Saturday, February 28, 2015

Natalie Hardin Becomes 4th HCA Athlete to be Named "Star Athlete of the Week"

For 17-year-old Harrells Christian Academy senior Natalie Hardin, sports is something that she has loved to play for years.

“I like all sports,” the three-sport (basketball, soccer and volleyball) Crusader star said Wednesday. “I am currently playing basketball (at point guard) and we have really gelled this season ... we are really close.”

The team, coached by Wayne Cannady, played in the state playoffs during one of the coldest weeks in Sampson County in the last decade.

“It is exciting to be 16-4 right now,” she said. “We lost a lot of our seniors coming into this year and no one really expected us to play this well because we basically have a whole new starting line-up. We are very close as a team and everyone is working hard and having a good time.”

When told she has been named this week’s Performance Auto/Sampson Weekly Star Athlete of the Week, Hardin said she was stunned.

“I ... really ... I am just really surprised by this,” she said. “I really didn’t even know I was nominated for this. I will tell you, it makes me feel pretty good to know that someone is looking out for me and thinking that I am worthy of this award.”

Hardin, who lives in Elizabethtown with her parents, Wilt and Tracy, as well as two younger sisters, Ashley and Heather, said she transferred to Harrells just two years ago.

“To be honest, it has been one of the best experiences of my life,” she admitted. “As soon as I came here
to Harrells, the people here made me feel like I have been here for years. You know, you see the teachers here sacrificing their time to help students, including me. They come in early and stay late to help you ... the coaches here do the same. When you have supportive people like that around you, it helps you grow, not just as a player, but as a person as well.”

Which is why her final year at Harrells will be bittersweet.

“I feel like I am going to do well,” she said. “But I know that I am going to miss my family (when I am away at college) and that makes me feel sad. I am going to miss my Harrells family too. We are all really close- knit at this school and I love being around everyone here because everyone has been so good to me. I am going to miss my close friends and I know that we will be friends forever, but we will be going our separate ways and will never be as close as we are now ... that is going to be sad. I am going to try and do what my mother told me, to just enjoy everything that I can in these final months.”

Hardin began playing recreational sports when she was about 4-years-old. “I played recreation ball and then played in middle school as well,” she explained. “In volleyball I played outside hitter; in basketball I play point guard, and in soccer, I play midfielder. If I had to pick a favorite, I would say it would be soccer.”

Why soccer?

“I don’t know why, really,” she admits. “I think because it just comes natural to me to play soccer. I have to work hard to play basketball and volleyball. I have always loved to play soccer because it just comes
naturally to me.”

Hardin is also working hard in the classroom. The straight ‘A’ student says she wants to go to college.
“Right now, I am undecided on what college I want to go to,” she admits, “but I want to double major in media/communications and Spanish. I like to talk to people and I would love to get into sports broadcasting at some point.”

Despite her talent in three-sports, Hardin said that she wants to concentrate on her studies while at college.
“I will stay active,” she explains, “I will probably get involved with intramural athletics while I am there. But really I want to focus on my studies while I am there.”

In 10 years, Hardin said her dream is that she hopes to have a successful career and to be happy.
“I want to be financially stable,” she said. “I hope that I will have a family by then too ... I just really hope that whatever I am doing, I have a happy home.”

She continues, “My parents instilled a great work ethic in me and I think playing sports helps because you have to work hard and when you are out there, you have to do it. You have to work hard to do well in life ... My mother has always told me to just go out there and be the best that you can be. That is all you can do.”

For right now, she is doing just that.

Although she doesn’t get much free time - with school, practices, games and homework- Hardin averages about 15 hour days working and practicing.

“I have long days,” she says with a laugh. “I put in a lot of work ... But when I do get free time, which is very rare, I like to hang out with my friends ... but to be honest, I really don’t have a lot of free time.”

When asked if she has any advice for any upcoming student/athletes, Hardin said she has some really good advice. “You have to be confident in yourself. You have to remember that just because you are a freshman or you are younger, you are just as important as anyone else and you have every right to be where you are. You just have to believe in yourself.”

Hardin said that all of her successes can be attributed to the people who have surrounded her with their love and support.

