By: Chris Long
The calendar has turned to December and, along with the holiday spirit, winter sports are in full swing. With Heritage High School having a multitude of strong winter sports, it is no surprise that the season is off to a successful start for all of the winter teams.
While the conference season has just started, the Huskies are already off to an undefeated start. The biggest win of the season by far came on December 9th when the Huskies defeated Cap-8 conference rival Leesville by a score of 66-61. That night Jarren McAllister led the scoring with 20 points, and Jayden Gardner was second in points with 19. The biggest points of the night came, however, with less than a minute left. Down by 1 and off of a broken play, Ian Hinkley picked up the ball, stepped back, and drilled a 3 to silence the Leesville crowd. After the Husky defense forced a Leesville stop on the other end of the court, Colton Reed converted an old fashioned 3 point play to give the Huskies the 4 point lead. When time ran out, the Huskies had a 5 point lead and the win. The Huskies then easily defeated Sanderson 70-32 on Tuesday December 13th. Now, the Huskies look towards one of the country’s premier holiday tournaments in the John Wall Holiday Invitational, which will take place at Broughton High School on December 27-29. Heritage will take on Southern Durham in the first round, but it is possible that the tournament will become an early season Cap-8 tournament. Broughton, Leesville, Millbrook, and Heritage are all in the same bracket, setting up the chance that the final 2 rounds could be “non-conference” Cap-8 games.
Women’s basketball is also off to a great start. While the Huskies did have an early season loss, it was an overtime loss at the hands of undefeated Southeast Raleigh. Other than the Southeast game, the women’s team has breezed through their schedule, winning by a combined score of 332-200. The women’s team has also just started the conference season. Their first conference win came at Leesville, where the team built a large lead and held on to the end. The second conference win was against Sanderson, where the team was completely dominant. The Huskies forced a running clock just after halftime, and won by a score of 58-14. Also over winter break, the Lady Huskies will participate in the John Wall Holiday Invitational. The women’s tournament is broken up into four team brackets and the Lady Huskies are in a bracket with Hillside, Roxboro Community School, and Green Hope.
The swim team is in the midst of 3 meets in 3 weeks, and the first two have been very successful. The men’s team won their meet on December 5th, beating Leesville, East Wake, and Southeast Raleigh. The women were second to reigning Cap-8 champion Leesville on December 5th, but were able to beat Southeast Raleigh and East Wake. Individual event winners at the meet included Chris Long in the 200 and 500 free, Anthony Maxwell in the 200 IM and 100 breast, Brendon Sadlowski in the 100 back, and Robert Horvath in the 100 fly. On December 12th, the Huskies swam against Wakefield, Wake Forest, and Leesville. On the men’s side Heritage beat Wake Forest and Leesville (by 1 point) but lost to Wakefield. The women defeated Wakefield and Wake Forest, but lost to Leesville. One of the highlights of the meet included the men’s 100 breastroke in which Anthony Maxwell set a new school record with a time of 101.76. The men’s 400 free relay, made up of Robert Horvath, Evan Doherty, Chris Long, and Anthony Maxwell, also had a great race. The relay put up a time of 3:30.00, which is less than a second off of the school record set in 2012. The Husky’s last meet of the calendar year is on December 19th against Clayton, Southeast Raleigh, and Athens.
The wrestling Huskies are also off to a great start. Most recently the Huskies defeated Enloe in a conference duel 63-17 on Wednesday night, December 15th. The Huskies won 11 of the 14 individual matches, 9 by a pin. Evan Yatsko, Billy Bosse, Jonathan Chester, Sheriff Njie, Charlie Barefoot, Nate Lyons, David Halatek, Joseph Vickers, Josiah Brown, and Ryan Handibode all won their individual matches against their Enloe counterparts by a pin. The Huskies also defeated Sanderson 60-21 in a duel on December 7th. The wrestling Huskies don’t only participate in dual meets, they also participate in invitationals over the weekend. On December 10th the Huskies traveled to Knightdale to take part in the Iron Knight invitational. The team finished 3rd, behind Kellam High (Virginia Beach, VA) and Carrboro. Some of the highest finishing individual Huskies included Anthony Brito (145 lb 1st place), Nate Lyons (182 lb 3rd place), Sheriff Njie (152 lb 1st place), and Michael Russo (132 lb 3rd place). The Husky’s final duel meet of the calendar year is at Wake Forest on December 21st, and their final competition of the calendar year is over Christmas break in the Holiday Invitational at Chapel Hill High School.