Chapel Hill girls look to hang 2nd banner

Mar. 16, 2013 @ 09:55 PM

It’s been 32 years since Sherry Norris hung a girls’ basketball state championship banner at Chapel Hill High School in 1981.

She’s hoping for a second as the sun sets tonight.

The 30-1 Tigers, NCHSAA 3-A East champions, meet West champion and defending state champion Charlotte Harding University High School (23-4) for the state 3-A title at today at Reynolds Coliseum on the N.C. State University campus (5 p.m., Time-Warner Cable channel 520).

Both teams are scalding hot.

Harding has won 17 straight since starting the season a disappointing 6-4. Chapel Hill has won 18 in a row since picking up the only blemish on its record 42-33 Jan. 2 at Northern Nash.

The teams have faced only one common opponent this season, Harding falling at home to Cornelius Hough 67-59, Chapel Hill beating Hough on a neutral court in Southern Pines 54-49.

The Tigers rely heavily on a deep and talented defense that creates turnovers — they average 19.8 steals per game — and turns them into transition points. Chapel Hill averages 68.3 points per game, well above the national girls’ average of 40.7.

Harding is no slouch on the defensive end, either, but doesn’t generate nearly as much offense from it — 59.9 points per game. The Rams average 6.8 blocked shots per game to 2.5 for Chapel Hill, but only 8.2 steals.

Center Brianna Hamrick, a 6-foot-1 junior, anchors the Harding defense. She blocks two shots per game and pulls down 8.8 rebounds. Her counterpart, Chapel Hill’s 6-2 junior Catherine Romaine, leads the Tigers in both categories as well. She averages 7.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks.

Offensively, both teams have acknowledged stars. Myicha Drakeford, a 5-9 junior forward, leads the Rams with 15.9 points per game. Carolina 6 3-A Conference player of the year Jamella Smith, a 5-8 junior wing, tops the Tigers with an 11.9 average. Smith also leads the Tigers in steals with 3.4 per game.

What Chapel Hill has more of than perhaps any team in the state besides Harding is balanced scoring. While Smith leads the way, five other Tiger regulars score at least seven points a game. Following Smith in scoring are sophomore Raziyah Farrington (10.7), Romaine (10.6), freshman Autumn West (8.2), sophomore Jessica Wall (7.6) and sophomore Tamia Eatmon (7.0).

Smith and Wall are the team’s top 3-point shooters. Wall has hit 27 of 74 from behind the arc this season and smith 28 of 94.

Harding, too, has six players averaging seven or more points a game, including Hamrick (13.1), Ralisha Currence (11.5), Abrea Harris (10.9), Keousha Griffin (7.9) and Cecilie Sadler (7.0)

The rebounding is balanced, too. Behind Romaine on the boards chart are West (6.3), Smith (6.0) and senior Laura Musalem (5.1), while Drakeford (6.8) and Griffin (5.0) provide powerful support to Hamrick.

The Tigers are unselfish, chalking up 17.3 assists per game to 13.6 for Harding. Eatmon lead the way with four assists per game. Next is senior Arianne Jacobs at 2.4.

Harding guard Currence dominates the ball distribution for the Rams, averaging 5.3 assists per game.






No.    Name    Pos.    Ht.    Cl.
10    Tamia Eatmon*    G    5-4    SO
12    Laura Musalem*    F    5-5    SR
20    Arianne Jacobs*    G    5-3    SR
22    Katie Guthmiller    W    5-6    SR
24    K’la Noel    G    5-1    SR
25    Jessica Wall*    G    5-4    SO
30    Mariah Jacobs    W    5-6    FR
31    Raziyah Farrington*    W    5-7    SO
32    Catherine Romaine*    P    6-2    JR
34    Jamella Smith    W    5-8    JR
34    Olivia Clayton    P    5-5    JR
40    Jasmine Suitt    P    5-8    JR
45    Autumn West    P    5-7    FR

Head Coach: Sherry Norris  ... Assistant Coaches: John French, Jurica Hargraves and Sandy Rasnake. ... Current win streak: 18 games ... Playoff wins (Rounds 1-5): Asheboro 66-25; Triton 71-14; Southern Guilford 64-38; Northern Guilford 67-65 (OT); West Craven 59-51. Previous state championship: 1981. ... Last championship game appearance: 1981....  MaxPreps 3-A state ranking: No. 1

* Possible starters as listed by coaches.




No.    Name    Pos.    Ht.    Cl.
3    Kaedia Parrish    G    5-5    JR
5    Myicha Drakeford*    F    5-9    JR
10    Cecile Sadler    G    5-7    JR
12    Abrea Harris*    G    5-9    SR
14    Ralisha Currence*    PG    5-5    SR
15    Miyah Lennon    G    5-5    JR
20    Brandi Atwood    G    5-5    JR
22    Memoree McEntyre    F    5-7    SR
23    Jala Daniels    F    5-7    SO
24    Keousha Griffin*    F    5-9    SR
42    Brianna Hamrick*    C    6-1    JR
50    LaVonna Mason    C    6-3    SR

Head Coach: Anthony Jones ... Assistant Coaches: Deborah Woods and Milton Jones ... Current win streak: 17 games ... Playoff wins (Rounds 1-5): Berry Academy 74-65; Central Cabarrus 60-36; Jesse Carson 48-31; Ledford 62-44; Tuscola 51-50. ... Previous state championship: 2012. ... Last championship game appearance: 2012. 3-A state ranking: No. 5

* Possible starters as listed by coaches.