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Down by eight strokes after the first day of play, Newton-Conover played an inspiring second round, winning the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2A championships by 12 strokes over Wileks Central and South Stokes High School Tuesday at the Country Club of Whispering Pines, Pines Course. The Red Devils win the title for the third straight year.

Newton-Conover was in 12th place to start the tournament, but roared through the front nine holes, to pull within two strokes of day one leader South Stokes. Nick Isenhower and Chris Ziogas shot a one over par on the front nine to pace the Red Devils.

The two would continue to tear up the course, as Ziogas finished the day five over par and Isenhower at three over leading the Red Devils to a team score 648.

Lenoir-Rhyne University Head Women’s Basketball Coach Katie Pate has announced the squad’s class of newcomers for the 2015-16 season.

Becky Burghardt (Leonardtown, Md./St. Mary’s Ryken HS) was an honorable mention all-league selection and Tournament MVP of the Carolina Invitational. Burghardt totaled 582 points, 501 rebounds, 137 assists and 37 blocks for her prep career.

Jackie Denny (Hays, N.C./North Wilkes HS) is a two-time Mountain Valley 1A/2A Conference Player Of The Year and the Wilkes County Player Of The Year while totaling 1,529 points, 749 rebounds, 162 steals and 111 blocks for her high school career.

Denny, who is also playing volleyball next year for Lenoir-Rhyne, also earned all-state, all-region and all-district accolades.

Ashley Rodriguez (Orlando, Fla./Timber Creek HS) was a Team Captain and an all-county honorable mention selection. Rodriguez totaled 400 points, 177 assists and 125 rebounds in her high school career.

Michaelle Smith (Jonesboro, Ga./Jonesboro HS) is a two-time region player of the year and was the 2014-15 Clayton News Daily Player Of The Year. Smith finished with 1,106 points and 1,061 rebounds for her career and was nominated to play in the GACA North vs. South All-Star Basketball Showcase.

Madi Suddreth (Taylorsville, N.C./Alexander Central HS) is a two-time Northwestern 3A/4A and North Piedmont 3A/4A Conference Player Of The Year and earned North Carolina All-State honors by the Associated Press this year.

For her career, Suddreth finished with 1,890 points and 860 rebounds while shooting 59 percent from the field and posting 34 double-doubles. Suddreth will also play in this summer’s East-West All-Star game.

Kendall Toineeta (Cherokee, N.C./Cherokee HS) scored 2,156 points for her career, eighth-most in Western North Carolina history and the best in school history.

Toineeta is a four-time all-league honoree and was named the 2014-15 Smoky Mountain Conference 1A Player Of The Year. Toineeta also totaled 715 assists and 621 steals (most in school history) and was a three-time all-region selection and the Asheville Citizen-Times Player Of The Year.

Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Basketball’s 2015-16 Recruiting Class

Becky Burghardt, Leonardtown, Md. (St. Mary’s Ryken HS)

Bayley Coleman-Cox, Durham, N.C. (Hampton Univ./Charles E. Jordan HS)

Jackie Denny, Hays, N.C. (North Wilkes HS)

Shelly Harper, Cincinnati, Ohio (Eastern Kentucky Univ./Colerain HS)

Ashley Rodriguez, Orlando, Fla. (Timber Creek HS)

Michaelle Smith, Jonesboro, Ga. (Jonesboro HS)

Jasmine Stafford, Memphis, Tenn. (Eastern Kentucky Univ./Overton HS)

Madi Suddreth, Taylorsville, N.C. (Alexander Central HS)

Justyce Swango, Virginia Beach, Va. (Georgetown Univ./Princess Anne HS)

Kendall Toineeta, Cherokee, N.C. (Cherokee HS)

Five members of the Lenoir-Rhyne University Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Teams garnered 2015 NCAA Division II USTFCCCA All-Southeast Region accolades. USTFCCCA is the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

Lenoir-Rhyne junior All-American Kevin Baxter (Columbia, S.C.) earned all-region honors in the men’s 110-meter hurdles for the third straight season. Baxter holds the school record in the event (13.95) and has the seventh-best time in the nation this year, clocking a 14.05 at the Duke Twilight.

Junior Latham York (Huntersville, N.C.) was an All-Southeast Region selection in both the men’s hammer throw and men’s javelin throw for the second consecutive year for the Bears. York established the school record in the hammer (153’6”) at Lenoir-Rhyne’s PowerSox Invitational on March 21.

