Published: Mar 07, 2012 12:01 AM
Modified: Mar 06, 2012 08:36 PM
Roses to the Chapel Hill High School girls basketball team, which turned in a remarkable season and came oh-so-close in the state playoffs last week.
Facing Burlington Williams in the 3A East Regional semifinals, the Tigers trailed by 12 with just six and a half minutes left to play. They refused to give in, though. They staged a furious comeback that came up a single point short, falling 47-46.
It was a disappointing result for CHHS, but the Tigers should come away feeling good about what they accomplished this year.
Chapel Hill was dominant from start to finish, outscoring its opponents by an average of 25 points. The Tigers reached the No. 1 ranking and finished the season with more victories than any team in school history at 27-3.
The future looks mighty bright, too. Not only does Coach Sherry Norris return all but two players from this year's varsity squad, but the CHHS junior varsity girls were phenomenal. They put together an undefeated season at 15-0, and get this: their smallest margin of victory all year was 22 points.
Roses, while we're at it, to Coach Roy Williams and the North Carolina men's basketball team, for capturing the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season title and the top seed in this weekend's ACC Tournament in what was, for Tar Heel fans, the most satisfying fashion possible: By blowing Duke out on the Blue Devils' own court.
Point guard Kendall Marshall led Carolina with 20 points and 10 assists as the Tar Heels bolted to a 24-point halftime lead, held off the inevitable Duke run and rolled to an 88-70 victory. As everyone knows, the victory not only broke the tie atop the ACC standings but served as redemption for the Game That Shall Not Be Mentioned last month at the Smith Center.
Now it's on to the ACC tourney in Atlanta.
Roses to Tom Stanfa, who teaches Honors English II at Chapel Hill High School.
Stanfa was recently named the state Teacher of the Year by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He advances now to national competition.
One of his students' signature projects during the past year was a DVD documentary about World War II inspired by Alex Kershaw's book "The Bedford Boys," which tells the true story of the small Virginia town of Bedord, which lost 19 young men in the first terrible minutes of D-Day.
Stanfa's students made a trip to Bedford, interviewed soldiers and their families and produced the documentary in collaboration with an Advanced Placement History class and a Web Design and Audio Engineering class. Stanfa and one of his students, junior Garcian D'Cruz, were invited to speak at the10th anniversary ceremony for the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford. Few jobs any of us do are more important than educating and inspiring young people. So kudos to Stanfa, who happens to be picking up where CHHS history teacher Bill Melega left off: Melega was the VFW's National Teacher of the Year last year.
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