Athletics News

Cavs Corner: Cavs head into 2017 with lots of momentum
Posted 01/05/2017 02:35PM

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

Welcome to 2017! Durham Academy athletics is back at it this week with swimming and basketball events. It is hard to believe that our basketball seasons have only five weeks remaining in the regular season and both teams are poised for postseason berths. In this issue of Cavs Corner, we will recap the girls basketball trip to Charleston, South Carolina, and the boys’ trips to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Pinehurst. Both basketball teams will be in action Friday at Trinity School with TISAC foe Ravenscroft looming on Tuesday.



Girls hoops team takes third in Charleston
The DA girls traveled to Charleston last week to participate in the prestigious Carolina Invitational. More than 80 teams from across the country competed at eight different venues in the Low Country area. The Cavs finished third in the “Dunes Bracket,” competing at James Island Charter High School.

“The team trip is always a fun one, for multiple reasons,” senior Carter Lange said. “The team bonds a lot and we get to play teams we normally never would. We improved our basketball skills for sure, but we also made great memories. One of my favorites was the ghost tour we went on our last night! We all screamed when we saw a black cat.”

In their first game over break, DA defeated the host school, the James Island Trojans, 56-49 in overtime. Junior Izzy Strigel led the Cavs with 22 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. Sophomore Imani Spence added 14 points and nine rebounds, while junior Erin Dilweg had nine points and five rebounds. DA handed James Island just their second loss of the year and put the Cavs in the semifinals, where they lost to Fort Dorchester of Charleston 51-39 on Dec. 29. The Patriots jumped on the Cavs early, leading by 10 points after one period. While Strigel once again had a big scoring night with 26 points, DA could not come back from the early deficit. Spence added six points and 11 rebounds, and senior Grace Drewry chipped in with four steals. The loss meant the Cavs would play for third place on Friday, their final day in Charleston. Unlike the day prior, it was the Cavs that would play from in front, taking a 17-6 lead after one period and a 32-17 at the half against Stall High School from Charleston. Eight different Cavaliers would get in the scoring column, led by Strigel’s 25 points and Dilweg’s 15 in the 62-41 victory. Dilweg had a stat-stuffer performance with four rebounds, three assists and four steals in addition to her 15 points. Spence added seven points, seven boards and three assists as the Cavs head into 2017 with an 8-5 record. They are listed as one of three “on the bubble” teams in the 3A private school top-5 rankings and are sixth in the state 3A rankings. Strigel is currently ninth in the Triangle area in scoring according to the News & Observer.

Boys basketball has a busy, successful winter break
The DA boys spent the first week of the break in Myrtle Beach at the Carolina Forest Panther Classic and second week in Pinehurst at the First Bank Holiday in the Pines hosted by Pinecrest High School. The Cavs earned a second-place finish in Myrtle Beach (in a 16-team field) and went 2-1 in Pinehurst, giving them a 14-3 record heading into Friday night’s game at Trinity.

The Cavaliers continue to receive media attention, as they are currently ranked sixth in the News & Observer top 25 poll (and are the only non 4A public school ranked in the top 10). The website has the Cavs eighth in the state in all private schools, while ranks the DA boys among three teams “on the bubble” just outside the top five in 3A. lists the Cavs fifth in 3A rankings and 24th in the state for all classifications.

Senior guard Jorden Davis continues to have a record-setting year, with two more 30-plus-point games over winter break, including a 33-point effort in the Cavs’ 70-44 win over Lakewood High School in Myrtle Beach and a 35-point performance in DA’s 64-46 win over East Carteret High School in Pinehurst. Davis has climbed to fourth in DA’s all-time scoring leaderboard with 1,228 career points, as he passed DA legends Alston Thompson, Evan Fjeld and current assistant Coach Jake Engebretsen over winter break. Davis was named to the all-tournament team in both tournaments and was joined on the Panther Classic all-tournament squad by junior Charlie Mendys in Myrtle Beach.

The Cavs had three solid wins over South Carolina schools Myrtle Beach High School, Lakewood High School and First Baptist School to advance to the tournament championship against Conway High School, the 17th-ranked team in South Carolina. While DA led for the majority of the game, a late Conway comeback, including an off-balance game-winner at the buzzer, left DA with the runner-up trophy. Against a loaded field at Pinecrest High, the boys went 2-1 and capped off winter break with a 70-34 win over Fayetteville’s New Life Christian Academy in a game where all 12 Cavalier players scored. Senior Nick Beischer had his second double-double this year with 10 points and 12 rebounds. In the win over East Carteret, senior Caleb Vanderburg gave the Cavs a huge lift with a career-high 10 rebounds and defensive energy that saw DA finish the game on a 17-2 run against a good Mariner club. The Cavs’ only loss at Pinecrest came against Independence High School, one of the top ranked teams in Charlotte.

Senior Caleb Vanderburg enjoyed his experience over break. “On the court, we continued to grow as a team and build our DA brand,” he said. “Over the break, we had lots of time to bond off the court. Coach McKenna beat us all in putt-putt, but it was still a fun game.”



The swim team is back in action this afternoon at Cary Academy and on Tuesday at Ravenscroft, as they will battle TISAC opponents.

The Middle School basketball teams will be back on the court after almost a month off for the holidays. The 2-1 boys white team hosts The Hawbridge School today at 5:15 p.m. and will join the boys green team and girls white team in playing Ravenscroft on Tuesday.

On Friday evening, the JV boys and the girls and boys varsity basketball teams will travel the short distance down Pickett Road to play Trinity School (note that these game times have been changed, with girls tipoff at 4 p.m. and boys tipoff at 5:30 p.m.). Finally, all four high school basketball teams will be at Ravenscroft on Tuesday. The boys varsity team will look to snap the Ravens’ 82-game conference win streak dating back to 2005. 



Looking ahead on the calendar, we hope that everyone can join us in Kirby Gym on Friday, Jan. 13, for Preschool/Lower School Night at the CavDome. We will share more information about the event with Preschool and Lower School families throughout next week. 



Finally, all of our spring sports schedules are now posted on the athletics portion of the website and all of our 2017 fall sports tryout dates will be posted before Feb. 1. 

As always, thank you for supporting DA athletics!



As always, you can keep up with the Cavs on Durham Academy’s website and the DA App: Schedules and Results

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.
An independent, coeducational day school, pre-kindergarten through grade 12.
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