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The NCHSAA Board of Directors Winter Meeting concluded Thursday in Chapel Hill. Classification appeals, adjustments and conference placement requests from member schools as stipulated for the midpoint of each four-year alignment cycle were voted on and approved or denied on a case-by-case scenario. West Caldwell High School submitted a request to be reclassified from 3A to 2A and the request was approved. Effective 2019-2020, West Caldwell will compete in the Northwestern Foothills 2A Conference. With West Caldwell's departure, the Northwestern 3A/4A Conference will only have seven teams.

Highlighted by quarterback Zac Thomas being named Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year, Scott Satterfield being named Sun Belt Coach of the Year and the program's 16 all-conference selections including six All-Sun Belt first-team picks, Appalachian State fared well as the league announced its 2018 awards Thursday.

The Mountaineers, who will host the Sun Belt Championship Game on Saturday after winning the East Division with a 7-1 record, put senior defensive tackle MyQuon Stout, junior defensive back Clifton Duck, junior offensive lineman Victor Johnson, junior linebacker Jordan Fehr, junior defensive back Desmond Franklin and sophomore running back Darrynton Evans on the All-Sun Belt first team. Duck received first-team recognition for the third straight year, and Johnson repeated as a first-team choice.

The All-Sun Belt second team included Thomas, senior offensive lineman Chandler Greer, junior linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither, sophomore receiver Corey Sutton and sophomore offensive lineman Noah Hannon, while the third team had senior defensive back Tae Hayes, senior linebacker Anthony Flory, junior tight end Collin Reed, Duck (return specialist), and Evans (all-purpose).

App State's 16 all-conference selections were second most behind Troy's 19.

Four other App State players were All-Sun Belt honorable mention: junior defensive back Josh Thomas, junior linebacker Noel Cook, sophomore offensive lineman Ryan Neuzil and freshman tight end Henry Pearson.

With the nation's third-youngest roster, based on underclassmen occupying three-fourths of it, Satterfield led the Mountaineers to a division title. App State pushed Penn State to overtime in its 2018 opener and suffered its only league loss with Zac Thomas sidelined after his third play at Georgia Southern. The Mountaineers will join Clemson and Oklahoma this weekend as the only FBS teams contending for a third straight conference title.

Satterfield, who is tied for sixth nationally with 39 wins since 2015, holds a 43-7 record against opponents from Group of Five conferences and a 34-6 record against Sun Belt opponents.

Thomas, a first-year starter who replaced four-year starter Taylor Lamb at quarterback, enters the Sun Belt Championship Game with 18 touchdown passes, eight rushing touchdowns and just four interceptions. He ranks among the nation's top 35 quarterbacks with league-leading totals in QBR, passing efficiency and yards per completion.

Stout, a two-year captain, is the anchor up front whose work helped App State's defense give up an average of just 9.2 points in the team's nine regular season victories. The Mountaineers allowed 10 points or less in seven of those wins and led the Sun Belt with top-10 national rankings in total defense, scoring defense, pass efficiency defense, passing defense, yards allowed per pass attempt, third-down defense, fourth-down defense, three-and-outs per game and first downs allowed.

Fehr is a two-time Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week who had 75 tackles, a team-high 5.5 sacks, 7.5 tackles for loss, one fumble recovery and a key safety (at Coastal Carolina) during the regular season. Aside from missing most of App State's only league loss, he averaged 8.4 tackles in his other Sun Belt appearances, including a 15-tackle, one-sack game at Arkansas State.

Franklin is tied for the league lead with four interceptions to go along with his 43 tackles, and Duck has registered 44 tackles in addition to increasing his three-year total to 12 interceptions.

Johnson has started all 37 games of his career at left tackle for an offensive line that ranks in the top 20 nationally in rushing yards per game and fewest sacks allowed per game, while Evans averaged a league-best 112.8 rushing yards and 151.0 all-purpose yards in Sun Belt play. With five games of 100-plus rushing yards since he replaced the injured Jalin Moore as App State's primary tailback in mid-October, Evans has 968 rushing yards in 11 games this year.

Thomas was named the second-team quarterback behind first-team pick and Sun Belt Player of the Year Justice Hansen of Arkansas State, and Davis-Gaither made the second team while leading the league's top-ranked defense with 89 tackles. His 9.0 tackles per game in conference play ranked third overall and first among players from bowl-eligible teams.

Sutton has eight touchdowns and 672 receiving yards on 34 catches, allowing him to rank 11th nationally at 19.8 yards per reception, and Hannon has started all 24 of his career games at center. Greer, a fifth-year senior, emerged as a preseason option to start at right tackle and has played that position well all season for the Mountaineers.