Senior Anthony Downs (Chapin, S.C.) picked up all-region honors in the men’s discus throw. Downs has the second-best throw in school history, a 146’3” at the 2015 South Atlantic Conference Championships in late April.

On the women’s side, two Bears were selected to the All-Southeast Region Team: sophomore Brooke Robinson (Newton, N.C.) in the 400-meter dash and freshman Haylea Salamon (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CANADA) in the discus throw.

Robinson is a two-time South Atlantic Conference Champion in the women’s 400-meter dash and owns the school record in the event: 56.49 seconds at the league championship this year. Robinson, who also holds the program mark in the women’s 200-meter dash (25.31), is a two-time all-region selection.

Salamon was named the 2015 SAC Women’s Freshman and Co-Field Athlete Of The Year after winning the league championship in the discus. In addition, Salamon broke her own her record in the women’s discus throw (154’11) this past Saturday at the Georgia Invitational.

Both Baxter (men’s 110-meter hurdles) and Salamon (women’s discus throw) will compete in the 2015 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships on May 21-23 in Allendale, Mich., on the campus of Grand Valley State University.

The top five individuals in each event from each region earned the All-Region distinction, in addition to each of the members of the regions’ top three relay teams. The regions used for this award match those used during the cross country season, and student-athletes must come from USTFCCCA member institutions.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015 15:32

Hickory Crawdads Take The Win in Day Game

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The Hickory Crawdads utilized a 5-run 8th inning to turn a tight, one-run deficit into a runaway victory Tuesday afternoon, with the 'Dads finishing off their series win over the Savannah Sand Gnats with a 9-5 victory in front of an Education Day crowd 4,023 at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The Crawdads entered the penultimate inning trailing 5-4, but the 'Dads jumped on Savannah relievers Ben Griset and Jimmy Duff for five runs on five hits and two walks to take their first lead of the day. All nine Crawdad batters went to the plate in the frame, with Jairo Beras and Josh Morgan each picking up two RBI while Jose Cardona drove in a run of his own. The five run outburst tied the largest single inning for Hickory this season, while the five hits in the frame were the most by the 'Dads in an inning this year.

The late offensive output finished off a back and forth game that had twice seen the Crawdads tie the score only to have the Sand Gnats re-take it. Savannah jumped on Hickory starter Ariel Jurado in the top of the 2nd, scoring three runs on five single for a 3-0 advantage. The 'Dads responded with a solo home run by Kevin Torres in the bottom of the 2nd and a 2-run shot from Travis Demeritte in the 3rd to tie the game at 3-3.

The Gnats took back the lead with a single run on a sacrifice fly in the 4th for a 4-3 score, before the Crawdads once again answered with an RBI fielder's choice groundout by Luke Tendler in the 5th to plate Cardona and tie the score at 4-4. The 'Dads looked like they might even take the lead in the inning as Jose Trevino lined a ball off the top of the left field wall. Tendler raced around the bases in an attempt to score from first, but was thrown out at the plate to keep the game tied.

Savannah once again made the tie short lived with another run in the top of the 6th for a 5-4 advantage. The inning had the potential to be much larger for the Sand Gnats as they had the bases loaded with only one out, but Crawdads reliever Kelvin Vasquez settled down and ended the frame with a double play and a ground out to keep the 'Dads close and set up the 8th inning rally.

Vasquez (2-1) earned the win for the Crawdads with one run allowed on one hit over three innings pitched. Duff (0-1) took the loss for the Gnats after allowing four of the 'Dads five runs in the 8th.

Morgan finished the game 2-4 with a pair of RBI. Cardona (2-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI), Demeritte (2-5, HR, 2 RBI), and Trevino (2-4, 2 2B, R) all ended the day with multi-hit games as well.

The Crawdads (22-9) finish their series with the Sand Gnats (12-19) with three wins in four games, giving the team a 6-1 home stand. The 'Dads have an off day on Wednesday, May 13th, before starting a four-game weekend series in Augusta versus the GreenJackets on Thursday, May 14th.

The Hickory Crawdads suffered the first loss of their weeklong home stand Monday night, as the 'Dads streak of five straight wins ended with a 6-3 loss to the Savannah Sand Gnats at L.P. Frans Stadium.

