Sports wrap-up: O'Neal swim teams win conference championships

O’Neal School Swimming

Last Monday, both boys and girls swim teams won the Tri-TAC conference championship.

In a press release, Assistant Athletic Director Lulu Brase told Sandhills Sentinel, “The Varsity Boys and Girls Swim teams made quite the splash at Monday’s Tri-TAC Conference Meet. From relays to individual events, the Falcons saw Personal Records and first-place finishes throughout the meet. The Falcons came into the meet seeded 2nd on both the Boys and Girls side, yet the Falcons let their swimming do the talking. The Girls team showed their dominance winning by over 100 points, and the Boys team rallied late in the meet to grab the Conference championship. The victories saw the Falcons repeat as Conference Champions on both the Boys and Girls side!

The Tri-TAC conference meet featured fellow conference schools Trinity Academy, Trinity School, Burlington Christian, and Carolina Friends. The Falcons kicked off the meet winning the Girls 200-yard medley relays and finishing second in the Boys 200- yard medley relay. Joining the relay victories were the Girls 200-yard freestyle relay, the Boys 200-yard freestyle relay and the Girls 400 freestyle relay. Individually, the Falcons saw multiple first-place finishes including Victoria York in the 200-yard freestyle and 500 yard freestyle, Chloe Abner in the 50 yard freestyle, Michaela Stone in the 100 yard freestyle and 100 yard backstroke, John Shepherd in the 100 yard backstroke, and Lauren Hobbs in the 100 yard breaststroke.”

In addition, the Falcons placed 12 swimmers on the Tri-TAC All-Conference team: Chloe Abner, Andrew Davis, Lauren Hobbs, Morgan Lewis, Jordin Reed, Henry Reibe, Sam Schmitz, John Shepherd, Grace Simpson, Michaela Stone, Radford Walker, and Victoria York. Head Coach, Jen Schmitz, was voted Tri-TAC Conference Coach of the Meet.

Reflecting on the meet, Head Coach Jen Schmitz shared, “I have been coaching for over 30 years and coached many High School teams, O’Neal’s swim team is always ready for the big competitions. The team put in the hard work, training over the holidays and put in thousands of yards to get to Conference. It was so much fun for Coach Daniel and I to watch these young men and women exceed all expectations and swim lights out for their teammates. It was truly an honor to be a part of.”

The Falcons will use the next week for final tune-ups in preparation for the NCISAA state meet. The NCISAA Division 3 state meet will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 15 at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. 

O’Neal Boys Basketball 13-7 (6-3)

The Falcons finished the regular season strong. Last Tuesday, the Falcons defeated Trinity of Durham and Chapel Hill, 70-53. The Falcons ended the season on the road at Carolina Friends on Friday with a 62-51 win. 

The boys will start the conference tournament Monday versus Trinity. Tip off is at 5:30 p.m.

O’Neal Girls Basketball 16-3 (8-0)

The Lady Falcons finished another conference season undefeated, earning them a regular-season conference title. Tuesday they defeated Trinity of Durham and Chapel Hill in a blowout win, 58-8. They continued the trend Friday night against Carolina Friends with a 69-16 win. The Lady Falcons will go into the Tri-TAC conference tournament ranked No. 1 in the conference, earning them a first-round bye and home court advantage. They are also ranked second in NCISAA 2A. 

The girls will play their first conference tournament game at home on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. 

North Moore Boys Basketball 5-9 (2-6)

The Mustangs couldn’t pull off a win last week losing three conference games. Monday, they lost to Seaforth, 48-35. Wednesday, they were defeated by Bartlett Yancey, 52-47. Friday, they lost to Seaforth, 48-36. The Mustangs have two games left in the regular season. Both are conference games.

Tuesday at Cummings (14-0). Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. 

Wednesday versus Chatham Central (5-9). Tip off is at 7:30 p.m.

North Moore Girls Basketball 1-12 (0-8)

The girls were unable to get a win in the conference last week losing their three games. Monday was a 63-20 loss against Seaforth. Wednesday, Bartlett Yancey came to North Moore and won, 59-34. Friday didn’t get any better as the girls lost to Seaforth, 53-20. The Lady Mustangs have two conference games left in the regular season. Both opponents have losing records. 

Tuesday at Cummings (4-9). Tip-off is at 6 p.m.

Friday versus Chatham Central (6-10). Tip-off is at 6 p.m. 

