Area Sports Briefs

Havelock’s Jim Bob Bryant has been named The Associated Press prep football coach of the year after guiding his program to a third straight state 3A championship.

Bryant earned the AP honor for the second time in three seasons after a 16-0 season that ended with a win against Concord.


Bryant earned seven of a possible 13 votes from sports writers across the state in results released Tuesday.

North Rowan’s Joe Nixon was second in the voting with three votes after guiding his program to a 13-1 record to set a school single-season record for wins.

North was 8-4 in Nixon’s debut in 2012. North was 5-7, 1-10, 5-7, 6-6 and 4-8 in the five seasons before Nixon was hired.

Eastern Wayne’s Bubba Williams and Morganton Freedom’s Blair Hardin also received votes.

Bryant was quick to deflect credit, saying “a head coach is only as good as his assistant coaches and players.”

“We all kind of worked together to build our program from the ground up,” he said.

Bryant was first named coach of the year in 2011 after guiding Havelock to a 16-0 record and a state title in his fourth season. Before that run, he was focused on trying to get his team to take the next step after losing to Eastern Alamance in the state semifinals for two straight years.

Now he’s working to keep the Rams on top.

Havelock has won 47 of 48 games over the past three seasons, losing only to New Bern last year. The 2012 team ended the year with a 55-21 win against Concord, then closed this season with a rematch with the Spiders.

Concord led 10-0 early in the second quarter of the 3-A final before Derrell Scott — who was named to the AP All-State team Monday — broke free for a 51-yard score. It was the first of three straight for Scott that put Havelock in control on the way to a 21-13 win.

Bryant said his players held each other accountable and the seniors who had helped the program to that ‘11 title were strong leaders.

“When they take the field, our kids expect to win,” Bryant said. “It’s like I tell them every week: if we play well, we’re going to win. If we don’t play good, we’re going to lose. No matter what the other team does, if we can control what we can control — which is Havelock — I think we’ll win each week.”

Local golf

Lee Ketner, 83, made a double eagle at McCanless.

Ketner used his driver on his second shot on the par 5 No. 18 hole and holed the shot from 180 yards out.

He was playing with Gene Seaford, Kristi Laton, and Charles Roberts as part of the “Quarter Bunch.”

• Troy Beaver (Salisbury) tied for 43rd in the 6th Carolinas Young Amateur held in Pinehurst.

Beaver shot 80-76 — 156.

Overseas hoops

Junior Hairston (West Rowan, Towson) averaged 24.4 points and 15.5 rebounds in his first seven games for Stjarnan in Iceland.

• Carlos Dixon (South Rowan, Virginia Tech) is averaging 19.8 points and 7.2 rebounds for the Gunma Crane Thunders in Japan. Dixon scored 28 on Sunday.

• Donald Rutherford (Catawba) is averaging 19.2 points and 7.7 rebounds for A.S. Ramat Hasharon in Israel.

Women’s hoops

Radford’s Ayana Avery (West Rowan) made four 3s and scored a career-best 24 points in Monday’s 67-66 loss to Coastal Carolina.

• Catawba plays Anderson at home at 2 on Saturday, and Livingstone plays at home at 5:30 vs. Bowie State.


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