“My mom and dad have always been there for me,” she said. “All of my family members have been there for me and I just want to thank them all for that. I would like to thank all of my coaches who took the time with me to push me to do well. Especially Mr. Cannady for believing in me and taking the time to help me and guide me into being a better player and person.” 

All credit for this article goes to the Sampson Weekly

Other Crusader Athletes to be named the Sampson Weekly Performance Auto Star Athlete of the Week include OH Rouse, Ashley Usher, and Andrew Miller

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Varsity Men Take Down Freedom Christian in Opening Round of State Playoffs

The Varsity Men's Basketball team celebrates with fans after the game.
The Varsity Men's basketball team traveled to Fayetteville Friday, February 20 to take on Freedom Christian in the opening round of the NCISAA Division II State Playoffs. The Crusaders defeated the Patriots 62-51 in a back and forth affair.

The Patriots jumped out to a quick start by outscoring the Crusaders 10-3 in the first five minutes of the first quarter. The Crusaders could not get any shots to fall. Under the leadership of senior Spencer Cooke, the Crusaders were able to battle back and cut the Patriot lead to 13-12 heading into the second quarter. The Crusaders continued their momentum in the second quarter behind CJ Kirchoff who was on fire from three point range after a slow start. The Crusaders' great ball movement enabled Kirchoff to drain a couple three pointers from his "sweet spot" in the corner which eventually led to a Patriot timeout after the Crusaders extended their lead to 22-15 with 3:40 left to play in the half. The Crusaders held Freedom to just seven points in the second quarter and headed into the half with a 27-20 lead over the Patriots. In the midst of one of the Crusaders' star players, Quate Mckinzie, only being able to record two points in the first half the Crusaders had to look for other scoring options. CJ Kirchoff stepped up for the Crusaders by scoring 11 points. Spencer Cooke also contributed 9 points heading into the half.

The Crusaders started the second half with the ball and began to pull away but the Patriots did not stay down for long. Freedom forced multiple turnovers which led to easy fast break buckets at the other end. The Crusaders headed into the final quarter of play with a slender 40-38 lead. After a couple of traded baskets by both teams the Crusaders gained some momentum after a made three pointer by CJ Kirchoff which was followed by a slam dunk by Quate Mckinzie who came alive in the second half. The Patriots continued to fight but could not cut the Crusader lead below five points for the remainder of the game. The Crusaders closed out the game fittingly with yet another slam by Quate Mckinzie and finally a made three pointer by CJ Kirchoff with 50 second left to play. In the midsts of Crusader fans on their feet roaring, the final buzzer sounded to clinch the Crusader 62-51 victory over the #5 seeded Freedom Christian Academy Patriots.

CJ Kirchoff led the Crusader scoring attack with 17 points. Kirchoff coined multiple timely three pointers throughout the game that swung the momentum back into the Crusaders favor. After a slow first half, Qaute Mckinzie fought through triple teams in the second half to finish with 16 points on the night. Marcus Scarborough penetrated into the lane all night and drained a couple clutch three pointers to finish the game with 10 points.

With the Crusaders' 11 point victory over Freedom Christian the Varsity Men improved to 19-4 on the season. The Crusaders will travel to Asheville next Thursday, February 26 to take on Davidson Day in the second round of the NCISAA Division II State Playoffs.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Andrew "Joey" Miller Joins Slate of Crusader Athletes to be Named "Star Athlete of the Week"

Being a sports lover is something that comes easy to Harrells Christian Academy senior Andrew Miller.

If you have followed Crusaders over the last two years, you have seen Miller’s work in newspapers - including The Sampson Weekly - read his blogs and also followed his scoring summaries on Twitter.

If you are a fan of Harrells Christian Academy Athletics, Miller, who is officially called HCA’s Director of Sports Communications, is one of the unsung heroes of the school.

Hero is too strong of a word, says the humble 17-year-old. “Well I just kind of jumped into it,” he said. “I started the Twitter page to keep people informed on how we are doing. Our teams (especially football) have to travel to Charlotte and some people just can’t get there. So I started the Twitter page, just thinking I may have about 100 people –maybe -but it turned out a lot of people have been following it.”

