Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Varsity Women's Soccer Team Comes Together to Benefit Pigford Family

The Varsity Women's soccer team put on a spaghetti dinner at HCA Wednesday, March 11th. The Lady Crusaders came together to benefit the Pigford family who recently lost their home to a house fire. The team raised over $4,000 that will go to help the Pigford family. 

Anna Pigford is a member of the HCA soccer team her "HCA Family" wanted to do something to help out. Senior soccer player, Margaret Clark stated, "On behalf of the soccer team, I would like to thank everyone who helped, donated, or participated in our spaghetti dinner to raise money for the Pigford family tonight! God is so good and collectively we raised over $4,000! Words can't describe how blessed we are that we were presented with the opportunity to help not only a member of our school, but also a member of our soccer family. Thank you to everyone who came out and made it the success it was!!!"

The soccer team has also been working hard as a "family" on the field as well. the Crusaders are off to a 3-0 start and will look to continue their success and vie for a state championship in May.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Varsity Women's Basketball Season Wrap Up

Don't Judge a Book by it's  Cover

The Varsity Women's Basketball team shattered all preseason expectations for the 2014-15 season. Before the beginning of the season, many people believed that the Lady Crusaders would struggle throughout the season and not be able to compete in conference play. Despite the negative preseason buzz the Lady Crusaders played with heart all throughout the season and finished with a 16-5 record.

Crusader players celebrate after a close victory over Cape Fear Academy.
The Crusaders dominated throughout the first part of the season by winning nine out of their first ten games. The Ladies' success did not slow down once conference play heated up. Conference play, however did bring tougher competition that challenged the Crusaders. HCA's second loss of the season came in a heartbreaking, 46-42, loss at Fayetteville Christian. The Lady Crusaders bounced back by winning their next five games including a 44-39 victory over Fayetteville Christian. The Crusaders closed out the regular season with a loss on senior night to the Fayetteville Academy Eagles. HCA sought out revenge on the Eagles by defeating them 32-27 in the semifinals of the Coastal Rivers Conference Tournament. After the Lady Crusaders' exhilarating win over the Eagles, HCA was outmatched by a familiar foe, Fayetteville Christian, in the conference tournament championship game.

The Lady Crusaders went on to earn the #11 seed in the NCISAA Division II State Playoffs where they faced off against the #6 seeded Asheville Christian Academy. HCA came up short against the Lions ending their season early.

Despite the team's loss early in the playoffs, the Lady Crusaders claimed the title of the Coastal Rivers Conference Regular Season Runners-up as well as the Coastal Rivers Conference Tournament Runners-up.

Margaret Clark rises up for a layup.
The Crusaders were led all year by sophomore Emily Benton who averaged just under 14 points per game. Senior Margaret Clark improved her game throughout the year by contributing on the offensive end with 10 points per game. As a team the Crusaders averaged scoring 41 points per game. The Crusaders had many players receive honors throughout the season. Emily Benton, Margaret Clark, Natalie Hardin, and Mikaela Stroud were named to the Coastal Rivers Conference All-Conference Team. Emily Benton and Mikaela Stroud were also named to the Coastal Rivers Conference All-Tournament Team.

The Lady Crusaders will look to replace many key seniors ( Jessi-Kate Batts, Margaret Clark, Rylie Evans, Natalie Hardin, and Ashley Usher) next year as they hope to contend for a conference title as well as a bid into the NCISAA State Playoffs. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Varsity Men's Basketball Season Wrap-up

Quate Mckinzie rises above the rim in the Crusaders'
season opener against Carolina Friends School.
The Harrells Christian Academy Varsity Men's basketball lived up to all of the preseason hype in the 2014-15 season. The Varsity Men dominated throughout the majority of the year and closed out the season with a 20-5 record.

The Crusaders started out the season on a rampage by defeating their first three opponents by an average of just under 27 points. The Crusaders' momentum was quickly halted when they lost to a sharpshooting Cary Christian team who defeated the Crusaders 57-55 in a close back and forth battle.

