Economy upsetting HS championship

RALEIGH High school basketball teams from all over North Carolina are in the Triangle for championship games.

The games can be a big boost to local businesses, but that may not be the case this year as fans watch their wallets along with the ball.

Anthony Autry made the trip from Elizabethtown to see his alma mater, East Bladen, take on Kernersville Bishop McGuiness. But like so many others-his trip will be short this year due to the economy.

"Gas is a little high because gas prices are going back up and we were planning on coming up last night to stay to save some time so we wouldn't run into all this traffic, but we decided to stay and come up this morning," Autry said.

He says a hotel room in Raleigh won't be in the budget, which is not good news for Triangle hotels and restaurants that benefit from the games.

"But I think it's saving more money than spending the night in a hotel," Autry said.

Driving across the state and back in the same day is exactly what fans plan to do.

"I follow high school basketball so it's worth it to do it," fan Mervin Bowen said.

Fans say they wouldn't miss their teams going for the title, but they are doing without the long weekend that usually goes with it in this economy.

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