Pinecrest Wrestling

Pinecrest Patriots will host 4A Mideast Regionals on Feb. 11 and 12. The Patriots have several wrestlers competing in this event.

Coach Bob Curtin told Sandhills Sentinel when asked about the season and the Team Duals state championship; “We are extremely proud of our wrestlers. They competed at the highest level. And today, in the state semi-final, we fell a bit short. 

“Laney is a great team and had 1-2 more horses in the stable than we did. It didn’t deter our guys. They fought hard and with resolve. 

“I have said it before but we may have fallen short of our wrestling goal but we witnessed momentum and progress towards our life goals: grit, perseverance, desire, success, heart, and ultimately heart ache! We can build on this together!!!”

The Patriots are wrestling for success during the individual state tournament next weekend after falling short in the Team Duals state tournament. Some history and success have already been made with their female wrestlers. This is the first year Pinecrest fielded multiple girls and all four qualified for state. Saoirse Moler, Jocelyn Mattingly, and Ava Weber were the three who qualified. 

Megan Rowland placed third in the NCHSAA girls individual state championship. She went 4-1 in the event.

Pinecrest Boys Basketball 15-4 (8-1)

The Patriots had a successful week on the court winning all three of their conference games. They are now ranked second in the 3A/4A conference 24, and in the NC Division 4A East, they are ranked thirteenth. On Monday, they traveled to Scotland County and picked up a close, 53-47, win. Tuesday, they went to Lee County and picked up a blowout win, 78-38. Friday, Scotland came to Southern Pines, but this one wouldn’t be close. The Patriots won, 81-61. The Patriots have three regular-season conference games left including cross county and conference rival Union Pines. 

Monday at Southern Lee (3-14). Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday at Home (11-5). Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. 

Thursday versus Union Pines (16-5). Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m.

Pinecrest Girls Basketball 13-5 (7-2)

The Lady Patriots picked up three conference wins last week. Their conference ranking is now second and an NC class 4A East ranking of 18. On Monday, they defeated Scotland, 50-44. On Tuesday, at Lee, they won, 50-32. Friday, at home, they hosted Scotland and won, 51-19. The girls have three conference games remaining. 

Monday at Southern Lee (3-12). Tip-off is at 6 p.m.

Tuesday at Hoke (2-18). Tip-off is at 6 p.m.

Thursday versus Union Pines (12-9). Tip-off is at 6 p.m.

Union Pines Wrestling

Fred T. Foard, who is no stranger to Team Duals state titles, were too much for the Vikings in the state championship. The Vikings lost the championship, 58-12. Both teams were number one seeds. This was the first state championship appearance for the Vikings. 

Johann Diaz won 3A Sportsmanship Award in the Team Duals State Championship. 

The Vikings will host the 3A Mideast individual regionals on Feb. 11 and 12. 

Union Pines Boys Basketball 16-5 (6-4)

Fighting for rankings this week will be a little harder for the Vikings due to losing both conference games last week. Tuesday, the Vikings lost at Richmond, 60-54, and a heartbreaking loss against Hoke on Friday, 44-40. The Vikings are ranked fourth in the conference and 13 in the NC Division 3A East. With two conference games left this week and both on the road, the Vikings find themselves in a need to win situation for rankings. 

Tuesday at Southern Lee (3-14), Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m.

Thursday at Pinecrest (15-4). Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m.

Union Pines Girls Basketball 12-9 (6-4)

The Lady Vikings are ranked third in the conference. Tuesday, Richmond defeated the girls, 52-45, but the Lady Vikings turned it around later in the week, and they will be hoping to finish the season strong after coming off of a 52-15 win against Hoke on Friday night. 

Tuesday at Southern Lee (3-12). Tip-off is at 6 p.m.

Thursday at Pinecrest (13-5). Tip-off is at 6 p.m.

SCC Flyers Men’s Basketball 21-6 (8-0)

The Flyers continue dominating their conference and adding to their winning streak. On Tuesday, the Flyers defeated Hosanna Bible College, 93-83. Thursday, they blew out Wren College, 125-67. Saturday, they got back to conference play defeating Oxford College of Emory at home, 87-82. They will have two conference games this week. 

Wednesday versus Central Carolina at 7 p.m.

Saturday versus Dabney S. Lancaster CC at 1 p.m.

Feature photo: The O’Neal girls swim team takes home the trophy after winning the Tri-TAC conference championship. Photo credit: Wendy Hodges.

Sandhills_Sentinel~Article by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Curtis Self.

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