The Crusaders did not let the close loss phase them, however as they came back and cruised to victory in their next game by defeating, conference opponent, Arendell Parrott Academy 60-54.

Following the team's win over Parrott Academy the Varsity Men faced one of their biggest tests of the regular season. The Crusaders faced off against Freedom Christian at home. The star studded Patriots featured many talented athletes that eventually outmatched the Crusaders in the end handing them their second loss of the season, 70-64.

The Crusaders went on to win another game before yet another tough regular season test. The Crusaders took on, at the time, undefeated West Brunswick High School in the Cape Fear Academy Holiday Invitational. The Crusaders dropped a 63-61 heartbreaker to the Trojans. The Crusaders used the close loss as momentum heading into the rest of the season.

After the loss to the Trojans the Crusaders went on a 15 game winning streak that thrived during conference play, the conference tournament, and into the opening rounds of the NCISAA Division II State Playoffs. During the Crusaders' streak they claimed the Coastal Rivers Conference Regular Season Title with an undefeated regular season conference record of 10-0. The Crusaders also cruised through the conference tournament that was capped off with a 77-38 victory over Fayetteville Christian in the championship game of the Coastal Rivers Conference Tournament. 

The Crusaders headed into the NCISAA Division II State Playoffs as a #12 seed where they faced off against the #5 seeded Freedom Christian. HCA pulled away from the Patriots in the closing stages of a grudge match to clinch the 62-51 victory. 
The Varsity Men's basketball team celebrates with fans after
their 11 point victory over Freedom Christian.

The Crusaders then traveled to Asheville to take on, rival, Davidson Day in the quarterfinals of the state playoffs. The Crusaders trailed for the majority of the game but edged their way back in the closing minutes of regulation to force not one but two overtimes. The Crusaders went on to defeat the Patriots 65-60 in double overtime to advance to the Final Four of the NCISAA Division II State Playoffs.

In the Final Four, the Crusaders faced off against the #1 seeded Northside Christian Academy. The Knights took control from the outset of the game by pressuring the Crusaders which led to easy layups on the offensive end. The Knights' main weapon, however was their three point shooting abilities. They were on fire from behind the arc which led to an easy 83-56 win over the Crusaders.

Despite their loss to Northside, the varsity men's basketball team made school history by appearing in back to back Final Fours of the NCISAA State Playoffs in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons.

Sophomore point guard Tyshii Scarborough served as the glue
to the Crusader offensive attack all year.
The Crusaders created a balanced scoring attack all year that resulted in three players who averaged scoring in double figures. The Crusaders were led by Quate Mckinzie who averaged just under 17 points per game. Among other high scoring Crusaders were, sharpshooter, CJ Kirchoff who averaged 12 points per game along with Marcus Scarborough who averaged 11 points per game. The Crusader offense was held together all year by sophomore point guard, Tyshii Scarborough. Scarborough ranked sixth in the state of North Carolina in assists per game with 7. 

Many Crusader players received honors throughout the season. Spencer Cooke, CJ Kirchoff, Quate Mckinzie, Marcus Scarborough, and Tyshii Scarborough were all named to the Coastal Rivers Conference All-Conference Team. CJ Kirchoff, Quate Mckinzie, Marcus Scarborough, and Tyshii Scarborough were also named to the Coastal Rivers Conference All-Tournament Team. Quate Mckinzie was named the Coastal Rivers Conference Player of the year as well as being named to the NCISAA Division II All-State Team. Seventh year head coach, Clayton Hall, was named the Coastal Rivers Conference Coach of the Year.

Looking forward to the 2015-16 season, the Varsity Men will look to vie for a State Championship as the Crusaders only lose four seniors in Spencer Cooke, Tristan Crumpler, Evan Hardison, and Justin Smith. Next year, the Crusaders will be under the leadership of their three leading scorers in the 2014-15 season- Quate Mckinzie (16), CJ Kirchoff (12), and Marcus Scarborough (11). HCA will look to put all of these intangibles together to contend for a State Championship in the 2015-16 season.