In fact, Harrells Twitter page has 400-plus followers.

If you have been to any of the Crusader home games, it is Miller’s voice you hear announcing the starting line-ups for the teams.

“I try to make it a big production,” he says. “With basketball, we try and do intro videos for the boys and girls. We try and make it into a major production.”

So impressed with his hard work and effort, officials from Harrells Christian Academy nominated Miller for this week’s Performance Auto/Sampson Weekly Star Athlete of the Week.

When told of the honor, Miller says he is stunned.

“I had no idea,” he admits. “I am just the guy who writes the articles ... I am really surprised; I just had no idea. To know that someone has nominated me for this, it makes me feel really good.”

“It is a lot of work and a lot of late nights,” he admits. “But when you are walking the hallways and players say they read your work or liked what you wrote about them, it means a lot. To know that they appreciate what you do ... that means everything. It makes it all worth it.”

The behind-the-scenes work that Miller puts in is something that keeps him focused too.
“It really pushes me to another level,” he admits. “I have to meet deadlines and get things done in order. For me, it really balances everything out.”

Born to Sandy and Gregory Miller, Andrew grew up living in Burgaw. He also has an older brother, Nathan, who is a senior at N.C. State University.

“I have always been around sports,” Miller said. “We have always had season tickets to N.C. State football and basketball games and I get a lot of my ideas from them and the way that their media department handles those teams with the production. I have just always loved sports. When my brother played at Harrells, I was water boy. In fact, if you look back at some of the old pictures (from Harrells) you can see a kid in a white shirt on the sidelines with the water (laughs) ... that is me. So, I have always been around it.”
Ironically, for someone who loves football, Miller was told he would never be able to play it.

“I was born with an enlarged heart,” he explains. “So, I was told that I would never be able to participate in playing the game. I grew up knowing that. But I did play JV basketball and I love playing baseball, which I will play again this year. Our baseball team made it to the state championships last year and lost in a 3-game series. But this year, we are going to have a good team too. So hopefully we will be vying for the state title this year.”

But don’t let him fool you, Miller noted that his senior year is going to be a bittersweet one for him. In that, he is trying to savor every last moment to enjoy his final year of school.

“You know, some days I think that I am ready for the year to end,” he said, “but then I think how hard it is going to be. I was just thinking that the basketball team is in the playoffs and to think that this will be the last time that I will be announcing the starting line-ups at the game for them - It is going to be hard.”

Although his parents are CPA’s and his brother is going to school for accounting as well, Miller, who has already been accepted to Campbell University and UNC-W (he will hear back from N.C. State in March), said that he is going to college for Communications.
“I want to start to make connections and just have the opportunity to get my foot in the door,” Miller said. “That is what I want to do for a career – something in professional sports media. That is my dream. I am hoping to start working with one sports team and to just go from there.”

He has already started showing that professionalism when he gets behind the microphone to introduce players at Crusader games.

“I like to get dressed up for the games,” he explained. “I wear a blazer and a tie to the games. It makes it more professional. When you do that and carry yourself a certain way (professionally) it shows respect for what you are doing and, really, for yourself.”

One group that Miller is very aware of is the younger students at Harrells.

“It is important for me to give back to this school and my community because of the kids,” he said. “I am 6 foot 2 inches and if I see a kid I will say ‘hi’ or give them a high-five because every kid wants to feel included. We all do.”

When asked what he will miss most about Harrells Christian Academy, Miller said that it is hard to put into words.

“Always be thankful for opportunities that you are blessed with,” he said without hesitation. “When you get it, take advantage of it. Look at me, I was told sports wasn’t an option when I was little and I turned it around and made it so I can still be involved with sports. You just have to make it happen. All you have to do is work hard.”

In addition to his family, Miller said that he wanted to send special ‘thank yous’ to some other special people.

He also wanted to thank the athletic department at Harrells.

Miller is the perfect example of making the most of his opportunities, but it also helps that he has the ambition and drive to make sure that all of his future dreams will come to fruition. We wish him the best of luck in all of his endeavors.

