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from page BV,
The vast majority of people who
come to the tournament, Williams
explained, do so for reasons other than
watching basketball. He estimates that
75 percent of those CIAA visitors will
not attend a game because they know
little or nothing about the players or the
"You're far more likely to have a
packed house at one of the non-basket
ball venues," he said. "Over the years,
the CIAA Tournament has evolved.
From a basketball standpoint, it has lost
some of its luster. On the other hand, it's
gained considerable luster as a social
event. Go on the tournament website
and you're inundated with info about all
the extra-curricular events. When it
comes to finding info about basketball,
it's not so easv "
I The CI A A
has taken steps to
establish a long
with Charlotte, which has hosted
the tournament since 2006. A new
contract has been signed that will
keep the tournament in the Queen
City for another six years. Aside
from that, the Hampton, Va.-based
conference will move its headquar
ters to Charlotte in 2016. These
developments should bode well for
the tournament's future.
Still, there are challenges. Building a large enough fan
base to fill most of the 20,200 seats in Time Warner Cable
Arena (home of the Charlotte Hornets) is no easy task.
"As a Division II conference playing in an NBA arena,
you have to do other things to generate income, said
Steven J. Gaither, creator of the HBCU GameDay web
site. "Building attendance is an on-going process. The
CIAA is headed in the right direction. It's a matter of find
ing the right balance between basketball and entertain
ment. With the headquarters moving to Charlotte, it gives
the conference more opportunities to cultivate year-round
support from all segments of the community."
Basketball-wise, the men's and women's tournaments
could be wide open. On the men's side, the top four teams
in the North and South divisions finished the season tied
for first and third place.
As for the women, the North Division's top four fin
ishers were separated by one game. In the South, all eyes
will be on Livingstone's Lady Blue Bears, who were
undefeated for most of the season, but ended up
forfeiting 18 games because their best player, Kyra
Crosby, was ruled ineligible.
Livingstone, which would have been a No. 1
seed, was dropped to No. 3 after the forfeits were
factored in. Even though Crosby is out, the Lady
Doom nna off 11 oonokla
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of winning the CIAA and
advancing to Division Q's
national tournament. But
that doesn't make
Livingstone a lock to bag
Top-seed Shaw could
pose problems. The Lady
Bears only league losses
came at the hands of
Livingstone. Johnson C.
chmilrln't he over
looked either. It was the Lady Golden Bulls who
handed Livingstone its only on-the-court loss of
"Looking at how the regular season turned
out, there's an air of unpredictability in Charlotte
for this week," said Eric Moore, managing editor
of the Onnidan.com website. "Being the No. 1 seed
doesn't guarantee anything. Sometimes, top-seed
ed teams are rusty in the first round. They've had
time off with a.first-round bye and
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Another factor to consider is
the arena itself. CIAA teams don't
play in large venues like the one in
Charlotte.AVhen playing in big are
nas, depth perception can be an
issue, especially for 3-point shoot
ing. The teams that make the right
adjustments from one half to the
next and firom one game to the next
will be the teams that win."
Photo by Craif T Greenlee
WSSU's Shaquira Palmer (red band) gets ready to shoot. The Lady Rams
played Tuesday in the tournament's opening round against Chowan.
from page Bl
their credit, they played hard and never gave up.
With every game and with every practice, they
took a step forward and continued to show
3-A North Forsyth
North Forsyth proved to be one of the JV
elites this season. The Vikings (15-6) ended up
sharing the Mid-Piedmont Conference regular
season title with Asheboro. During the season,
both teams split in their two games and posted
identical 11-1 records in conference play
"Our season was efficient and productive,"
said Coach Jefferey Moore. "The players learned
how to execute in game situations and that made
a huge difference. They did a good job of chang
ing over from having a 'me' mentality to having
a team mentality."
Over the course of the season, three JV play
ers were promoted to varsity. Deante Petree
moved up after the first two weeks of the season.
David Payne joined Petree in early February and
Cameron King was called up,at the end of the JV
Caleb Pettigrew, an agile 6-foot-2-inches,
290 pounds post player, developed as a formida
ble factor in the paint. His emergence didn't hap
pen right away. It took Pettigrew, a JV football
fullback, several weeks to get fully acclimated to
"Once Caleb got in basketball shape, his con
fidence grew and he became a big playmaker,"
said Moore. "Coming down the stretch, he
played his best ball of the season."
Next week: JV season wrap-up for Class 4-A
Photos by Charles E. Leftwich
Camels guard DJ. Williams (2) elevated his level of play
over the final weeks of the season.
Caleb Burgess was the top scorer for the Phoenix at 14
points per game.
from page El
"The ultimate goal is to keep everybody healthy and
gear the training so that they peak at the right time," said
Turner. "We put a lot of emphasis on the mental approach.
They've come to understand that they've done the neces
sary work to be at their best. So, when it's time to com
pete, it's all about trusting in themselves and trusting that
the training will put them in the best position to be suc
While winning the CIAA is noteworthy, it's not a cli
max. The winter season isn't over. The Lady Rams travel
to Virginia for the Mason Last Chance Meet on Sunday.
It's their final regular-season competition prior to the
NCAA Division II Indoor National Championships sched
uled for mid-March in Birmingham, Ala. The Mason
gives WSSU's provisional qualifiers one final opportunity
to bolster their chances to make the cut for nationals.
Winston-Salem State will send at least two athletes
to Alabama. CIAA triple jump champ Tajanel McNeill
won with a leap of 40-feet, 11 % inches to guarantee her
spot as an automatic qualifier (No. 5 nationally).
Raven Covington is .05 seconds shy of automatic
qualifying in the 60-meter dash. Covington, though, won
the conference title with a time of 7.47 seconds, which is
the second-fastest time in Division II. Ada Nudaya of
New Haven (7.33 seconds) is the only runner who has
met the auto qualifying standard for that event. Given
Covington's lofty ranking among provisional qualifiers
(tied for No. 1), she'll be in the championship field for
Turner understands what it takes to compete at the
highest levels. The former world-class middle-distance
runner from Jamaica ran in the 1996 Olympics (800,
4x400 relay), brought home the gold (800) at the 1994
Commonwealth Games, then won a bronze medal for
Jamaica in the 4x400 relay at the 1997 World
As a collegian at Texas State in the mid-1990s,
Turner was a two-time NCAA outdoor champ in the 800.
Prior to that, she won back-to-back NJCAA outdoor
titles in the 800 at Barton Community College.
The philosophy that Turner preaches to her athletes
is to let performance speak for itself. It's a mantra that
she continuously reinforces.
"I make a habit to remind them that they've done the
work." she said. "Based on their own performances, they
know they can compete against anybody. There's no rea
son to fear anyone. Just stay focused, and the good
things will come."
Covington, a junior who has been hampered by ham
string injuries during her first two seasons, fully
embraces Turner's methods. The training and mindset
adjustment, she explained, has laid the foundation for
her to experience her best college season so far.
"The workouts aren't hard if your mind is straight,"
said Covington. "You learn to push past discomfort. The
pain is only temporary. When you succeed, you don't
forget about the pain you went through. What matters
most is having the willingness to do what needs to be
done. That's what enables you to accomplish whatever it
is that you desire."
Hk** by Cni| T. Oiwetoe
WSSU sprinter Raven Covington
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Ty-Leah Hampton of WSSU is a provisional qualifier
for the indoor nationals in the 60-meter dash and 4x400