Chapel Hill girls chase 2nd state basketball title Saturday
To absolutely no one’s surprise, unbeatens Chapel Hill and Hickory will meet Saturday, March 15 in the state 3-A girls’ basketball championship game (5 p.m., Dean E. Smith Center, Chapel Hill, Time Warner Cable SportsChannel HD channel 323 or 520).
Chapel Hill (31-0) and Hickory (29-0) were ranked 1-2 in the final NCPreps.com 3-A girls’ poll, Chapel Hill holding down the top spot for the second consecutive season. Hickory was the No. 1 seed in the 32-team West Regional, Chapel Hill the No. 1 seed in the 32-team East Regional.
Chapel Hill lost the state title game a year ago 55-52 to Charlotte’s Harding University High School, Hickory is 3-2 in state title game appearances, winning it all in 1995, 1998 and 1999, but losing in its most recent appearance, in 2011.
Veteran Tigers’ coach Sherry Norris is a legend in the state’s coaching ranks, owning a listing in the NCHSAA’s centennial celebration “100 (Coaches) To Remember.” She won the state title in 1981 when Chapel Hill beat Cary 67-46.
Both teams are loaded with talent.
Four Tigers average double figures in scoring. Senior post star 6-2 Catherine Romaine won Eastern Regional MVP honors last week for the second straight year and averages 10 points and 5.4 rebounds on 53 percent shooting. All-Regional picks junior Raziyah Farrington (12.4 ppg) and sophomore Autumn West (10.3 ppg) and senior Jamella Smith (12.1 ppg) are other offensive headliners.
For Hickory’s Red Tornadoes, juniors Danasia Whitherspoon and Yazman Hannah are the undisputed top guns.
Whitherspoon, averages 20 points, six rebounds and five steals per game. Hannah scored 30 points to win regional MVP honors and averages a near mirror-image 19 points, six rebounds and six steals per game.
Sadasia Tipps. a 6-1 post player, will probably see a lot of time matched up against Romaine. Tipps had 10 rebounds in the regional title game.
NOTES — Chapel Hill will be playing in its own backyard today, but Hickory will be the “home” team. The NCHSAA rotates “home” teams annually and this is the West’s year to claim that distinction. ... Chapel Hill High School Student Government will host a tailgate at the parking lot on Skipper Bowles Drive along the hill leading to the Smith Center at 3 p.m. before today’s game for students, parents and fans. Burgers, hot dogs and condiments will be available. Visitors are invited to bring their own drinks and side dishes. ... Parking is $10 per car.
NCHSAA 3-A GIRLS’ CHAMPIONSHIP GAME ROSTERS
NCHSAA 3-A East Regional Champion
Chapel Hill High School (31-0)
No. Name Pos Cl Ht
10 Tamia Eatmon PG/W/P Jr. 5-5
12 Helen Gaynes G/SG/W Jr. 5-7
15 Taylor Headen PG/SG Jr. 5-2
22 Paige Timothy C/PF Sr. 6-0
23 Autumn West P/W/SF So. 5-8
24 Mariah Jacobs W/SG/P So. 5-7
25 Jessica Wall SG/PG Jr. 5-4
31 Raziyah Farrington SG/SF/W Jr. 5-7
32 Catherine Romaine P/SF/PF Sr. 6-2
34 Jamella Smith W/SF/P Sr. 5-9
35 Olivia Clayton P/C Sr. 5-5
40 Jasmine Suitt P/C Sr. 5-9
NCHSAA 3-A West Regional Champion
Hickory High School (29-0)
No. Name Pos Cl Ht
10 Annie Ames G Sr. 5-8
12 Amiya McClain G Fr. 5-5
14 Abby Setzer G Fr. 5-5
20 Victoria Eckard G Fr. 5-5
22 Danasia Whitherspoon G/F Jr. 5-8
23 Yazman Hannah G Jr. 5-8
24 Brittany Dixon G Sr. 5-8
25 Ashley Mervin G Sr. 5-5
30 Myeshia Hilton G/F Jr. 5-7
32 Sadasia Tipps G/F Jr. 6-1
34 Grayson Cameron F So. 5-10
40 Ali Miller F Sr. 5-10