Other Crusader athletes who have been named the Sampson Weekly Performance Auto Star Athlete of the Week include OH Rouse and Ashley Usher

All credit for this article goes to the Sampson Weekly

Although he does play baseball (second baseman) for the Crusaders and played JV basketball for two years, Miller said that he is most at home working as sports director for the teams.

Another reason why that is important to him is because he knows that others are watching him work.
“You don’t know what kind of impact you are making on someone,” he said. “If you hold yourself to a higher level, kids will follow in those footsteps. I want to set a good example when I do what I do. Because you just don’t know who will be watching ...”

For his Eagle Scout project (in Boy Scout Troop 242 out of Burgaw) Miller built an archery range (Camp Kirkwood) and a shed. Which is still used by his community.

Which is exactly why leaving the school in the next couple of months will be hard for him.

“Well, I will miss a little bit of everything,” he explains. “From being around all the teams and all of the happiness and celebrations after a win, to really, the family aspect of being here at Harrells. I have been around the same people for the past 13 years and it is truly like family to me and in being part of that ‘family’ ... I am going to miss it.”
Is there a piece of advice he would give to a younger student coming into high school?

“Well, I have to thank Gina Strickland,” he said. “She is the one who told me that I had a gift for writing when I was in the 10th grade. She saw a gift in me and I thank her for that.”

“I have to thank all the coaches for allowing me to get in and be part of the teams and the student-athletes at the school, without them, I wouldn’t be able to do anything. I have been blessed to be able to continue to cover them and they are really good teams that have had success and that has really helped too.”

Ashley Usher: Proud to be a Christian Crusader

Harrells Christian Academy senior Ashley Noelle Usher has been named this week’s Performance Auto/Sampson Weekly Star Athlete of the Week.

While she is currently playing basketball for the Christian Crusaders, she said she was proud of the way the schools’ volleyball team finished the season.

“Our team started off a little rough,” the 18-year-old says diplomatically, “but we really came together towards the end of the season.”

Although she said she wasn’t expecting to be named Star Athlete of the Week, Usher said she was excited to earn the honor.
“I was really excited to get it,” she admitted. “It feels good to know that all the hard work and dedication that has been put into the sport that I love has paid off. However, I wouldn’t be the athlete that I am without my teammates and my coaches.”
Born in Watha, N.C. the three-sport star (including basketball and softball) has been attending Harrells Christian Academy since kindergarten.

She got interested in sports at around the age of four. “That is when I started playing softball and I have been playing ever since,” she explained.

“Unfortunately, there weren’t any programs around for me to play basketball and volleyball at a younger age. (Because) I definitely would have played if I could have.”

Usher said that she first got involved with volleyball when she was in the seventh grade.

“It was really the earliest time I was able to,” she said. “My sister played volleyball and my mama coached for a little while, so I was at all of her games and practices ... I was able to be exposed to it, really, since I was in the third grade.”
Once she got on the court, she felt at home.

“There’s not really one specific thing that I love about it, because I love everything about it,” Usher explained. “I’ve always had a passion for the sport and nothing beats the feeling that I get when I play. But one of my favorite things about it is that it’s a team sport. A selfish person is not able to thrive on the volleyball court; it takes the whole team to play.”
For her first two years (in high school) playing for the Crusaders, Usher played setter. But she moved into a more comfortable position on the court.

“I was a setter from my seventh grade year until my junior year,” she said, “until I became a libero. I feel like a libero is really what I should have been all along. I enjoy being a libero and I feel like I really thrive in that position.”
But it is the game itself that she enjoys the most.

“I love the energy on the court,” Usher said. “There’s not any time for you to be standing still because there is always something going on. The feeling I get when I get a really good dig or when one of my teammates gets a good kill is unbeatable.”

As good as Usher is on the court, she is just as solid off of it.

“I really enjoy Science,” she said. “I guess because I want to go into the medical field, studying life and how things come about really interests me.”

Usher has taken all Honors, AP and Dual Enrollment classes and has been a member of Beta Club throughout high school. On top of that, she was a Junior Marshal last year for graduation and has maintained a 4.5 GPA throughout her high school career.

So it makes perfect sense that Usher plans on working on becoming a nurse.

“I want to be a nurse because it’s something I’ve always had a passion for,” she said. “In the next 10 years I hope to have a job at a good hospital and be successful; hopefully have a family.”