In a series that had been defined by tight ballgames and long nights with the first two games going to extra innings, Monday night's contest appeared very similar as the 'Dads entered the 9th inning trailing the Gnats 3-2. Savannah was able to earn some breathing room with three runs in the top of the frame however, and the Crawdads bottom of the inning rally fell short with the tying run at home plate.

The contest started off with a bang, as the Sand Gnats took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the 1st on a 2-out, 2-run home run by Stefan Sabol off of Hickory starter Nick Gardewine. The 'Dads responded with a 2-out, RBI single by Jose Trevino in the bottom of the inning, but Savannah came back with a solo homer from Jonathan Johnson in the 2nd to make the score 3-1.

The Crawdads got back on the board in the bottom of the 5th, with Luke Tendler coming through with a 2-out, RBI single to left to plate Michael De Leon and cut the 'Dads deficit to 3-2. The score remained the same until the 9th, with Hickory relievers Yohander Mendez and Joe Filomeno combining for four scoreless innings of work out of the bullpen. The Gnats were finally able to extend their lead in the top of the 9th however, as they scored three runs on three hits and a walk off of Chris Dula to push the lead to 6-2.

The Crawdads would not go down quietly in the bottom of the frame, as Marcus Greene walked with one out and came in one batter later on an RBI single from Josh Morgan. Jose Cardona followed with a base knock of his own to bring De Leon to the plate as the potential tying run, but Savannah reliever Ricky Knapp was able to stop the rally there with a strikeout of De Leon for the final 6-3 score.

Tendler finished the game a perfect 3-3 with an RBI and a hit-by-pitch. Trevino (2-4, 2B, RBI) and Morgan (2-4, RBI) each ended with multi-hit games for the 'Dads as well.

Gnats starter Scarlyn Reyes (2-3) earned the win with two runs allowed on eight hits, one walk, and four strikeouts over six innings pitched, while Knapp earned his first save of the year after giving up one run over three innings of work. Gardewine (2-2) took the loss for the 'Dads with three runs allowed on six hits, one walk, and 3 Ks during his four innings on the mound.

The Crawdads (21-9) will look to bounce back and win the series against the Sand Gnats (12-18) in the fourth and final game Tuesday morning at 11:00 am.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association has released the pairings for the 2015 baseball playoffs. Area team's and their first round matchups:

2A:
Bunker Hill hosts Maiden
Newton-Conover travels to Hendersonville

3A:
Hibriten hosts South Iredell
Hickory travels to West Rowan
Patton at Cox Mill

4A:
South Caldwell hosts Porter Ridge

See the full state playoffs by downloading the attachment.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association has released the pairings for the 2015 softball playoffs. Area team's and their first round matchups:

2A:
Bandys at Wheatmore
Bunker Hill hosts Owen

3A:
Fred T. Foard hosts St. Stephens
Freedom hosts North Lincoln
Hibriten travels to West Iredell

4A:
Alexander Central hosts East Meck
South Caldwell hosts Watauga

See the full state playoffs by downloading the attachment.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association has released the pairings for the 2015 girls soccer playoffs. Area team's and their first round matchups:

2A:
Bandys at Central Academy of Technology and Arts
Bunker Hill travels to Ashe County
Newton-Conover is at Parkwood
West Caldwell hosts Wheatmore

3A:
Fred T. Foard at Kings Mountain
Hibriten travels to Marvin Ridge
Hickory hosts West Henderson
St. Stephens host South Point

4A:
Alexander Central at Myers Park
South Caldwell hosts Glenn

See the full state playoffs by downloading the attachment.

Appalachian State University men’s and women’s track and field each placed seventh at the Sun Belt Championships on Sunday in Gulf Shores Ala.

The meet started on Thursday when Tristin Van Ord (Chapel Hill, N.C./East Chapel Hill) finished with a time of 35:05.15 to place first in the 10,000m run at the Sun Belt championships. Dana Cox (Cary, N.C./Apex) placed third with a time of 36:27.92.

Brianna Tate (Summerfield, N.C./Grimsley) took third in the hammer throw with a distance of 54.08 meters for a third-place ranking in the App State record book.

