North Lenoir defeats C.B. Aycock for the first time since 2014, remains undefeated
North Lenoir is off to a strong start in 2019, winning its first four games, including Thursday’s victory over C.B. Aycock, a team the Hawks hadn’t beaten in nearly five years. Photo by Junious Smith III
PIKEVILLE — North Lenoir hasn’t lost a step in 2019 and may have picked up new dance moves.
The 2018 version was highly successful, going 20-7 with a trip to the NCHSAA 2A Eastern Regional Final before falling to Whiteville. As 10 seniors graduated from last year’s roster, others needed to fill in the gaps as the Hawks looked to win their sixth straight Eastern Carolina Conference regular-season title and make a deep playoff run.
So far, North Lenoir has answered the call, including a 7-3 win Thursday over C.B. Aycock on the road to start 4-0. The Hawks had lost eight straight against the Golden Falcons, claiming their last victory on March 27, 2014 before Thursday’s game.
North Lenoir coach Jackson Massey said the win over C.B. Aycock was a great confidence booster.
“These guys played a really good program, and made big plays when we needed them to,” Massey said. “It’s great to start our first chunk of the season 4-0, which I can’t complain about. We’ve still got some things to work on but everyone’s contributing, the defense has been sound and we’ve done a good job eliminating the big inning.”
C.B. Aycock scored the game’s first run, but North Lenoir had five over the next three innings. Although the Golden Falcons got two in the bottom of the fifth, the Hawks added insurance runs to keep their opponent at bay.
“We were persistent and kept fighting out there,” North Lenoir’s Trevor Sears said after picking up the win in his first start. “We won most of the seven innings out there today and when that happens, you usually come out with the win.”
North Lenoir’s Malik Dixon is one of the few players from last year’s team who saw major playing time, but believes there’s plenty of talent on the 2019 roster.
“We’ve played some strong programs, which should help us get ready for the conference season,” Dixon said. “Coach is always telling us to focus on going 1-0 every time, and we’ve done that so far.”
North Lenoir starts Eastern Carolina Conference play Tuesday on the road against West Craven.