When asked if she plans on playing any sports in college, Usher says flatly, ‘no’.

“I want to focus on school once I get to college,” she explained. “But I am really going to miss it (playing sports).”
Although this is her final year at Harrells, Usher said it was her pleasure playing for them.

“It’s been an honor to be a Crusader,” she said. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the time that I’ve gotten to play sports here. The memories I’ve made and the lessons I’ve learned on the court and on the field is something that I will carry with me the rest of my life. There’s no better feeling than putting on my green and gold.”

She admits that the support that she has received from the community, teachers, fans and teammates has meant everything to her.

“They’re all really supportive and it feels good to see your teachers and fellow classmates in the stands cheering you on.”
She continued by showing some love for her family, coaches and friends.

“All I can say is thank you. I honestly wouldn’t be the person or athlete I am without all my coaches and teammates. They’ve all played a huge role in my life and they will always hold a special place in my heart. Also, to my family, I couldn’t have done any of it without you all. I’ve never been to a game that I haven’t had at least one family member at and it really means a lot. Things get really busy and overwhelming at times, but I really and truly appreciate all that you all have done for me. All of that support has meant everything to me and I wouldn’t have been able to do any of it without them.”

When asked what was the best piece of advice she has ever been given, Usher said it was from Coach Crump.

“She has always been there for me and she pushes me to be the best I can be on and off the court,” she said. “She’s been with me a really long time and she knows what I am capable of and she won’t let me settle for anything else.”

What advice would Usher pass down to an upcoming freshman player?

“Enjoy every minute of it, because it goes by way too fast,” she said. “Work hard and always give 110 percent, it will all pay off in the long run.”

Maturity at its finest. 

All credit for this article goes to the Sampson Weekly

Monday, February 16, 2015

Mike Brill Named as New Harrells Christian Academy Head Football Coach

Head Coach Mike Brill pictured with his family.
HARRELLS, N.C.- Mike Brill addressed the Harrells Christian Academy upper school student body on Monday morning, February 16. Brill expressed his excitement for the opportunity to be back on the sidelines. Brill who has been in coaching for 32 years, expressed that he would have never imagined that he would ever be at HCA but that he cannot wait to carry on the tradition of excellence not only on the gridiron but in the classroom and in the community. The team will not experience much change however under the new head coach. Brill implements the same "Wing T" offensive set that has been at Harrells since the reign of Jack Holley. Brill stated, "We are going to do the same thing Jack did. I already gave Winfred some homework. I gave him a book with nearly 100 plays and said you tell me what you call them in your system and we will go from there." Winfred Johnson, who took over as interim head coach last year, will be calling the shots against this year offensively while Brill will work to lead his troops on the defensive side of the ball. When asked about the opportunity to bring back a state title to "The Store" once again Brill stated, "1971, 1972, 1973, 1977, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 2003, 2005, 2008- Why not 2015. I'm excited for the opportunity to help these boys get a ring, but it is going to take hard work."

Brill is no stranger to the gridiron or Harrells Christian Academy as he started his football career as the quarterback at Wayne Country Day School. Brill's team faced off against the Crusaders in the conference championship where Brill says, "I lost the game." Brill threw a pass to the back of the end zone that was intercepted by a Crusader defender to seal the Crusader victory. He stated, "All I can remember is #14, he intercepted the ball and we lost which took away our chance to make it to the state playoffs." Brill went on to play baseball at Methodist University. Brill had the option to come back and play one more year of high school ball but opted to go ahead to the collegiate level. The Crusaders went on to win a state championship the next year while he was at Methodist.

After a career ending injury at Methodist, Brill transferred to East Carolina University, where he went on to earn his degree in Physical Education which presented him the opportunity to pursue a coaching career. Brill started his coaching career close to home at Warsaw Jr. High School where he served as the head football, basketball and baseball coach for three years. Brill sported a 16-2 record that resulted in three Duplin County Conference Championships as the head coach.

After his success at the Jr. High level Brill moved down the road to Wallace- Rose Hill high school where he worked under the late Jack Holley. Brill served as the Junior Varsity Head Football coach along with the title of Co-offensive coordinator at the varsity level.