On the men’s side Andrew Vandenberg (Boone, N.C./Watauga)earned seventh in the 10,000 meter run with a time of 31:46.04, while Kyle McFoy (Newark, Del./Tatnall) finished eighth with a time of 31:53.70. Ellsworth Parham (Asheville, N.C./Christ School) placed eighth in the hammer throw with a throw of 189.00 on day one of competition

On day two Samantha Campanaro (Winston-Salem, N.C./Mt. Tabor) and Hana Ratcliffe (Durham, N.C./Durham School of the Arts) each earned points for the Mountaineers in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. Campanaro placed fourth with a time of 11:01.76 and Ratcliffe took fifth with a time of 11:02.34. Both were personal bests. Hunter Welborn (Booneville, N.C./Starmount) scored four points for the Apps by taking fourth in the high jump, clearing a height of 5-4.

Tate led the throwers by placing fifth in the shot put with a mark of 51-3 for a new personal best. Tate then placed third in the hammer throw with a distance of 177-4 for another personal best. Both marks rank Tate in the top-ten in the App State record book.

William Buckley (Durham, N.C./East Chapel Hill) qualified for the finals in the 100 meter dash by placing fourth in the preliminaries with a time of 10.30 for a new personal best and ranks second all-time in the App State record book. Buckley then qualified for the finals in the 200 meter dash, posting a sixth-place finish with a time of 21.01 for another personal best and a third-best ranking in school history.

Josh Cox (Mooresville, N.C./Charlotte) earned a point for the Mountaineers when he finished eighth in the 3,000 meter steeplechase with a time of 9:34.99. Nathan Milch (Longwood, Fla./Lake Brantley) placed sixth in the shot put, throwing a distance of 52-6, while Parham took eighth in the javelin throw with a distance of 189.0 for a new personal best.

Stanley Broaden (Wilmington, N.C./Eugene Ashley) led the Mountaineers on the last day of the competition, earning two Sun Belt titles. Broaden took first in the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 14.10 for a new personal best, ranking sixth all-time in the App State record books. Broaden then earned his second title of the day by placing first in the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 51.66.

Henry Bustle (Statesville, N.C./South Iredell) placed seventh in the triple jump, scoring two points for the Mountaineers with a mark of 48-4 for a new personal best. Ryan Hastings (Mathews, N.C./Porter Ridge) placed third in the 800 meter run, recording a time of 1:50.46. The time was a personal best and is the third-best time in school history. Evan Georges (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) took seventh in the 1,500 meter run on Sunday, finishing with a time of 3:57.20.

Buckley led the sprinters with a sixth-place finish in the 100 meter dash with a time of 10.45. He then took fifth in the 200 meter dash, recording a time of 21.30 to tie a personal best.

The Mountaineers’ 4x400 relay team of Hastings, Broaden, Clay Allen and Josh Hanna wrapped up the day by finishing fifth with a time of 3:13.95 to score four points for the Apps.

Torre Moser (Cary, N.C./Apex) started the day by placing fourth in the 1,500 meter run with a time of 4:38.10. Shelby Howell then took fourth in the 800 meter run, recording a time of 2:10.36.

The highlight of the day came in the 5,000 meter run when App had three athletes score team points. Van Ord earned her second title of the meet, placing first with a time of 17:01.09. The time also set a Sun Belt Conference meet record. Cox followed in fourth-place, recording a time of 17:26.43 and Campanaro took eighth with a time of 17:43.27.

The 4x400 meter relay team of Howell, Micah Hanks, Brooke Brekke and Krystal Clarke took seventh to end the day, posting a time of 3:51.28.

The men’s team finished with a total of 52 points in seventh-place. UT Arlington took the men’s team title with a total of 166 points.

The women’s team finished seventh in the conference meet with 68.50 total points. Arkansas State took the Sun Belt title with a total of 138 points.

Zahria Buchanan of Maiden High School and Kytel Collins-Jackson of Scotland High School are the first recipients of the NCHSAA Scholarship Awards, which were presented at the NCHSAA Annual Meeting at the Smith Center on Thursday.

These awards are new to the NCHSAA and are presented to student-athletes who meet the academic criteria as well as athletic involvement and sound character. The funds for the scholarships come from donations designated to the Endowment for this purpose as well as a corporate gift. Regional winners were selected and then the two overall state winners came from the regional receipients.

Each regional winner receives a $750 scholarship to the college or university of their choice, and the overall state winners receive an additional $1000 each.

Buchanan was a four-year basketball player at Maiden and an excellent student, with a 3.963 weighted GPA and a member of her school’s Beta Club. She will be heading to Winston-Salem State University in the fall.