Sports (819)

Despite a double-double from junior Madi Story, Appalachian State University women's basketball couldn't overcome 19.6 percent shooting from the field and 19 miscues on offense, falling 53-37 to Texas State on Thursday night at the Holmes Center.

The Mountaineers (8-11, 3-5 Sun Belt) and the Bobcats (10-9, 5-3 Sun Belt) went neck-in-neck in a defensive battle early, as neither team was able to pull away from the other. It wasn't until the fourth quarter that the turnovers and cold shooting began to wear on the Mountaineers' offensive flow.

Where App State controlled things for the entire game was on the glass. Appalachian outrebounded Texas State 50-38, including 19-10 in offensive boards that led to a 14-3 second-chance-points advantage.

Individually, Story led the Black and Gold with a game-high 10 points and 10 rebounds, while senior Joi Jones was right behind her with 10 points and eight rebounds. Freshman Bayley Plummer finished with 10 boards as well while redshirt senior Ashley Bassett-Smith led defensively with a game-high three blocks.

The Mountaineers will continue their short homestand on Saturday when they host UT Arlington at the Holmes Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Noah McRea has been named the Bluegrass Mountain Conference Men’s Swimmer Of The Week by

McRea, a junior from Hickory, N.C., won two events last Friday in leading the Bears to a 130-128 victory over Catawba in a dual meet in Salisbury, N.C.

McRae prevailed in both the men’s 200-yard backstroke (1:57.55) and the men’s 400-yard individual medley (4:10.13) against the Indians.

McRea is the school’s record holder in six individual events: the 50-yard, 100-yard and 200-yard backstrokes, the 200-yard freestyle and the 200-yard and 400-yard individual medleys. McRea is also a member of Lenoir-Rhyne program-best 400-yard individual medley relay squad.

Lenoir-Rhyne returns to competition on Wednesday, February 8, to swim in the 2017 Bluegrass Mountain Conference Championships. The four-day event takes place at the Mecklenburg County Aquatics Center in Charlotte, N.C.

The Lenoir-Rhyne University Baseball Team was picked to finish seventh in the 2017 South Atlantic Conference Preseason Head Coaches Poll.

The Bears received 70 total points while Catawba was picked to win the league championship after receiving eight first-place votes for a total of 107 points. The Indians earned the top preseason spot for the fifth straight year.

Lenoir-Rhyne junior pitcher Tad Ratliff, an Alexander Central grad, was named to the all-conference preseason second team. Ratliff went 1-0 last year with a 1.69 earned run average and two saves in 21 appearances in addition to 28 strikeouts.

Lenoir-Rhyne (33-18 overall and 12-12 in league play last year) opens the 2017 season on Wednesday, February 1, against Belmont Abbey in Belmont, N.C., beginning at 4:00 p.m.

Lenoir-Rhyne’s home opener takes place on Saturday, February 4, in a doubleheader at Bears Field against Glenville State at 1:00 p.m.

2017 South Atlantic Conference
Baseball Preseason Poll

1. Catawba (8) 107
2. Tusculum (1) 90
3. Newberry (1) 86
4. Carson-Newman (1) 78
5t. Lincoln Memorial 74
5t. Wingate 74
7. Lenoir-Rhyne 70
8. Mars Hill 39
9. Anderson 38
10. Coker 37
11. Brevard 19

2017 All-South Atlantic Conference
Baseball Preseason Teams

OF - Daymon Totherow, Newberry
OF - Ryan Addington, Carson-Newman
OF - Cade Snapp, Carson-Newman
1B - Chance Bowden, Catawba
2B - Zack Finchum, Tusculum
SS - Jimmy Rice, Carson-Newman
3B - Derek Olenchuck, Newberry
C - Jeff Sneed, Newberry
DH - Malachi Hanes, Catawba
SP - Zack Kelly, Newberry
SP - Russ Weiker, Catawba
SP - Ethan Elliot, Lincoln Memorial
RP - Bryan Blanton, Catawba