After being mentored by Holley, Brill made his first appearance as a head coach at the Varsity level. Brill was hired at South Robeson High School where he produced an 89-35 record (72%) over a ten year period. During his tenure as a Mustang, Brill coached and developed the notable, Vonta Leach. Leach played under coach Brill all four years and went on to play college football at East Carolina University. After his career as a Pirate, Leach went on to the NFL where he played for the Houston Texans along with the Baltimore Ravens.

After winning seven Three- Rivers Conference Championships and leading his team to three Regional Finals in the state playoffs, Brill took over as head football coach of Lumberton High School. Brill turned around the program who recorded a losing record in 18 of 20 years to a 43-30 record over six years. Brill led his team to the playoffs in all six years as head coach and claimed the title as conference title runners up in four seasons.

After his turn around efforts at Lumberton Brill was hired as Athletic Director at Flora McDonald where he currently presides. Brill will take over as the head football coach for the Crusaders on March 2nd. Brill will look to lead the tradition-rich Crusaders to their 14th State Championship in the 2015 season.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Varsity Men Claim Coastal Rivers Conference Tournament Title

Varsity Men

The Varsity Men's basketball team claimed the Coastal Rivers Conference Tournament Title on Saturday, February 14 with a 77-38 victory over Fayetteville Christian. The Crusaders' 39 point victory featured quite possibly the team's best performance of the season. HCA jumped out to an early 27-8 advantage heading into the second quarter. The Crusaders would not look back by completely dominating all across the court. The athleticism and pressure by the Crusaders led to an eventual 77-38 victory over the Warriors. The Crusaders balanced scoring attack produced four players who scored in double figures. CJ Kirchoff led the way for the Crusaders with 24 points. Quate Mckinzie dominated all over the court by recording 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 10 blocks. Mckinzie shot 8 for 8 from the field. Marcus Scarborough totaled 13 points followed by Donta Chavious with 11 points. Tyshii Scarborough, the glue to the Crusader offense, dished out 9 assists throughout the course of the game. The Varsity Men's hard work all year paid off resulting in a 19-4 (12-0) overall record heading into the NCISAA Division II State Playoffs. The Crusaders head into the state playoffs as a #12 seed. HCA travels to Fayetteville on Tuesday, February 17 to take on #5 seeded Freedom Christian. 

In regards to playoff seeding: All teams are judged by this criteria

40- Head to head
25- Common Opponent
15- Wins against tournament teams
12- Strength of Schedule
8- Late Season Performance

The Crusaders did not beat any teams that made the tournament. Heading into the conference tournament the Crusaders were looking for a #8 seed. After the Crusaders' seeding rep saw that being a #8 seed would mean the Crusaders would play #1 seed Northside in the second round the Crusaders' seeding rep began searching for other options. Now for consideration for the #10 or #11 seed, the Crusaders would be forced to travel to Asheville instead of the final compromise of Fayetteville. Head Coach Clayton Hall felt it would serve his boys better to take on a Freedom team that they have already played against resulting in the #12 seed.

Here is complete in depth analysis on all of the teams in the playoffs:

#1 Northside Christian(22-5)
Wins - Davidson Day, @ First Assembly, Calvary Baptist, Gaston Day (3) (MAC Champ)
Loses - First Assembly
Upcoming - 
* NCA has head to head, common opp and late season over GDS

#2 Gaston Day(22-8)
Wins - Freedom Christian, @ Westchester, Asheville Christian, First Assembly (2)
Loses - @ Davidson Day, @First Assembly , Northside Christian (3)
Upcoming - None
* GDS has head to head and late season over CFA

#3 First Assembly(22-8)
Wins - Freedom Christian, Gaston Day, @ Northside Christian, @ Davidson Day, Westchester, Calvary Baptist
Loses - Northside Christian, Gaston Day (2)
Upcoming - None
* CFA has head to head over DDS and Common Opponent

#4 Davidson Day(20-9)
Wins - Gaston Day, Calvary Baptist (2), Carolina Day (2)
Loses - Northside Christian, First Assembly, Westchester, Asheville Christian,
Upcoming - None
*DDS has common opp, SOS and wins vs tourney teams over FCA