The statistical highlights for the third-team selections include 80 tackles from Flory, two interceptions with 31 tackles from Hayes and three touchdown receptions from Reed. Evans opened the season with a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown at Penn State, and Duck's punt return for a touchdown against Gardner-Webb has helped him rank No. 9 nationally at 13.3 yards per return.

Josh Thomas is a junior captain with two interceptions and 33 tackles as a starting safety, and Cook has a team-high 9.0 tackles for loss among his 61 tackles in just 10 games. Neuzil has graded out extremely well as App State's starting left guard, and the PFF College site ranked Pearson as the nation's fifth-best true freshman tight end. He has 13 catches for 159 yards and one touchdown.

2018 Sun Belt All-Conference Football Teams

Player of the Year: Justice Hansen (Arkansas State, QB, RS-Senior)
Offensive Player of the Year: Zac Thomas (Appalachian State, QB, Sophomore)
Defensive Player of the Year: Ronheen Bingham (Arkansas State, DE, Senior)
Newcomer of the Year: Kirk Merrit (Arkansas Sate, WR, Junior)
Freshman of the Year: Marcel Murray (Arkansas State, RB, Freshman)
Coach of the Year: Scott Satterfield (Appalachian State)

First Team Offense
QB - Justice Hansen (Arkansas State, RS-Senior)
RB - Darrynton Evans (Appalachian State, Sophomore)
RB - B.J. Smith (Troy, Junior)
WR - Kirk Merrit (Arkansas State, Junior)
WR - Marcus Green (ULM, Senior)
WR - Damion Willis (Troy, Senior)
TE - Keenen Brown (Texas State, Senior)
OL - Victor Johnson (Appalachian State, Junior)
OL - Lanard Bonner (Arkansas State, Senior)
OL - Curtis Rainey (Georgia Southern, Senior)
OL - Kevin Dotson (Louisiana, Junior)
OL - Kirk Kelley (Troy, Junior)

First Team Defense
DL - MyQuon Stout (Appalachian State, Senior)
DL - Ronheen Bingham (Arkansas State, Senior)
DL - Jeffrey Gunter (Coastal Carolina, Sophomore)
DL - Trevon Sanders (Troy, Senior)
LB - Jordan Fehr (Appalachian State, Junior)
LB - Bryan London II (Texas State, Junior)
LB - Hunter Reese (Troy, Senior)
DB - Clifton Duck (Appalachian State, Junior)
DB - Desmond Franklin (Appalachian State, Junior)
DB - Justin Clifton (Arkansas State, Senior)
DB - Kindle Vildor (Georgia Southern, Junior)
DB - Cedarius Rookard (Troy, Senior)

First Team Special Teams
K - Tyler Bass (Georgia Southern, Junior)
P - Brandon Wright (Georgia State, Junior)
RS - Marcus Jones (Troy, Sophomore)
AP - Marcus Green (ULM, Senior)

Second Team Offense
QB - Zac Thomas (Appalachian State, Sophomore)
RB - Elijah Mitchell (Louisiana, Sophomore)
RB - Wesley Fields (Georgia Southern, Senior)
WR - Corey Sutton (Appalachian State, Sophomore)
WR - Justin McInnis (Arkansas State, Senior)
WR - Jamarius Way (South Alabama, Senior)
TE - Javonis Isaac (Arkansas State, Sophomore)
OL - Chandler Greer (Appalachian State, Senior)
OL - Noah Hannon (Appalachian State, Sophomore)
OL - Jeremiah Culbreth (Georgia Southern, Senior)
OL - Robert Hunt (Louisiana, Junior)
OL - Deontae Crumitie (Troy, Senior)

Second Team Defense
DL - William Bradley-King (Arkansas State, Sophomore)
DL - Forrest Merrill (Arkansas State, Junior)
DL - Raymond Johnson (Georgia Southern, Sophomore)
DL - Tyree Turner (South Alabama, Junior)
LB - Akeem Davis-Gaither (Appalachian State, Junior)
LB - David Griffith (ULM, Senior)
LB - Bull Barge (South Alabama, Senior)
LB - Tron Folsom (Troy, Junior)
DB - Jerry Jacobs (Arkansas State, Sophomore)
DB - Monquavion Brinson (Georgia Southern, Junior)
DB - Nigel Lawrence (South Alabama, Senior)
DB - Marcus Jones (Troy, Sophomore)

Second Team Special Teams
K - Tyler Sumpter (Troy, Sophomore)
P - Cody Grace (Arkansas State, Junior)
RS - Tra Minter (South Alabama, Junior)
AP - Tra Minter (South Alabama, Junior)