OF - Mason Ewers, Lincoln Memorial
OF - Danton Hyman, Newberry
OF - Austin Turgeon, Wingate
1B - Nick Lacina, Tusculum
2B - Kyle Smith, Catawba
SS - Bryson Conner, Coker
3B - Eric Kalman, Lincoln Memorial
C - Gooch Greer, Carson-Newman
DH - Bradley Brown, Wingate
SP - Brandon Donahue, Wingate
SP - Christian Raasch, Tusculum
SP - Zach Slagle, Tusculum
RP - Tad Ratliff, Lenoir-Rhyne

Thursday, 26 January 2017 23:16

App State Wrestling Ranked Sixth in Mid-Major Poll

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Appalachian State University wrestling ranked sixth in the National Wrestling Coaches Association and the National Duals Selection Committee’s newly formed Mid-Major Top 20 college wrestling poll on Thursday.

With the ranking in the first NWCA/NDS Mid-Major Top 20, the Mountaineers (11-2, 5-0 Southern Conference) are now ranked highly in three major wrestling polls. App State is also No. 21 in the USA Today/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll and No. 16 in the InterMat poll.

The new poll will concentrate on programs outside the traditional Power 5 conferences with all-sports members of the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC not eligible for consideration. The poll is also conducted independently of the USA Today/NWCA poll. Appalachian State remains the lone member of the SoCon to be ranked in the USA Today/NWCA and InterMat polls, but is joined by Campbell in the Mid-Major Top 20.

“We’ve seen college programs use mid-major polls in men’s and women’s basketball as another way to promote those sports to their fans and local media,” said NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer of the new poll. “We feel this can be an adequate measure of performance for teams that don’t have the benefits of being in a Power 5 Conference.”

Firmly cementing itself as a mid-major wrestling powerhouse, Appalachian State has gone 3-2 this season against members of Power 5 conferences. The Mountaineers took an early 25-15 win over then-No. 15 Oregon State from the Pac 12, before downing ACC member North Carolina in an 18-16 victory. The Apps also delivered a convincing 25-11 victory over Duke of the ACC in Durham. The team’s only Power 5 losses have been to then-No. 9 NC State (ACC) and then-No. 5 Missouri (MAC/SEC).

The Mountaineers will host the Appalachian Open on Saturday, Jan. 28, beginning at 9 a.m. Appalachian’s next duals match will be against SoCon rival Chattanooga on Sunday, Feb. 5. The action begins at 2 p.m.

NWCA/NDS Mid-Major Top 20 Rankings

Rank School Record Conference All-Sports Conf.
1 Cornell 7-2 EIWA Ivy
2 Lehigh 8-2 EIWA Patriot
3 Northern Iowa 7-2 MAC Missouri Valley
4 Central Michigan 3-2 MAC MAC
5 South Dakota State 8-3 Big 12 Summit
6 Appalachian State 11-2 SoCon Sun Belt
7 North Dakota State 9-4 Big 12 Summit
8 Edinboro 6-4 EWL PSAC (Division II)
9 Rider 7-1 EWL MAAC
10 Drexel 8-5 EIWA Colonial
11 American 3-4 EIWA Patriot
12 Army West Point 6-3 EIWA Patriot
13 Princeton 5-6 EIWA Ivy
14 Buffalo 7-4 MAC MAC
15 Bucknell 5-4 EIWA Patriot
16 Navy 7-1 EIWA Patriot
17 Ohio 6-4 MAC MAC
18 Campbell 5-6 SoCon Big South
19 Wyoming 3-5 Big 12 Mountain West
20 Utah Valley 4-2 Big 12 WAC

Thursday, 26 January 2017 08:31

Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Basketball Edged Out by Wingate

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The Wingate Men’s Basketball Team (12-7, 9-4) rallied from a seven-point halftime deficit to defeat Lenoir-Rhyne (9-9, 8-5), 79-72, Wednesday evening in a South Atlantic Conference game at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.

