The Notable Ninety highlights outstanding teams during 90-year history of NCHSAA

June 01, 2004, 05:43 PM

CHAPEL HILL - The North Carolina High School Athletic Association is wrapping up its 90th year of operation, and the NCHSAA has done a number of things to highlight the 90th anniversary of the organization.

One of the special programs that has been developed in honor of the 90th anniversary is The Notable Ninety, a recognition of 90 great teams from the tradition of high school sports in our state.

"The purpose of The Notable Ninety is not to name the 90 greatest teams in state history, which would really be an almost impossible task, " said Rick Strunk, NCHSAA associate executive director who developed and coordinated the program. "It's just an attempt to recognize some teams in a variety of sports who are notable for some reason, be it how they earned a championship, individual players on a team, a long string of championships for a perennial power, or unusual circumstances in their season. Our feeling is that lots of schools and communities have noteworthy teams, and perhaps this effort will continue to have people talking about high school sports and remembering notable teams from their own communities."

Nominations were solicited from NCHSAA member schools, media representatives, former players and coaches, and fans. Forms were mailed to the schools and the nomination information was also posted on the NCHSAA web site. Over 150 teams were nominated.

Then the complete list of nominated teams was sent to a special statewide committee, which included media representatives from across the state as well as a number of retired coaches and athletic directors, for their input. The selections from their series of ballots created The Notable Ninety.

"The list is not designed to be comprehensive or all inclusive," said Strunk. "We are sure that there are a lot of notable teams out there that we didn't get information about. But we believe that The Notable Ninety contains a lot of interesting teams and athletes from the 90 years of the NCHSAA or other organizations that were involved in high school athletics over the years. We just hope people will enjoy seeing the list and remembering some of these great moments."

The Notable Ninety will be released in three installments; first, basketball teams, including men and women; second, football teams; and then third, all other teams in other sports.

THE NOTABLE NINETY

Men's Basketball

DURHAM Durham 1939-40

Record: 25-0 | Coach: Paul Sykes | NCHSAA champion

 

This team is a representative of Durham's five consecutive state titles during which they rolled up an incredible 73-game winning streak, outscoring teams an average of 50.1 to 23.7. They crushed most opposition (beat the Florida state champs 54-15, for instance). Garland Loftis, Cedric Loftis and Bob Gantt all went on to play at Duke and Horace "Bones" McKinney was also a standout on the team. One of first teams to use fast break offense, averaging 56 ppg during this season (when 30 was considered a bunch to score.

 

NEW HANOVER Wilmington 1946-1947

Record: one loss | Coach: Leon Brogden | NCHSAA 2-A champion

 

This team beat Greensboro 42-38 for the state title. The team had three starters play Division I basketball, forward Billy Mason, Campbell Junior College and then Wake Forest and forward Louis Collie and guard Toddy Fennell who both played at East Carolina University.

 

E. E. SMITH Fayetteville 1950

Record: 21-0 | Coach: D. S. Kelly | A (top level) NCHSAC Champion

 

Nine of the 10 players went on to college and eight of the 10 served in the armed forces. Won the Fayetteville State Invitational Tournament which was national and included teams from South Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina and Washington D.C. Willie Newbold Matthews, forward, averaged 18.6 points a game and was considered the top player in the NCHSAC along with Sam Jones (Boston Celtic). This was the first time E.E. Smith was covered in the sports pages of the Fayetteville Observer.

 

CARY Cary 1953-1954

Record: 31-1 | Coach: Simon Terrell | NCHSAA 1-A champion

 

The team's only loss was to Raleigh High School, which later won the 3-A state championship. The three seniors on the team went on to play college sports. The team featured Charlie Adams (current NCHSAA executive director) who averaged 22 ppg and Guy Mendenhall who averaged 17 ppg and 16 rebounds. This team is considered to be one of the most well rounded teams in the state (rebounding, shooting, and defense).

 

BEAUFORT Beaufort 1959-60

Record: 25-0 | Coach: Thomas McQuaid | NCHSAA 1-A champion

 

Representative of team which won three straight state 1-A crowns and an NCHSAA record whopping 91 in a row that stretched over five seasons. Team was paced by brothers Pud and Butch Hassell. Beat Boonville 65-59 in '61 1-A title game at Durham.

 

HILLSIDE Durham 1965-66

Record: 26-1 | Coach: Carl Easterling | NCHSAC runners-up

 

Highest scoring team in state history known as "Pony Express," averaging 105 points per game (before three-point goal, too)Šscored state record 147 on Feb 4 against Rocky Mount Booker T. Washington in 147-57 victoryŠscored 100 or more points 14 timesŠwere defending NCHSAC champs after rallying from 30 down in '65 championship game to win, but lost in state finals in '66 beat Laurinburg Institute and Charlie Scott 110-106 led by John "Goat" Bullock, who had 41 points, 25 rebounds and 13 assists.

 

SOUTH MECKLENBURG Charlotte 1969-70

Record: 26-2 | Coach: Dave Price | NCHSAA 4-A champion

 

The first of three straight 4-A titles for the Sabres. Talented team featured Bobby Jones and Walter Davis, both of whom went on to star at North Carolina and had excellent NBA careers, and Mark Greiner, who played at South Carolina.

