice led all scorers with 25 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. Senior Bryant Randleman added 19 points, four rebounds and three assists. Rice and Randleman combined to shoot 17–24 from the field in a game where the Cavs shot 56 percent overall from the field, outrebounded the Knights 38–18 and had 20 assists. Sinclair finished with 16 points and is now 93 for 185 from 3-point range on the year. His 93 3-pointers, a school record, is 60th nationally among all high school players according to maxpreps. Senior Michael Savarino also had a strong game Friday night with 9 points, three boards and two assists. Ninth-grader Nik Graves dished out six assists — his third six-assist game of the year. The Cavaliers have ascended to fifth in the latest HighSchoolOT poll, their highest ranking of the season. The Cavs have advanced to fourth in the Phenom Hoops private school rankings. Saturday’s game in Kirby will be the first quarterfinal home game for boys basketball in over 20 years, and with an opportunity to advance to their first final final four since 2006, we are hoping that the DA community can come out and support the Cavs!

Signing Ceremony

Finally, we are excited to announce that seniors Michael Jaffe and Spencer Sapir will participate in a signing day ceremony Tuesday morning in Kirby Gym. Michael will continue his baseball career at Johns Hopkins University, while Spencer will play lacrosse next year at Haverford College in Pennsylvania. Congratulations to both Michael and Spencer!

Thank you, as always, 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: Schedules and Results

  • For a list of all teams, their schedules and directions to games, visit
  • 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
  • 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 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.