Raiders ready for basketball season

Published 5:42 pm Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Senior Abbey Cutler is one of four returning starters for the Lady Raiders. (Submitted)

Basketball season starts next week for the Pungo Christian Academy girls and boys teams. Both have several starters back and the girls are looking for their third consecutive trip to the 1A Final Four.

Girls: The two-time defending Tar Heel Independent Conference regular season and tournament champions return four of their five starters from last season led by reigning Conference Player of the Year and All State selection Reagan Stoop. Stoop was the Lady Raiders leading scorer and rebounder a season ago, averaging 19 points and 13 rebound per game. Fellow senior Abbey Cutler was also All-Conference for the Raiders and will be joined in the back court with junior Ginny Grace Pugh. The guard duo combined for 14 points and 8 rebounds a game last season. Also returning from last year’s team are senior forwards Ashley Williford, Kelly Williford and Bailey Cox. The newcomers are juniors Alden Taylor, Katie Baxter, Reagan Walker and Kaitlyn Williamson. The Lady Raiders are coached by Kelly Rouse.

Boys: PCA went 14 – 13 last season and were runners up in the TIC regular season and tournament. Davis Lee is the only senior in the group, with juniors Maddox Lee, Bo Spencer, Austin Garrish and Drew Van Staalduinen also returning. Maddox Lee and Drew Van Staalduinen were All-Conference selections last year. Lee led the team in scoring with 17 points a contest while Van Staalduinen led the team in rebounds with nine a game. Newcomers will be juniors Jay Askew, Brandon Tooley, Braden Armstrong and Quay Artis along with sophomore Evan Woolard. Artis, a Northside transfer, was second on the Panthers in scoring last year at 12 points a game and will take over the reins at point guard this year. The Raiders are coached by Logan Van Staalduinen.

The season tips off on Tuesday, Nov. 15 against Washington Montessori. The Raiders non-conference slate is highlighted with trips to John Paul II and Community Christian. Pungo will also host Rocky Mount Academy and Crossroads Christian in their two biggest home non-conference games.