On the day of the biggest regular-season game of the year for the Harnett Central varsity girls basketball team, senior Michaela Cabe signed to continue her career on the college level at William Peace University in Raleigh.
“It’s always been a dream of mine,” she said. “I just worked really hard to get myself to this point. I think it will be great experience.”
The Lady Trojans traveled to Union Pines on Friday night seeking sole possession of the regular-season championship in the Tri-County Six 3-A Conference with a win. A loss would mean that Central and the Lady Vikings would be co-champions.
UPDATE: Union Pines defeated Central, 36-28, on Friday night to end HC’s winning streak at 15 games and gain a share of the regular-season championship with the Lady Trojans. Union Pines drew the No. 1 seeding for the league tournament and will host the semifinals on Tuesday. The championship will be at Campbell on Thursday.
“I’ve told my team that there’s only one No. 1,” said Lady Trojans coach Chelsey Cabe, who is Michaela’s sister-in-law.
The coach is married to the player’s brother. The couple has a 2-year-old son, who was on hand for the signing ceremony Friday morning at the school.
Cabe wants to study biology at Peace with an eye on a career as an orthopedic physician’s assistant.
She also has played volleyball and softball at Central.
“What stands out is my connection to the teams this year and throughout the years,” Michaela said. “I feel like this year, especially, we’re connected, more of a family.”
Michaela said she looked at some other schools.
“Not really for sports,” she said. “Just for academics.”
What made Peace the choice?
“It’s close to home,” she said. “It’s close to my sister (Rachel) and my mother (Paige Denning) went there.”
Peace’s gain will be Central’s loss.
“Michaela is a clutch player,” said Coach Cabe. “She’s made two buzzer beaters for us.”
One of those provided a 49-48 home win over Union Pines on Jan. 27.
“She provides leadership,” said the Central coach. “She works hard. She does anything and everything I ask her to.
“Her freshman year, she came in and played a tough role on the varsity team as a point guard. At that time, we were playing some really tough teams. She never quit. She never gave up and she saw what it would take to go to the next level. That really pushed her to work harder.”
Central competed in a 4-A conference that included state power Southeast Raleigh until moving to 3-A this school year.
The level of competition that Michaela Cabe has faced and her devotion to maximize her ability have created an opportunity at Peace.
Cabe, who is 5 feet, 5 inches, is averaging 9.6 points and 2.7 rebounds.
“I just hope she shows the coaches there (at Peace) what she has shown me the last four years,” said Coach Cabe.