Five players scored in double figures for the Bulldogs – led by Josh Dominquez (Matthews, N.C.) with 18 points – as Wingate fought back from a 41-34 halftime deficit to secure its ninth straight win and sweep the season series from the Bears.

Lenoir-Rhyne was led by senior guard Jalen Variste (Baton Rouge, La.) with a game-high 22 points to go along with 10 rebounds while junior guard Reed Lucas (Greensboro, N.C.) added 16 points but the Bears saw their three-game winning streak come to an end.

The Bears hit 10 three-pointers on the night but were just three-of-15 from behind the arc in the second half.

Wingate was also powered by a 25-of-31 performance from the charity stripe and held a 49-37 edge on the boards. The Bulldogs’ Mike Baez (Orlando, Fla.) totaled 13 points and 10 rebounds while Isiah Cureton (Waxhaw, N.C.) notched a double-double – 12 points and 11 rebounds – as well.

Lenoir-Rhyne remains at home to face No. 24 Lincoln Memorial on Saturday afternoon at 4:00 p.m., in a South Atlantic Conference game.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Basketball Team (12-7, 8-5) saw its four-game winning streak come to an end with a 68-52 loss to Wingate (14-4, 10-3) Wednesday night in a South Atlantic Conference contest at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.

The Bulldogs’ Danasia Witherspoon (Hickory, N.C.) led all scorers with 25 points as Wingate rallied from a 33-30 halftime deficit to take the victory.

Lenoir-Rhyne was led by sophomore forward Madi Suddreth (Taylorsville, N.C.) with 19 points while senior center Chelsey Romero (Hampton, Va.) added 13 points but the Bears saw their 15-game winning streak at home come to an end.

The Bulldogs took control in the third period by outscoring the Bears by a 20-6 margin and never trailed again. Wingate also limited Lenoir-Rhyne to just 28 percent shooting (22-of-57) in the second half and swept the season series from the Bears.

Wingate, meanwhile, shot 58 percent (15-of-26) in the second half and converted 19-of-23 free throws in winning its third straight game.

In the next round of South Atlantic Conference games on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m., Lenoir-Rhyne hosts undefeated and fifth-ranked Lincoln Memorial.

Wednesday night, Catawba Valley Community College men's basketball team exploded for 69 points in the second half for 106-82 win over Vance Granville Community College. With the win, head coach Bryan Garmouth picked up his 100th win at CVCC.

Two players had double-doubles to lead the Red Hawks. Emmanuel Wembi had 19 points and 20 rebounds. Fred T. Foard grad Nolan Whitener had 15 points and 15 rebounds.

Derick Brewer had a game high 27 points for the Red Hawks. Matt Powell chipped in 16 points and Myles Williams added 11.

CVCC improves to 14-6 overall and 8-3 in conference play. CVCC will host first place Louisburg College Saturday at 3pm.

The Lenoir-Rhyne University Softball Team was picked to repeat as South Atlantic Conference Regular Season Champions after being voted first in the 2017 league preseason head coaches poll.

Lenoir-Rhyne received nine first-place votes for a total of 130 points. Last year, the Bears finished 48-13 overall including a 20-2 mark in conference play while earning a berth in the NCAA Division II Playoffs.

In addition, seven Bears garnered preseason all-league accolades including six players on the first team: sophomore outfielder Erin Boone (Creedmoor, N.C.), junior outfielder Christina Walker (Roxboro, N.C.), senior first baseman Sydney Landreth (Disputanta, Va.), junior second baseman Madison Poe (Siler City, N.C.), junior shortstop Madison Carter (Bessemer City, N.C.) and senior catcher Sarah Kenley (Charlotte, N.C.).

