•  If you look close enough, you can see the elation of the faces of the West Brunswick girls’ basketball players after their thrilling victory over North Brunswick last week in Shallotte.

    What you have to understand is that this game wasn’t supposed to be particularly close.

    Full disclosure: I expected North Brunswick to win this game comfortably. If Vegas set lines for high school sporting events, I’d guess West Brunswick would’ve entered the contest as 16-point underdogs.

  •  DUBLIN – West Brunswick junior forward Jadyn Parker made an old-fashioned three-point play early in the third quarter to give the Trojans a 32-22 lead over Whiteville in the first round of the Adidas Christmas Tournament.

    That’s about the last thing that went right for the Trojans in a 48-46 loss Dec. 27 in Dublin on the campus of West Bladen High School.

    Whiteville used a 19-4 spurt spanning the third and fourth quarters to take a 39-36 lead and the Wolfpack held on in a frenetic final minute to preserve a two-point win.

  •  West Brunswick’s varsity wrestling team had a 33-18 over Topsail and needed one more victory in the final four matches of a dual meet Jan. 3 to secure another Mideastern Conference win.

    Topsail was up to the task, securing two victories by fall, one by forfeit and one tech fall win to stun the Trojans in Shallotte by a 41-33 margin.

  •  SHALLOTTE – For three-plus quarters, North Brunswick took the fight to West Brunswick in a Mideastern Conference rivalry game Friday, Jan. 4, in Shallotte.

    Daveon Trillo-Nixon nailed a pair of free throws with 5:07 left in the game as North Brunswick claimed a 43-41 lead over the Trojans, who came into the game on the heels of a two-point loss at North Myrtle Beach (S.C.) on Jan. 2.

  •  SHALLOTTE – With less than 10 seconds left in the first half of West Brunswick’s varsity girls’ basketball game Friday, Jan. 4, against conference rival North Brunswick, junior forward Autumn Bland dribbled to her right, moved inside the paint and lofted a running hook shot perfectly through the net just before the halftime buzzer sounded.

    It was just one made shot in a game that featured plenty of highlights, but it was a play West Brunswick needed to spark a second-half rally in a 49-37 win over North Brunswick.

  •  I went to cover a county rivalry high school basketball game between North Brunswick and South Brunswick high schools last Friday night, Jan. 11, and something else happened.

    While many people champion the free-flowing, no-contact artistry of the sport of basketball, I’m a fan of the games that creep along at a snail’s pace and turn into wars of attrition.

    Boy, was I for a treat when the Scorpions and Cougars duked it out Friday night in Leland.

  •  West Brunswick High School’s wrestling team earned its most successful tournament finish of the 2018-19 season in the Pin Down Autism Super Duals in Asheboro last weekend.

    The Trojans finished in second place at the dual tournament, which was held at Uwharrie Charter Academy in the western part of the state.

  •  SHALLOTTE – After a Jadyn Parker putback off the glass with a minute left in the opening frame and a J’vian McCray free throw with 38 seconds left in the first quarter, West Brunswick had erased a three-point deficit to tie the game at 11-11.

    The Trojans would never trail again in a critical 57-53 win Jan. 8 over New Hanover in Shallotte.

  •   LELAND – North Brunswick did just about everything it could do in the final minute in a comeback effort against South Brunswick and reigning Mideastern Conference Player of the Year Jace McKenney.

    Despite being called for more than 30 fouls and South Brunswick attempting nearly 60 free throws, North Brunswick had a chance to win a varsity boys’ basketball game or send it into overtime Friday, Jan. 11, in Leland.

  •  Thanksgiving has come and gone and the Christmas rush is on. This also means that the NASCAR season, 38 races over 10 months, has come to an end with Joey Logano and his No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil team being crowned champion.

  •  After narrowly missing the playoffs in my fantasy football league (Road to Glory) a year ago, I promised myself I wouldn’t leave anything on the table this season.

