Sports (835)

The Queens Men's Basketball Team (24-3, 18-3) remained in a first-place tie in the South Atlantic Conference standings with a 94-81 victory over Lenoir-Rhyne (10-16, 9-12) Wednesday night at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.

The Royals, ranked No. 12 in NCAA Division II, shot 60 percent (33-of-55) for the game and were led by Mike Davis (Brunswick, Ga.) with 22 points in the victory. Queens remained at the top of the league standings with Lincoln Memorial.

Lenoir-Rhyne lost despite the play of senior guard Darrion Evans. The Freedom High and CVCC grad scored a game-high 31 points including 25 in the first half and hit nine three-pointers in the losing effort.

Senior guard Jalen Variste (Baton Rouge, La.) added 21 points but the Bears fell to 1-8 in their last nine contests.

Queens rallied from a 48-42 deficit at halftime by scoring 52 points after intermission. The Royals' Josh Van Weezep (Farmington, Utah) added 18 points and hit six treys in the victory.

Lenoir-Rhyne travels to Mars Hill, N.C., to take on Mars Hill in a league game Saturday at 4pm.

Appalachian State University softball edged out the North Carolina A&T Aggies 3-2 in extra innings on Wednesday at the Lady Aggie Softball Complex in Greensboro, N.C.

“I thought Kenzie [Longanecker] came in and closed out really well, and threw well,” said head coach Janice Savage. “ I think offensively we need to continue to figure ourselves out, be able to hit with runners in scoring positions, make better adjustments at the plate earlier and learn off of other people’s at-bats and not just from our own.”

App State improved to 5-4 after five ladies pounded out hits and three knocked in RBI to withstand the Aggies and sweep the two-game series. In the circle, Kenzie Longanecker (Sanford, Fla./Winter Springs) (4-2) shut out A&T for 5.2 innings and fired out two strikeouts.

Game Rundown: App State 3, N.C. A&T 2 (8)

After two quiet innings, North Carolina A&T (6-6) capitalized off of back-to-back RBI singles to take the 2-0 lead at the bottom of the third. Following their two runs, N.C. A&T took the field and neutralized Apps' offense, but Appalachian responded by stopping the Aggie scoring threat stranding a runner on second at the bottom of the fourth.

Then the ballgame took a turn in the fifth inning when Sidney Russell (Lincolnton, N.C./North Lincoln) sparked life into App State’s offense crashing a double deep into left field. Right after that, Keri White (Hampstead, N.C./Topsail)and Natalie Orcutt (Peachtree City, Ga./Starr’s Mill) mirrored Russell’s double with back-to-back RBI doubles to even up the score at two apiece.

After holding each other scoreless in the sixth and seventh, the ballgame went into extra innings, and Haley Stewart (Belmont, N.C./South Point) smashed in a RBI single to bring home Gabby Buruato, a Draughn High School grad, to take the one-run lead heading into the bottom of the eighth.

With the game on the line, the Black and Gold knew that the next three outs would determine the ballgame. A&T attempted to open up the eighth with a bunt to advance the runner, but White threw the runner out at third on a fielder’s choice. Then after a walk, Longanecker closed out the inning throwing two consecutive batters out at first to snatch game two away from N.C. A&T.

The Black and Gold will travel east to Wilmington, N.C. for the Hampton Inn University Area Seahawk Softball Classic Feb. 24-26.

The Catawba Valley Community College men's basketball team fell at home to Patrick Henry Community College 72-68.

The Red Hawks fought to get back into the game down two with only 25 seconds left in the game. Patrick Henry made their final foul shots making the Red Hawks comeback effort fall short.

Derick Brewer led the Red Hawks with 22 points. Emmanuel Wembi had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Kenan Turpin had 13 points and Alex Ijames added 10 points despite the loss.

With the loss the Red Hawks are the number four seed out of 10 teams in the upcoming Region X tournament.

CVCC falls to 18-10 overall and 12-7 in the conference. Sunday, the Red Hawks host Fayetteville Technical Community College at 3pm.

