Smithfield-Selma soccer, Princeton tennis teams notch wins

North Johnston’s Blayke Batten goes for the kill in the Panthers’ four-set loss against Hunt. Sheldon Vick | Special to the Johnstonian News














By Michael Held

Special to the Johnstonian News

Beddingfield tennis gets leg up on North Johnston

In an early Eastern Plains 2A Conference girls tennis matchup between two of the favorite teams to win the league, Beddingfield survived a four-hour-long match to defeat the Panthers 5-4 on the strength of its doubles teams.

After North Johnston received singles victories from Olivia Gachuz, Samantha Davis, Arial Pearce and Bella Holland, the Bruins needed to sweep all three doubles matches for the win and managed to do just that overcoming a Panthers match point in the second doubles match.

Beddingfield’s top-seeded doubles team of Karissa Hayes and Yaqueline Rangel bested North Johnston’s duo of Maira Teruel and Olivia Gachuz 8-5. Cathy Nicholson and Jaylah Moore overcame the Davis/Pearce team 9-7 before Annie Greene/Vanessa Urieta closed out the marathon match taking an 8-3 triumph over Hannah Sherrod and Holland.

“This was a very exciting and amazing match to watch,” said North Johnston coach David Anderson. “I am super proud of the effort and endurance that our Lady Panthers exhibited. We are a young team, and we just have to learn to close out matches.”

North Johnston recovered later in the week with a 9-0 shutout of Farmville Central to improve to 6-4 overall and 1-1 in the EPC.

Panthers volleyball splits pair of non-conference matches  

The North Johnston volleyball team dropped a match against Hunt while sweeping past Northern Nash last week to move its record to 4-3 entering this week’s action, which includes EPC contests at Beddingfield and at Farmville Central.

Against the Warriors, Blayke Batten’s kill late in the second set evened the match, but Hunt took advantage of some miscues to claim the third and fourth sets for the 3-1 (25-12, 22-25, 25-18, 25-18) win.

Against the Knights, the Panthers powered through to a 25-12, 25-19, 25-16 sweep.

Princeton soccer still searching for first win

The Princeton boys soccer team suffered a 9-0 defeat against North Lenoir last week extending the team’s tough start to the season as the Bulldogs enter Carolina Conference play this week with a 0-5 mark.

Junior goalkeeper Jaden Pond did make 10 saves in the defeat, upping his season total to 60 thus far.

Princeton travels to Union to start the week before hosting rival Rosewood on Wednesday.

Local runners compete at Knights Invitational

The Princeton and Smithfield-Selma cross country teams competed at the Knights Invitational in Rocky Mount on Saturday.

In the men’s race, the Spartans’ Drew Topoly finished the 5K course in 17 minutes and 48 seconds, which was good enough for a seventh-place finish. Teammate Fernando Cruz finished in 26th position with a time of 18:46 as the Spartans ended in 12th place.

For Princeton, Lane Woodall moved into sixth place in the Bulldogs all-time 5K list with a time of 18:13. For the girls’ competition, Princeton sophomores Brook Connolly and Silvia Perez finished a mere second apart to lead the Bulldogs. Princeton had 18 runners compete in all and nine personal records were set.

Bulldogs girls tennis strikes for first win

The Princeton girls tennis team won five of six singles matches and two of three doubles matches to claim its first win of the season, a 7-2 triumph over North Duplin.

Top-seeded Lauren Lawhon cruised to a 6-1, 6-2 win in her match and No. 2 Rachel Creech had no problems in her match, a 6-0, 6-0 straight set victory. Breanna Dye. Lydia Pearson and Katlyn Askew all also earned straight set wins. Lawhon and Creech teamed up for an 8-5 victory in the No. 1 doubles match and the duo of Maecy Blake/Askew easily took its match, 8-0.

The Bulldogs (1-5, 1-1) have matches against Goldsboro and Smithfield-Selma this week.

SSS soccer downs North again, moves to 5-1

Roger Salazar tallied his ninth and tenth goals of the season to lead the Smithfield-Selma boys soccer team to a 3-0 win over North Johnston. Juan Navarro accounted for the other goal while Axel Mendez-Zuniga nailed down the shutout between the posts as the Spartans downed the Panthers for the second time in seven days.

North Johnston football stung by Scorpions

The North Johnston football team fell to 2-2 on the year after losing to visiting North Brunswick (1-3) on Friday night, 28-9.

The Panthers’ offensive unit was held off the scoreboard until a late score in the final few minutes of the fourth quarter. The only other points on the night for North Johnston came via a safety early in the second quarter thanks to a bad snap on a punt attempt.

North Brunswick received rushing touchdowns from Jieem Bullock, Kwesi Clark and Demond Perry as well as a scoring toss from Robmell Lowery.

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