#5 Freedom Christian(20-6)
Wins - @ Village Christian, Carolina Day, Cary Christian, @ Harrells Christian,
Loses - @ Gaston Day, First Assembly, Village Christian
Upcoming - None
* FCA has common opp and late season over VCA

#6 Village Christian(18-12)
Wins - @ Asheville Christian, @ Carolina Day, @ Freedom Christian @ Calvary Baptist, @ Cary Christian
Loses - Freedom Christian, Cary Christian
Upcoming - None
*VCA has head to head and SOS over ACA

#7 Asheville Christian(20-6)
Wins - Davidson Day, Cary Christian, Carolina Day (2)
Loses - @ Gaston Day, Village Christian
Upcoming - None
*  ACA has wins over tourney teams on WCDS and SOS with win over Rabun Gap. Tied for common opp and late season performance.

 #8 Westchester Country Day(18-6)
Wins - Davidson Day, Calvary Baptist,
Loses - Gaston Day, @ First Assembly
Upcoming - None
* WCDS has late season and SOS over CCS
 #9 Cary Christian(16-9)
Wins - @ Harrells Christian, @ Village Christian (EPIC Champ)
Loses - Freedom Christian, Carolina Day, Asheville Christian, Village Christian
Upcoming - None
* CCS has wins over tourney teams, late season and common opp over CBDS and CDS

#10 Calvary Baptist(8-18)
Wins - Carolina Day
Loses - Northside Christian, @ First Assembly, Village Christian, Davidson Day (2), Westchester
Upcoming - None
*CBDS has head to head over CDS

#11 Carolina Day(16-13)
Wins - @ Cary Christian
Loses- Freedom Christian, Davidson Day(2), Village Christian, Calvary Baptist, Asheville Christian (2)
Upcoming - None
*CDS has common opp over HCA with their win over CCS as well as wins over tourney teams.
#12 Harrells Christian(18-4)
Wins - None (CRC Champ)
Loses - Cary Christian, Freedom Christian
Upcoming - None

Crusader Regular Season and Post Season Awards

Varsity Men All Conference Team Members for the Crusaders:

Quate Mckinzie
Tyshii Scarborough
Marcus Scarborough
CJ Kirchoff
Spencer Cooke

Varsity Men All Tournament Team Members for the Crusaders:

Quate Mckinzie
Tyshii Scarborough
Marcus Scarborough
CJ Kirchoff

2014-15 Coastal Rivers Conference Player of the Year:

Quate Mckinzie

2014-15 Coastal Rivers Conference Tournament MVP: 

Quate Mckinzie

Friday, February 6, 2015

Varsity Men Take Flight Against Eagles While Varsity Women Come Up Short

Varsity Men

On senior night, at the Foundation Center on the Campus of Harrells Christian Academy the Varsity Men's basketball team exploded against Fayetteville Academy to earn their tenth conference victory of the season, 74-47. The Crusaders pushed the tempo all throughout the game by forcing many turnovers that led to easy buckets in transition.

The Crusaders got out to an early lead by outscoring the Eagles 20-8 in the first quarter. The Crusaders continued their scoring success in the second quarter. HCA headed into the half with a 42-17 advantage under the leadership of CJ Kirchoff who coined four three pointers for 12 points and Quate Mckinzie who recorded 11 points.

HCA did not slow down in the second half which led to multiple fast break dunks for the Crusaders. By the end of the third quarter the Crusaders extended their lead to 30 points, 63-33. In the closing stages of the game all of the seniors earned valuable playing time. Their hard work all season paid off on their way to a 27 point victory over the Eagles. When the Crusaders have had success this year they have created a balanced scoring attack, and that is exactly what happened against the Eagles. The Crusader scoring attack produced four players in double figures. Quate Mckinzie led the way with 24 points. Mckinzie's teammates made great passes to him all night which led to a grand total of seven dunks for him throughout the course of the game. CJ Kirchoff made his mark from behind the three point arc by draining five three pointers. He finished the game with 15 points. Donta Chavious finished the game with 11 points. He was quickly followed by Spencer Cooke with 10. With the Crusaders 27 point victory over the Eagles they claim the Coastal Rivers Conference Regular Season Title. HCA closed out regular season play with a 16-3 (10-0 ) record. The Crusaders will be back in action on Friday, February 13 as they take on Fayetteville Academy in the semifinals of the Coastal Rivers Conference tournament at Parrott Academy- Game time 7:00.