Third Team Offense
QB - Caleb Evans (ULM, Junior)
RB - Marcel Murray (Arkansas State, Freshman)
RB - Trey Ragas (Louisiana, Sophomore)
WR - Penny Hart (Georgia State, Junior)
WR - Ja'Marcus Bradley (Louisiana, Junior)
WR - Deondre Douglas (Troy, Senior)
TE - Collin Reed (Appalachian State, Junior)
OL - Hunter Atkinson (Georgia State, Junior)
OL - T.J. Fiailoa (ULM, Sophomore)
OL - Bobby Reynolds (ULM, Junior)
OL - Tristan Crowder (Troy, Junior)
OL - J.l. Gaston (Troy, Junior)

Third Team Defense
DL - Tarron Jackson (Coastal Carolina, Sophomore)
DL - Logan Hunt (Georgia Southern, Senior)
DL - Zi'Yon Hill (Louisiana, Freshman)
DL - Antione Barker (Troy, Junior)
DL - Jarvis Hayes (Troy, Junior)
LB - Anthony Flory (Appalachian State, Senior)
LB - Jacques Boudreaux (Louisiana, Junior)
LB - Nikolas Daniels (Texas State, Junior)
DB - Tae Hayes (Appalachian State, Senior)
DB - Darreon Jackson (Arkansas State, Junior)
DB - Blace Brown (Troy, Senior)
DB - Tyler Murray (Troy, Sophomore)

Third Team Special Teams
K - Massimo Biscardi (Coastal Carolina, Freshman)
P - Tyler Sumpter (Troy, Sophomore)
RS - Clifton Duck (Appalachian State, Junior)
AP - Darrynton Evans (Appalachian State, Sophomore)

Non-conference:
Girls:
Bunker Hill: 64
Maiden: 53

Draughn: 45
West Lincoln: 39

North Iredell: 66
Alexander Central: 19

Boys:
Alexander Central: 56
North Iredell: 47

Drauhgn: 62
West Lincoln: 45

Maiden: 82
Bunker Hill: 51

Thursday, 29 November 2018 13:36

CVCC Men's Basketball Downs Caldwell

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The Catawba Valley Community College men’s basketball team avenged its only loss of the season on Wednesday, knocking off rival Caldwell CC&TI 90-82 on the road.

With the victory, the Red Hawks (6-1) continue their their best start to a season since the 2012-13 campaign.

Five different CVCC basketball players reached double figures in scoring in Wednesday’s non-conference win, including a team-high 16 points from sophomore forward Jordan Powell.

Freshmen Zach De La Cruz (15 points), Dezure Moulden (14) and Sal-Bey Young (12) and sophomore Everett Palmer (14) also reached double figures for the Red Hawks.

Catawba Valley trailed 37-32 at halftime against Caldwell with the Cobras outshooting the Red Hawks 16-4 at the free throw line during the half. CCC&TI made 10 of those free chances, while CVCC was 3-of-4 from the free throw line.

After making just 14 of its 39 free throws in its 68-63 loss on Nov. 7 to the Cobras, CVCC made 15 of its 24 free chances against Caldwell on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Cobras struggled, making just 21 of their 41 free throw opportunities.

Within a few points of the lead, but trailing for most of Wednesday’s contest, CVCC rallied late, taking its first lead of the game with 5:45 remaining after a made 3-pointer by De La Cruz.

The sophomore from Franklin, N.C. made five 3-point baskets during Wednesday’s game, including four during the second half. Palmer added three 3-pointers, including two coming in the second half.

Powell also helped lead the second half scoring surge for CVCC, tallying 14 of his 16 points during the half. The Red Hawks scored a season-high 58 points during the second half en route to the eight-point victory.

The CVCC men’s basketball team returns to the court in exactly a week when it welcomes Davidson County Community College for its first Region X game of the season. Tip off for that contest is set for 7 p.m. at the Tarlton Complex.

In a matchup between top 25 teams, the No. 17 Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Basketball Team dropped a seven point decision to No. 23 Queens on Wednesday evening inside Shuford Gym, 76-69. The loss was the first of the season for the Bears who had won six straight to open the year.

The Bears were led by Cory Thomas who posted a double-double, finishing with 18 points and 10 boards. Thomas went 6-for-15 from the field and added an assist and a steal.

Djibril Diallo added 16 points four rebounds and four assists on the evening.

LR shot a season-low 24 percent from long range, connecting on just 6-of-25 from beyond the arc.

Queens got 19 points from Daniel Carr and another double-double from Shaun Willett.

Lewis Diankulu was a perfect 8-for-8 from the floor and totaled eight boards to go with his 17 points.

The double-double from Thomas was the second of his career.

Queens has now won 10 of the last 12 head-to-head meetings with the Bears. This is the fifth straight loss at home by LR against the Royals.

L-R drops to 7-1 overall and 1-1 SAC. The Bears return to action next week when they travel to Carson-Newman for an 8 p.m. matchup with the Eagles.