Boone was a first-team all-region and all-conference honoree and was named the SAC Freshman Of The Year in 2016 after leading the team in several offensive categories including batting average (.402), runs (62), hits (86), total bases (127), slugging percentage (.593) and stolen bases (14).

Walker, a first-team all-conference pick as well, batted .400 while Landreth finished with a .357 batting average, six home runs and 30 runs batted in. Landreth is a two-time All-South Atlantic Conference First-Team honoree (2015-16).

Poe was a second-team all-conference selection last year while Carter started all 61 games and finished with a .379 batting average, 17 doubles, four home runs and 47 runs batted in. Carter was both a First-Team All-SAC and All-Southeast Region honoree.

Kenley was named to the 2016 All-South Atlantic Conference Second Team after leading the squad in home runs with nine in addition to 44 runs batted in and a .333 batting average.

Lenoir-Rhyne junior utility player Mackenzie Cates (Efland, N.C.) hit seven home runs with 39 runs batted in while garnering all-region accolades last spring.

Lenoir-Rhyne opens the season on Wednesday, February 1, against Belmont Abbey in a doubleheader on the road in Belmont, N.C., beginning at 1:00 p.m.

2017 South Atlantic Conference

Softball Preseason Poll

1. Lenoir-Rhyne (9) 130

2. Carson-Newman (3) 117

3. Wingate 109

4. Catawba 93

5. Anderson 91

6. Lincoln Memorial 90

7. Newberry 68

8. Queens 66

9. Mars Hill 52

10. Coker 47

11. Tusculum 43

12. Brevard 19

2017 All-South Atlantic Conference

Softball Preseason Teams


OF – Erin Boone, Lenoir-Rhyne

OF – Christina Walker, Lenoir-Rhyne

OF – Kristen Stinnard, Catawba

1B – Sydney Landreth, Lenoir-Rhyne

2B - Madison Poe, Lenoir-Rhyne

SS – Madison Carter, Lenoir-Rhyne

3B – Misty Doran, Wingate

DP – Taylor Lail, Mars Hill

UTIL – Katie McLaurin, Wingate

C – Sarah Kenley, Lenoir-Rhyne

P – Allison Webster, Carson-Newman

P – Augie Pena, Anderson


OF – Christina Linton, Newberry

OF – Naomi Sapp, Wingate

OF – Riley Morris, Coker

1B – Ashton Whitaker, Queens

2B – Taylor Barcomb, Coker

SS – Kristen Toppel, Carson-Newman

3B – Casey Stanek, Mars Hill

DP – Katherine Shumaker, Catawba

UTIL – Mackenzie Cates, Lenoir-Rhyne

C – Cailah Niles, Anderson

P – Rachel Weidner, Wingate

P – Lauren Rudesheim, Anderson

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association in conjunction with Wells Fargo released the fall standings in the 38th annual Wells Fargo Cup competitions for the 2016-17 academic year. The award recognizes the high schools that achieve the best overall interscholastic athletic performance within each of the state’s four competitive classifications.

After the fall sports season, Green Hope remains on top after their incredible performances last year in the 4A division. Meanwhile, Marvin Ridge reclaims their position in front of Weddington for the 3A class. In the 2A division, Lake Norman Charter surpasses last year’s victor, Carrboro for the fall sports season. After a very close race for the 1A division, Raleigh Charter pulls through and secures the championship.

Green Hope keeps hold of their possession of the top spot in the 4A ranks after the fall sports season. The Falcons had a comfortable lead of 90 points ahead of Cardinal Gibbons. Green Hope took home State Championships for men’s soccer and volleyball. They followed that up with runner-up finishes in men’s and women’s cross country and women’s tennis.

The 3A race is led by Marvin Ridge with a 48-point lead over Weddington. The Mavericks took home state championships in women’s tennis and men’s soccer. They also received third place in men’s cross country and fifth place in women’s cross country.