 

WAKE FOREST-ROLESVILLE Wake Forest 1972

Record: 24-5 | Coach: Larry Lindsey | NCHSAA 2A champion

 

Representative of this school's three consecutive state titles (1971-73) and six total (in two classifications) in the 1970's. Teams played great defense.

 

REIDSVILLE Reidsville 1972-73

Record: 25-0 | Coach: Hoy Isaacs | NCHSAA 4-A champion

 

Only unbeaten team during NCHSAA Hall of Famer Hoy Isaacs's career. Melvin Watkins, who went on to star at UNCC and then became a Division I coach, was a standout.

 

WENTWORTH Wentworth 1975-76

Record: 30-0 | Coach: Grady Stafford | NCHSAA 1-A champion

 

This was Wentworth's first win after several trips to the title game. The team defeated many large powerhouse schools such as Reidsville, Eden Morehead and Madison. The smallest starter was 6-2 and the centers were 6-5 and 6-7, which is very rare for such a small school. The team featured Willie Lowe at center and Perry Somers at guard.

 

WASHINGTON Washington 1978-1979

Record: 29-0 | Coach: Dave Smith | NCHSAA 3-A champion

 

Ranked nationally held the longest winning streak in the nation between 1978 and 1979 at 56 games and won two consecutive state 3A titles. Two players were All Americans, forward, Dominique Wilkens, who played at the University of Georgia and for the Atlanta Hawks and center Alvis Rogers, Wake Forest. Also forward Shawn Williams went on to play at UNC-Charlotte.

 

PAGE Greensboro 1982-1983

Record: 26-0 | Coach: Mac Morris | NCHSAA 4-A champion

 

Ranked second in USA Today's final national poll behind Dunbar. Closest game was five points, next closest game was 13 points - beat UNC J.V. team. The team featured National Player of the Year Danny Manning as well as future Houston Oiler Haywood Jeffires, John Newman, four-year starter at James Madison, and Michael Foster, four-year starter at South Carolina. The starters rarely played half the game and were a dominant team.

 

PAGE Greensboro 1989-1990

Record: 31-0 | Coach: Mac Morris | NCHSAA 4-A champion

 

The team featured Marc Lewis, Kevin Ryan, Billy Kretzer, Alfred Hamilton, Pearce Landry. The starting five also had an academic average of 4.3, which was the best GPA of any basketball team in the state in the NCHSAA Scholar-Athlete program. Beat Wilson Fike 46-43 in state championship.

 

SOUTH VIEW Hope Mills 1992-1993

Record: 31-1 | Coach: Ron Miller | NCHSAA 4-A champion

 

Won last 23 games of season en route to state title, beating South Mecklenburg in Smith Center. Team was paced by Duke signee and Parade All-American Jeff Caple (24 ppg, 7 reb, 8 assists a game), with support from Andre Allen and Jamez Griffin. Rallied from double digit deficits in both Eastern Regional games. Veteran coach Ron Miller went over 500 victory mark during season.

 

EAST CHAPEL HILL Chapel Hill 1996-97

Record: 24-5 | Coach: Ray Hartsfield | NCHSAA 3-A champion

 

What's most notable here, perhaps, is that East won this state championship in the very first year of the school's existence and with no seniors at the school, an unprecedented basketball achievement for a new school. Freshman Chris Hobbs (who went on to Clemson) was the big man inside while Brian FitzGerald could also score and rebound. Paul Kindem (Guilford) and Andy Jones provided excellent guard play, with Jones hitting the three as time expired to lift the Wildcats to their state championship win over Hickory.

 

WEST MONTGOMERY Mt. Gilead 1982-1983

Record: 30-0 | Coach: Paul Dunlap | NCHSAA 2-A champion

 

After being state runner-up in 1982 the veteran team won it all in 1983 with an overall two year record of 58-1 - most points scored in a season and best season record for the school. Defeated 6 3A and 4A teams. The team was lead by All-State player and MVP of the state tournament, Burrell Christian.

 

PARKLAND Winston Salem 1998-1999

Record: 29-1 | Coach: Mike Pennington | NCHSAA 3-A champion

 

This team won Winston-Salem's first basketball championship in 25 years and was the first and only team to score 100 points in a state championship game beating West Rowan 101-83. The team finished the season on a 21 game winning streak with their only loss to R.J. Reynolds who they had beaten earlier in the year. Six players on the team went onto be a Division I athlete including Clifford Crawford, runner-up for state player of the year, first team All-state and N.C. State basketball player.

 

R.J. REYNOLDS Winston-Salem 2000-01

Record: 28-2 | Coach: Howard West | NCHSAA 4-A champion

 

Ranked seventh in final USA Today poll went 25-0 against in-state competition with no game inside the state being closer than 12 points. Most points scored and held in a 4A state championship game. All 11 players on the varsity roster played in every game. All 11 players went onto to be a college athlete including Derrele Mitchell NCHSAA Male Athlete of the Year. Coach Howard West said "this team is certainly the best I've ever coached.