Thursday, 29 November 2018 13:25

Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Basketball Defeats Queens

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The Lenoir-Rhyne University Women's Basketball Team used a strong defensive effort and a big fourth quarter to defeat the Queens Royals, 64-51 at home in South Atlantic Conference action on Wednesday night.

The senior trio of Madi Suddreth (16), Ashley Rodriguez (11) and Kendall Toineeta (10) scored in double-digits tonight for the Bears as only one player, Lade Adepoju (17), was in double-figures for the Royals.

The Bears were suffocating on the defensive end of the floor, holding Queens to just 23.4 percent shooting and only 13.0 percent from beyond the arc.

The biggest difference in the game was each team's depth. LR's bench added 28 points while the Royals only had 15 from their reserves.

The Bears held the advantage down low, out rebounding their opponent, 53-43.

The senior duo of Suddreth and Toineeta both continue to be productive scoring this season. They each have put in double-digit scoring efforts in six of the seven games this season. Rodriguez reached the same feat for the second time this year.

This win increased the team's record at home to 2-1 in the 2018-19 campaign.

Lenoir-Rhyne is 4-3 overall and 1-1 in the South Atlanitc Conference. The Bears end its home stand with a nonconference clash against Johnson C. Smith University on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 2 p.m.

Behind 20 points apiece from Ivy Eller and Sherry Johnson, the 16th-ranked Catawba Valley Community College women’s basketball team rolled to a 101-26 road victory against the Mount Olive JV team on Wednesday afternoon.

The Red Hawks (4-1) pulled ahead quickly in the non-conference tilt against the Trojans, leading 51-11 at halftime. CVCC was paced in the first half by 16 points from Johnson and 12 from Eller.

It was more of the same in the third and fourth quarters for Catawba Valley, which outscored Mount Olive 50-15 in the second half. Eller and teammate Milequa Eason led the second-half charge with eight points apiece.

Tazah Hardin and Zharia Brown also reached double figures in scoring for Catawba Valley with 12 and 10 points, respectively.

Carolina Grey scored eight points to pace Mount Olive in the contest.

The CVCC women’s basketball team takes a week off before returning to action on Wednesday for a road conference match up against USC Salkehatchie. Game time in Allendale, S.C. is set for 5 p.m.

Appalachian State University field hockey placed 10 student-athletes on the Academic All-MAC Team, as the conference office announced on Wednesday.

The 10 players -- Rachel Gaines, Abby Merrill, Melissa Nobile, Chloe Bell, Annette Jarosz, Meghan Smart, Ali Williams, Kaley Selner, Veerle Van Heertum and Michelle Taylor -- earned the academic distinction because of stellar work on and off the field. All 10 student-athletes must have at least a 3.20 cumulative GPA and have participated in at least 50 percent of games to qualify for the honor.

"I'm really proud of this group for all their continued work on and especially off the field," head coach Meghan Dawson said. "They are completely committed to their studies and getting the most out of their careers."

The 10 App State representatives on the Academic All-MAC Team comprise five sophomores and five juniors, all of which were named to the NFHCA National Academic Squad in 2017.

App State was one of four MAC teams to have 10 or more honorees. The list totaled 67 student-athletes from seven different programs.

Academic All-MAC Team
Rachel Gaines
Abby Merrill
Melissa Nobile
Chloe Bell
Annette Jarosz
Meghan Smart
Ali Williams
Kaley Selner
Veerle Van Heertum
Michelle Taylor

Appalachian State's Randall Diabe has been named the Southern Conference Wrestler of the Week following his win by major decision against No. 15 North Carolina on Sunday.

A senior from Greensboro, N.C., Diabe recorded four takedowns en route to a 10-2 victory against UNC's Hunter Queen. The win pushed his record this season to 10-3 overall and 3-1 in dual matches, as he also claimed a victory against then-No. 15 Rutgers.

Diabe will take a 54-39 career record into App State's next dual, a 7 p.m. matchup with Ohio on Friday night at Varsity Gym.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018 13:20

High School Basketball Results From Tuesday, 11/27/18

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Girls
Non-conference:
Bandys: 51
West Caldwell: 50

Bunker Hill: 65
Newton-Conover: 53

Draughn: 55
West Lincoln: 41

McDowell: 67
East Burke: 56, OT

Patton: 44
South Caldwell: 28

St. Stephens: 46
Fred T. Foard: 26

Boys
Non-conference:
Bandys: 72
West Caldwell: 69

Draughn: 78
West Lincoln: 53

McDowell: 73
East Burke: 47

Newton-Conover: 59
Bunker Hill: 52

Patton: 52
South Caldwell: 34

St. Stephens: 75
Fred T. Foard: 65

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