The Lenoir-Rhyne women's lacrosse team opened the 2017 season with a 9-8 loss in overtime at home to Belmont Abbey.

The Bears got on the board quickly in the first half when Christine Faircloth found Rachel Elmore who scored 1:31 into the game. The two each traded goals until Belmont Abbey took their first lead of the contest at 4-3, with 5:02 left in the first half. The Crusaders would tack on one additional goal with five seconds left in the half to extend their lead to 5-3.

L-R would open the scoring in the second half when freshamn Alyssa Sack scored her first career goal unassisted with a man advantage. Belmont Abbey would extend their lead to 7-4 with 19:58 left to go in regulation before the Bears tied the game with 14:51 left when Gabby Sousa scored with a man advantage. The two teams would trade goals again, with the Bears getting the final tally by Sosua with 5:19 left in the second half.

However, in the overtime period, Belmont Abbey scored 52 seconds in the sudden death frame.

Sousa led the Bears with three goals. Lenoir-Rhyne had 16 shots with 13 on goal.

The Bears are 0-1 to start the season. Lenoir-Rhyne travels to Mount Olive on Saturday.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017 21:37

Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Basketball Wins on Senior Night

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The Lenoir-Rhyne women's basketball team kept Queens under double digit scoring in each quarter in a defensive clinic, winning 59-31 Wednesday night in South Atlantic Conference play at home.

The Bears held Queens to 29.5 percent shooting (13-of-44). In addition, the Royals only went to the free throw line seven times, connecting on three, for a 42.9 percentage. Conversely, the Bears went 8-of-15 at the line for 53.3 percent.

Lenoir-Rhyne and Queens were tied at nine at the end of the first quarter, but outscored the Royals 17-8 in the second quarter to hold a 26-17 lead at the break. The Bears held Queens to eight points in the third quarter and six in the fourth quarter.

Morgan Cooper led the Bears in scoring with 13 points. Chelsey Romero led the Bears on the glass with 13 rebounds, 10 of which were on the defensive side.

The win improves the Bears to 16-11 overall, 12-9 in the South Atlantic Conference. L-R ends the regular season Saturday on the road at Mars Hill.

The 22nd ranked Lenoir-Rhyne baseball team fell on the road Wednesday night to 11th ranked UNC-Pembroke 5-2.

UNC-Pembroke jumped out to a 3-0 lead at the end of the first inning, when the Braves knocked a three-run home run and they would add a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth.

Lenoir-Rhyne was held scoreless until the top of the sixth inning with, one on, David Newcomer reached on a fielding error. allowing Zach Jacobs to advance to second and scoring both Alex Reynolds and Marcus Shoemaker.

The Bears were held to four hits in the contest. Shoemaker, Reynolds, Newcomer, and Josh Kent all recorded a hit for the Bears, with Shoemaker getting a double.

John Grigg (2-1) took the loss on the mound for the Bears. He went five innings, allowing all five Pembroke runs on four hits, striking out four, walking three but hitting three Braves batters.

Lenoir-Rhyne falls to 11-2 on the season. The Bears open South Atlantic Conference play on Friday when they travel to Anderson for a single game Friday and a doubleheader on Saturday.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017 21:13

App State Men's Soccer Adds Two to Coaching Staff

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Appalachian State University head men’s soccer coach Jason O’Keefe announced the addition of Daniel Louisignau and Shaun Utterson as assistant coaches on Wednesday.

“First, I want to thank Jeff Bilyk, Ronnie Hreha and Cole Atkins for all of their hard work and efforts in my first year here at Appalachian State. They were great in the transition,” O’Keefe said. “I am extremely excited to have Dan and Shaun join the App State family. They both have accomplished the things we are working with our players to achieve here at App State each and every day. They will be great role models on and off the field and will help our players grow and develop. They both are conference and national champions and winners in life. They have hit the ground sprinting and will continue to every day. They have already made us better and will continue to for a long time.”