Lake Norman Charter excelled in the fall sports season for the 2A division. Their 60-point lead over the North Carolina School of Science and Math can be attributed to their state championships in women’s tennis ad men’s cross country. The Knights also advanced to the regional final in the men’s soccer championship. Maiden gets a top 10 spot at 10th place after the fall sports season.

Raleigh Charter won the tough battle for first place in the 1A division. With five school within ten points of each other, the Phoenix came out on top, almost 8 points ahead of Mount Airy and Wallace-Rose Hill. Raleigh Charter secured a women’s tennis state championship and came in second-place for men’s cross country.

Wells Fargo Cup points are determined by a system based on performance in state championship events. All schools that finish in the top eight positions (plus ties) earn points. In the playoff events involving teams from more than one classification, Wells Fargo Cup points are awarded based on the school’s standing against other schools in its own classification. If fewer than eight schools from a classification compete in a sport, only those schools that are represented are eligible to receive the Cup points.

Points are awarded for all sports as follows: 50 for first, 45 for second, 40 for third, 35 for fourth, 30 for fifth, 25 for sixth, 20 for seventh and 15 for eighth. In the event of a tie, the schools receive and equal number of points based on the number of teams that tie and the number of teams that finish higher in the standings. Five points are awarded for each sanctioned sport in which a school competes.

Wells Fargo Cup standings are announced three times each school year: once after the fall and the winter sports and concluding with the overall winner after the spring sports season ends.

1A Wells Fargo Cup Fall Standings
1 – Raleigh Charter – 165
T2 – Mount Airy – 157.5
T2 – Wallace-Rose Hill – 157.5
T4 – Bishop McGuinness – 155
T4 – Franklin Academy – 155
6 – Community School of Davidson – 147.5
7 – Gray Stone Day – 132.5
8 – East Carteret – 117.5
T9 – Murphy – 110
T9 – Lincoln Charter – 110
11 – Whiteville – 95
12 – Walkertown – 85
T13 – Louisburg – 80
T13 – Plymouth – 80
T13 – West Montgomery – 80

2A Wells Fargo Cup Fall Standings
1 – Lake Norman Charter – 225
2 – NC School of Science & Math – 165
3 – Carrboro – 145
4 – First Flight – 142.5
5 – Smoky Mountain – 125
6 – Hendersonville – 115
7 – Currituck County – 112.5
8 – Durham School of the Arts – 107.5
9 – Lincolnton – 105
10 – Maiden – 102.5
11 – Jordan-Matthews – 95
T12– Brevard – 85
T12 – Reidsville – 85
T12 – Shelby – 85
T12– West Davidson – 85

3A Wells Fargo Cup Fall Standings
1 – Marvin Ridge – 275
2 – Weddington – 227.5
3 – Chapel Hill – 225
4 – A.C. Reynolds – 120
T5 – Terry Sanford – 110
T5 – Northern Guilford – 110
7 – Cox Mill – 107.5
8 – Rocky Mount – 102.5
T9 – West Carteret – 92.5
T9 – Asheville – 92.5
11 – Lee County – 87.5
T-12 – Rockingham County – 85
T-12 – South Point – 85
T-14 – Union Pines – 80
T-14 – Walter M. Williams – 80

4A Wells Fargo Cup Fall Standings
1 – Green Hope – 270
2 – Cardinal Gibbons – 180
T3 – Charlotte Catholic – 145
T3 – Ronald Reagan – 145
5 – Broughton – 137.5
6 – Pinecrest – 107.5
7 – Myers Park – 105
8 – Page – 100
T9 – Watauga – 95
T9 – East Chapel Hill – 95
11 – Providence – 92.5
12 – Leesville Road – 90
T13 – Wake Forest – 85
T13 – Dudley – 85
15 – Davie – 80

Tuesday, 24 January 2017 22:56

Appalachian State Wrestling Edges Out Gardner-Webb

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Appalachian State University wrestling split the weight classes 5-5, but was able to overcome a pesky Gardner-Webb team by taking the final two matches, winning 19-17 on Tuesday night in Varsity Gym.