    I play in a league with my oldest brother and several of my closest friends, so it’s always a great time, but it’s much, much more fun when my team is successful.

    Fortunately, I had the right recipe for success this season.

    After racing out to a 2-0 start, my team stumbled a bit as I dropped to 3-3 with a loss in Week 6.

  •  MURRELLS INLET – West Brunswick seized an 11-point halftime lead in a non-conference varsity boys’ basketball game against St. James (S.C.) on Nov. 28.

    After controlling the second quarter, it looked as if the Trojans might pull away from the Sharks in the second half.

    Instead, St. James used a 7-1 spurt to begin the third quarter, trimming the West Brunswick lead to 22-17 with more than six minutes left in the frame.

  •  LELAND – What a difference a couple of nights makes.

    Just ask North Brunswick guard Davonte Beatty about how quickly things can change.

    Two nights after shooting a 5-of-21 from the field in a lopsided loss against Clinton, Beatty scored a career-high 30 points and knocked in five 3-pointers Friday, Nov. 30, in a 75-60 victory over visiting East Bladen.

  •  SHALLOTTE – It didn’t take new West Brunswick wrestling coach Trent Taylor long to determine just how much the Caleb Hawkins Round Robin memorial tournament means to the school community.

    Taylor got his first taste of the annual event Saturday, Dec. 1, inside the West Brunswick High School gymnasium.

    The tournament is named for a West wrestler who died in his junior year of injuries he suffered as a passenger in an automobile wreck in May 2009.

  •  SHALLOTTE – Ty Johnson finished his first year as head coach of West Brunswick’s boys’ basketball program with several underclassmen playing significant minutes against the best teams in the Mideastern Conference.

    After finishing the season 12-13 and 5-9 in league play, Johnson is looking for several of those same players to help the Trojans make the leap into the league’s elite group of squads.

  •  SHALLOTTE – There’s a fresh face leading the West Brunswick girls’ basketball program, but he’s no stranger to the sidelines.

    John Lewkowicz was named the Trojans’ head girls’ basketball coach after the resignation earlier this year of Dylan Johnson, who guided the Lady Trojans to their first winning season in several years during the 2017-18 campaign.

  •  West Brunswick’s men’s basketball team suffered a 39-point loss Saturday, Nov. 24, to North Buncombe in its season opener.

    The Trojans traveled to Asheville to compete against the Black Hawks in a Coaches vs. Cancer event, which was held on the campus of The University of North Carolina at Asheville.

    North Buncombe raced out to a 28-7 advantage after one quarter and the Black Hawks never looked back, scoring 45 points in the first half alone, which was just shy of West Brunswick’s opponents’ points per game average last season.

  • I seem to always write a column during the middle of August about my excitement for the upcoming high school football season.

    As you all know, I’m a big football fan, but I genuinely love all of the fall sports I cover as sports editor here at The Brunswick Beacon.

    West Brunswick’s volleyball team improved tremendously from the beginning of the season until the final three weeks (packing eight regular-season games into the final two weeks of the regular season was great fun for everyone, I’m sure).

  •  In the last two seasons, North Brunswick head girls’ basketball coach Travis Fortune has endured both ends of the coaching spectrum.

    He guided former North Brunswick star Taylor Perkins and Co. to a conference championship during the 2016-17 campaign before enduring a rough losing season a year ago in the Mideastern Conference.

    Fortune said the Scorpions will probably fall somewhere between the success of his two most recent teams during the 2018-19 season.

  •  Alvin Thompson has worked as a boys’ high school basketball coach for most of his professional career.

    His latest stop has put him in charge of the boys’ program at North Brunswick High School, which opened the 2018-19 campaign with a 56-44 victory over Dixon on Tuesday, Nov. 20.

    “We had our football players for maybe two days of practice,” Thompson said. “I thought our kids played hard. That’s always a plus regardless of the outcome.”