Louisignau comes to Appalachian State after four seasons as an assistant coach at UMBC, helping lead them to the America East regular season title in 2013 and 2014 and league tournament championships in three straight years. In 2014, the team made it to the College Cup for the first time in program history. The coaching staff at UMBC earned America East Coaching Staff of the Year honors, while their head coach, Pete Caringi, won NSCAA and Soccer America Coach of the Year Honors. Working primarily with goalkeepers and defenders, Louisignau also worked in recruiting and evaluating academically and athletically qualified student-athletes, as well as working with the alumni base.

He oversaw the development of goalkeeper Phil Saunders, who signed a professional contract with BÍ Bolungarvík of the Icelandic First Division in 2013 after being voted America East Conference Tournament MVP the year prior. Louisignau also coached Billy Heavner, who led the conference in goals-against average (.830) and shutouts (10) in 2014. Through five games in the 2014 NCAA tournament run, UMBC posted four shutouts as the Retrievers became the first unseeded team in NCAA history to post four clean sheets in as many games on the road.

Prior to coaching at UMBC, Louisignau also played as their goalkeeper from 2009-11 after transferring from the University of Virginia. During his time there, the Retrievers posted a winning percentage of .731 and an overall record of 41-11-15 for the winningest three-year period in UMBC men’s soccer history.

In 2011, Louisignau was named the America East Conference Goalkeeper of the Year and earned first-team all-conference honors after leading the conference in saves, save percentage and shutouts. In 2010, he had an 84.5 save percentage that was good for 10th in the nation, as well as leading the America East Conference in save percentage and saves per game (5.57) during league games. In more than 200 minutes of action in the NCAA tournament, Louisignau only allowed one goal and had a six-save effort against then-No. 9 William & Mary for a 0-0 double overtime draw.

“I would like to thank Jason O’Keefe and the entire search committee for selecting me to represent the Appalachian State men’s soccer program,” Louisignau said. “Jason’s reputation speaks for itself and after one conversation with him, I was convinced that it is a special time to be at Appalachian State. I am extremely humbled by this unique opportunity, and I look forward to building a soccer program for all of the Appalachian State community to be proud of.”

A Wilmington, Del. native, Louisignau graduated from UMBC in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. While living in Delaware, he played club soccer for the Baltimore Bays, where he won the USYSA National Championship in 2006 and 2009 and won the US Soccer Developmental Academy in 2008. Louisignau was also invited to train with the U18 U.S. National Team in 2007.

Utterson comes to Appalachian from Wingate University, where he was an assistant coach from 2014-16. During his tenure, Utterson was responsible for the domestic and international recruitment, scouting and analysis of opponents and team training sessions. With the Bulldogs, the team won the Division II National Championship (2016), a South-East Regional Championship (2016), one SAC Tournament Conference Championship (2015) and three-straight SAC Regular-Season Conference Championships (2014-16). During the title run in 2016, Utterson helped the team lead the nation in winning percentage and goals-against-average while being a part of a coaching staff that won NSCAA Southeast Regional and National Staff of the Year awards.

The 2016 team was the first NCAA program to go unbeaten and untied in a regular season (14-0) and the first NCAA Division II Champion to not concede a goal in the tournament. The Bulldogs were also being unbeaten at home for three years (23-0-2), ending with the team’s first NCAA No. 1 national ranking in school history in 2016.

Utterson worked with seven all-Americans, 17 all-Region selections, 22 all-SAC selections, three SAC Players of the Year, two NCAA Final Four MVP’s and one National Player of the Year.

Prior to coaching, Utterson was a four-year starter for UNC Wilmington from 2008-11 before playing semi-professionally in the English Conference North with the Blyth Spartans and professionally for the Wilmington Hammerheads of the USL Pro division in 2013-14. As a Seahawk, Utterson recorded 76 starts, scored three goals and helped keep the defense finish in the top 10 nationally in goals-against-average in 2009-10.

Utterson made 50 appearances with the Spartans, scoring two goals as a defender. During his time with the Hammerheads, he made 20 starts in his rookie season

“I am extremely excited to be joining the Appalachian State soccer family, and I can’t wait to get started with the team,” Utterson said. “I’d like to thank coach O’Keefe and the selection committee for giving me this fantastic opportunity. I am delighted to be joining such a passionate and enthusiastic athletics department and look forward to learning from coach O’Keefe. I am committed to working as hard as possible to ensure that our student-athletes can be successful in the classroom, in the community and on the field.”

A Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England native, Utterson graduated from UNC Wilmington in 2011 with a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in economics and earned an M.A. in sports management from Wingate University in 2016. He also holds English Football Association Level 1 & 2 Coaching Awards and Youth Module 1 qualifications, as well as NSCAA Premier, Advanced National, Director of Coaching and Diversity & inclusion Diplomas.

The Lenoir-Rhyne University Softball Team has jumped 13 spots in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, NCAA Division II National Softball Poll this week to 12th place. The Bears started the preseason poll ranked 25th.

The Bears have opened up their season 12-2, most recenlty winning all four games played at the Catawba Invitaitonal this past weekend. The Bears are currently on a six game winning streak.

In addition this week, the Bears swept the South Atlantic Conference Softball Player of the Week awards. Erin Boone was named the conference player of the week while Brandi Parks won the pitcher of the week accolade.

Lenoir-Rhyne next competes at the Mid-South Classic this weekend. The Bears open up the event taking on St. Joseph's College (Ind.) at noon on Saturday followed by Mount Olive at 2pm. Sunday, the Bears will wrap up the tournament taking on Flagler at 10am and Augusta at 12 noon. The event will take place in Reidville, SC at the Tyger River Park.

East Burke: 75
Mount Pleasant: 23
Cavaliers advance to the second round hosting Trinity on Thursday.

East Davidson: 61
Newton-Conover: 55
Red Devils season ends at 16-11.

Maiden: 63
West Davidson: 57
Blue Devils advance to the second round hosting Lincolnton on Thursday.

North Surry: 49
West Caldwell: 25
Warrior season ends at 12-12.

Smoky Mountain: 67
Bandys: 35
Trojans season ends at 8-16.

Freedom: 64
Cox Mill: 31
Patriots advance to the second round hosting Southwestern Randolph on Thursday.

Hickory: 70
Piedmont: 27
Red Tornadoes travel to North Iredell in the second round on Thursday.

Southwestern Randolph: 57
St. Stephens: 54
Indians season ends at 14-12.

Page: 44
South Caldwell: 36
Spartans season ends at 16-10.

Rocky River: 69
Alexander Central: 64
Cougars season ends at 16-11.

North Surry: 95
Draughn: 69
Wildcats season ends at 14-12.

TW Andrews: 66
Maiden: 50
Blue Devils season ends at 15-11.

West Caldwell: 51
Monroe: 44
Warriors advance to the second round going to Owen on Thursday.

Fred T. Foard: 57
North Forsyth: 56
Tigers advance to the second round going to Hickory.

Freedom: 94
Concord: 53
Patriots advance to the second round hosting Piedmont on Thursday.

Hickory: 60
Sun Valley: 47
Red Tornadoes advance to the second round hosting Fred T. Foard.

Hickory Ridge: 59
Patton: 50
Panthers season ends at 12-14.

Marvin Ridge: 55
Hibriten: 52
Panthers season ends at 16-10.

Ben L. Smith: 56
Alexander Central: 49
Cougars season ends at 19-9

High Point Central: 66
South Caldwell: 61
Spartans season ends at 14-12.

Grace Canella from Maiden High School was one of two recipients of the NCHSAA Performance of the Week awards, powered by Time Warner Cable SportsChannel.

Each week two athletes in North Carolina High School Athletic Association competition are selected for this award from nominations received from media and school administrators.

Canella, a senior on the Blue Devils women’s basketball team, led the Lady Blue Devils to their first conference tournament championship since 2003 and their third all-time. She scored 20 points in a first round victory over Bandys, then 17 in a semifinal win over Newton-Conover. She saved her best performance for the finals as Canella dropped in a career-high 37 points to beat East Lincoln in overtime, 71-66. She scored 24 of her 37 points in the fourth quarter and overtime.

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