Women's Basketball

MASSEY HILL Fayetteville 1964, 1965, 1966

Record: | Coach: Doris Howard | Cumberland County Champion

 

The team was three-time consecutive Cumberland County and Pioneer Conference champion, which was as far as a girl's team could go at the time. The team won 35 straight games led by Pat Jacobs, Judy Lower, and Gloria Love.

 

 

WEST DAVIDSON Lexington 1985-1986

Record: 29-1 | Coach: Roxanne Smith | NCHSAA 2-A champion

 

This was the only state championship team West Davidson has had. The teams average margin of victory was 26.1 points per game and they had an undefeated regular season. The team was lead by guards Gina Bennett, Sandra King and Patty Shoaf.

 

 

HAYESVILLE Hayesville 1987-88

Record: 31-0 | Coach: Darryl McClure | NCHSAA 1-A champion

 

Started string of unprecedented six straight state championship and is representative of that entire streak of titles, although this was the only unbeaten team in that stretch. Alice Calder was MVP of state championship game and Charlene Penland led team in scoring and rebounding.

 

 

BANDYS Catawba 1987-88

Record: 32-1 | Coach: Mike Matheson | NCHSAA 2-A champion

 

Lady Trojans won two consecutive state titles and were perennial contender. Mitzi Yount was a two-time championship game MVP and team also got great contributions from Erica Turner and Lavonda Wilson.

 

 

CLINTON Clinton 1988-89

Record: 27-0 | Coach: Karen Fox | NCHSAA 2-A champion

 

Made state finals four years in a row (runners-up twice, state titlists in 1989 and '90. Record setting Danyel Parker led the team in scoring and Tonya Sampson, who also went on to star in college, was a key member of the Lady Dark Horses. Sampson had 25 points and 20 rebounds in the final, Parker scored 34.

 

 

MCDOWELL Marion 1990-1991

Record: 29-1 | Coach: Mike Silver | NCHSAA 4-A champion

 

The team was ranked 22 nationally in USA Today. The team broke several state records in including most free throws made in a season with 561 as well as most free throws made per game for a season, which is 18.7 and holds as the national record. The team average 78.8 points per game and shot 49.8% field goal percentage. The average margin of victory was 29.5 points. The combined GPA for the team was 3.21 and five of the six seniors received college scholarships.

 

 

HILLSIDE Durham 1995-1996

Record: 25-2 | Coach: George Williams | NCHSAA 4-A champion

 

Very athletic team which averaged over 80 ppg for the season and scored over 100 four times. Beat Shea Ralph and Fayetteville Terry Sanford for state title; only losses on season were to Roxboro Person. Team was led by Jackie Higgins (16.4 ppg, 12.8 rpg) and Jamie McDonald (22 ppg, 8.5 assists).

 

 

FREEDOM Morganton 1994-1995

Record: 29-1 | Coach: Marsha Crump | NCHSAA 4A champion

 

This team boasts the most wins in school history. Two starters, Natasha Davis and Erica Mathies both received college scholarships. Possibly the best Freedom team ever from a school with a long tradition in women's basketball.

 

 

UNION Clinton 1997-1998

Record: 28-0 | Coach: Julie Hunter | NCHSAA 1-A champion

 

Four of the seniors that played on this team had a combined record of 102-7. This teams average margin of victory was 31. Leader April Cromartie holds the state record for most points scored in a state title game with 48 points. The team also had three players who scored over 1000 points during their career.

 

 

HICKORY Hickory 1998-1999

Record: 32-0 | Coach: David Elder | NCHSAA 3-A champion

 

This was the second consecutive state championship and third in five years for Hickory. The team ended the season with a 43 game winning streak and featured Alicia Abernathy who averaged 20 points per game, 12 rebounds and 5 assists and steals as well as Shirena James who averaged 17 points per game and 9.4 rebounds.

 

 

LEDFORD Thomasville 2001-2002

Record: 32-0 | Coach: John Ralls | NCHSAA 2-A champion

 

Team made fifth trip to finals in eight years. Leslie Hinkle was team's leading scorer and championship MVP. Katie Ralls and Alicia Stokes were also key performers. Team averages 64 ppg and gave up just 37 per game, holding 11 opponents under 30 points.

 

 

CARVER Winston-Salem 2000-01

Record: 30-0 | Coach: Gerald Carter | NCHSAA 3-A champion

 

Beat Asheville T.C. Roberson 64-53 for state 3-A crown and unbeaten season, which completed incredible turnaround. The 1999 team was 1-23, the 2000 team 20-6 and reached the state title game, and then the Yellow Jackets won it all. Stars of the team were Porsche Jones (now at Wake Forest) and Camille Little (now at North Carolina).

 

 

THOMASVILLE Thomasville 2003-04

Record: 30-1 | Coach: Eric Rader | NCHSAA 1-A champion

 

Team won its third straight state championship, with only loss to 3-A power High Point Central in Christmas tournament. A three-year record of 90-4. Among standouts on the team were Erin Crowder and Tyronnica "Wudi" Alford.