Coaching change comes for Western boys

By Bob Sutton

Special to The Alamance News

Michael Graves is out as boys’ basketball coach at Western Alamance in a late-season move that apparently stemmed from a postgame incident Friday night.

Les Atkins, public information officer for Alamance-Burlington School System, termed the separation coming from Graves’ resignation.

Graves was in his seventh season, but his last game with the team came with Friday night’s 76-50 home loss to Orange. Details about what occurred after that have been murky, but Graves was no longer the team’s coach by Monday.

Graves also held a position listed as overseeing in-school suspension. He wasn’t present for that role earlier in the week at the school.

Western had two winning seasons under Graves. The Warriors were 1-24 last season.

Brandon Chrisp, the boys’ and girls’ track and field coach and assistant football coach, is in charge of the Warriors, directing his first game as interim coach with Tuesday night’s 65-50 home loss to Eastern Alamance. Former Western athlete Bo Jordan is assisting Chrisp.

“Just doing this for the kids,” Chrisp said. “Only thing we want is to be great defensively.”

The latest result put the Warriors at 8-11 overall and 2-6 in the Central 3-A Conference. After that outing, Western had five games remaining on its schedule, with the regular season ending February 16 at Southern Alamance and at least one game in the conference tournament.

Athletics director Sean Quinn, also the girls’ coach, said he wasn’t sure on the longevity of Chrisp’s role, calling the situation “day-to-day.”

Neither Chrisp, a Cummings alum, nor Jordan played high school basketball. Chrisp is an online learning facilitator at Western.

“Want to step in and help the kids,” Chrisp said. “I know them. Very close with them.”


Eagles post victory

With the coaching change at Western, Eastern had its own agenda – stay in contention for the Central 3-A Conference title. The Eagles completed a season sweep of the Warriors, but this was tougher than the first time.

“Now it’s trying to solidify our place in the conference,” Eastern coach Parrish Walker said.

Eastern (13-6, 5-2) snapped a two-game losing streak as Jayden Adams racked up 19 points and Ja’vier Tinnin had 14 points.

Jalen Alston and Adams hit second-quarter 3s to help Eastern build a 30-19 halftime lead.

“Everybody likes to make a few shots in a packed gym,” Alston said.

The next chance for the Eagles comes Friday at home vs. Williams. Walker was the Williams junior varsity coach before taking the Eastern job last summer.

“We struggled to get going with a lot of the details,” Walker said. “Hopefully, we can clean it up.”

Nick McGhee posted 20 points, Jayden Jones had 11 points for Western.