Varsity Women

The Lady Crusaders struggled to find the basket all game in their heartbreaking 35-32 loss to Fayetteville Academy. A "nasty" first quarter featured a whole lot of defense and well quite honestly one made shot. The Lady Eagles edged a slight 3-0 lead heading into the second quarter after a late made three pointer by the Eagles. The second quarter did not bring much offensive efficiency either. The Lady Crusaders headed to the half down 9-8 after a two point buzzer beater by the Lady Eagles.

The second half featured a flurry of offensive production, however. At the end of the third quarter the game was tied at 20. With 1:05 left to play the Eagles made a basket to extend their lead to 32-28. The Crusaders did not find a way to convert in the closing seconds of the game which led to a 35-32 loss. Emily Benton led the Crusaders in scoring with 12 points. The Lady Crusaders loss to Fayetteville Academy dropped them to 15-3 (8-2) on the season. The Lady Crusaders take on Fayetteville Academy in the semifinals of the Coastal Rivers Conference tournament on Friday, February 13 at 5:30.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Both Varsity Teams Continue to Dominate in Conference Play with Win Over Coastal Christian

Varsity Men

The Varsity Men traveled to Wilmington on Tuesday, February 3 to take on Coastal Christian for the Centurion's final home game and senior night. The Centurions took advantage of a livid, excited crowd and jumped out to an early 15-9 lead heading into the second quarter. Coastal continued to roll in the early stages of the second quarter and extended their lead to 21-14 before a timeout with 5:47 left in the half. The Crusaders began to apply full court pressure out of the timeout which forced another Centurion timeout after the Crusaders cut the lead to 21-18 with 4:59 left to play in the half. The two teams continued to tug of war back and forth throughout the remainder of first half. The Crusaders headed into halftime with a slight 32-30 lead under the leadership of Marcus Scarborough with 9 points.

The Crusader exploded in the third quarter and deflated any hope of a Centurion victory. HCA outscored Coastal 25-5 in the third quarter and extended their lead to 57-35. The Crusaders did not let off the throttle in the fourth quarter which eventually propelled them to a 70-43 victory over the Centurions. HCA created a balanced scoring attack that featured 4 players in double figures. Senior, Spencer Cooke recorded a double double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Quate Mckinzie also recorded a double double for the Crusaders with 14 points and 12 rebounds. CJ Kirchoff totaled 14 points and was quickly followed by Marcus Scarborough who registered 12 points for the Crusaders. With the Crusaders 27 point victory over Coastal they extended their current win streak to 10 games and improve to 15-3 (9-0) on the season. The Varsity Men will be back in action in their final regular season game of the season on Thursday, February 5 as they take on Fayetteville Academy for senior night. The Crusaders defeated Fayetteville Academy 66-43 in their last meeting.

Varsity Women

The Lady Crusaders rolled past the Centurions on their senior night. HCA exploded out to and early 12-6 lead with 3:16 left to play in the first quarter. Coastal fought back and cut the HCA lead to 12-11 at the end of the first quarter. Early in the second quarter Coastal tied the game at 12 before Emily Benton scored 6 straight points for the Crusaders to extend their lead to 18-12. Once again the Centurions battled back and cut the lead to 22-18 heading into the half. 

The Lady Crusaders began to pull away in the third quarter and rolled into the fourth quarter with a 36-22 lead. HCA did not slow down in the fourth quarter and eventually clinched a 51-36 victory over Coastal Christian. The Lady Crusaders dominated in the paint where they were led by Emily Benton who totaled 18 points and Mikaela Stroud who registered 16 points. With the Crusaders victory over Coastal they improved to 15-2 (8-1) on the season. The Lady Crusaders will be back in action for senior night as they take on Fayetteville Academy in their final regular season game of the season. HCA defeated the Lady Eagles 41-37 in triple overtime in the two teams previous meeting.