The 16th-ranked Mountaineers (11-2, 5-0 Southern Conference) went ahead 13-0 early by getting three wins, two of which were bonus points, but the Runnin’ Bulldogs were bale to claw back in by rattling off five-straight weight-class victories to take the lead.

Down 17-13 and with the momentum against him, sophomore Randall Diabe (Greensboro, N.C./James B. Dudley) stepped up to face off against Payton Mills in a must-win situation at the 197-pound class for the Black and Gold. Mills played defense while Diabe knew he had to go for points and battled in for a takedown and two escapes to get the 4-0 decision win to bring App State within one, 17-16.

In another must-win match, No. 12 senior heavyweight Denzel Dejournette (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds) also knew he had to go on the offense against Gardner-Webb’s Boyce Cornwell if they were going to get the win. After two periods that saw few points or action due to defensive strategy from Cornwell, Dejournette finally found the takedown he needed to go up 3-1.

The senior stayed in control the rest of the way and wound up with the riding time advantage to get the 4-1 decision and the Mountaineers the 19-17 victory.

Appalachian started the match off on an absolute tear, with No. 19 senior Vito Pasone (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./E.L. Meyers) launching everything with a breakneck pin at 125 pounds. Pasone pinned Landon LoAlbo in 1:26 – his first pin of the year. No. 24 freshman Colby Smith (Wentzville, Mo./Holt) carried the bonus points wagon forward at 133 pounds, defeating Phillip Anderson with a 9-1 major decision.

Sophomore Irvin Enriquez (Aberdeen, N.C./Pinecrest) got the hard-fought win at 141 pounds, having to battle Ryan Hull deep into the third period to get the victory. Hull came out quick first and caught Enriquez in some bad spots early to take the lead. But Enriquez didn’t let up and battled back each time Hull would make a move. The Aberdeen-native won the match 11-10.

The Runnin’ Bulldogs were able to take the middle five weight classes. Chris Vassar defeated sophomore Matt Zovistoski (Paramus, N.J./St. Joseph Regional) in a 14-2 major decision. Ryan Mosley downed sophomore Gavin Londoff (St. Louis, Mo./Holt) in a 7-2 decision. Tyler Marinelli won a tightly contested 4-3 decision over junior Forrest Przybysz (Jefferson, Ga./Jefferson). Austin Trott defeated junior Nick Kee (Laurinburg, N.C./Scotland) in a 10-3 decision and Hunter Gamble got the 9-1 major decision over junior David Peters-Logue (Hillsborough, N.C./Orange).

The Mountaineers will go on to host the Appalachian Open on Saturday, Jan. 28, beginning at 9 a.m. Appalachian’s next duals match will be against SoCon rival Chattanooga on Sunday, Feb. 5. The action begins at 2 p.m.

125: #19 Vito Pasone (APP) pinned Landon LoAlbo (GWU), 1:26
133: #24 Colby Smith (APP) def. Phillip Anderson (GWU), 9-1 maj. dec.
141: Irvin Enriquez (APP) def. Ryan Hull (GWU), 11-10 dec.
149: Chris Vassar (GWU) def. #15 Matt Zovistoski (APP), 14-2 maj. dec.
157: Ryan Mosley (GWU) def. Gavin Londoff (APP), 7-2 dec.
165: Tyler Marinelli (GWU) def. Forrest Przybysz (APP) 4-3 dec.
174: Austin Trott (GWU) def. #17 Nick Kee (APP), 10-3 dec.
184: Hunter Gamble (GWU) def. David Peters-Logue (APP), 9-1 maj. dec.
197: Randall Diabe (APP) def. Payton Mills (GWU), 4-0 dec.
HWT: #12 Denzel Dejournette (APP) def. Boyce Cornwell (GWU), 4-1 dec.

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