Sports (664)

Monday, 21 November 2016 15:09

Hickory High Football Coach Steps Down

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On Friday, Allen Wittenberg was asked to turn in his resignation as the head football coach of Hickory High School. Today, Hickory Public School confirmed the resignation with the following press release:

Allen R. Wittenberg, the head football coach at Hickory High since February, 2015, stepped down as coach of the school’s football team. The last two seasons have produced three wins out of 22 games.

“Last Friday, November 18, I accepted the resignation of Hickory High’s head football coach, Allen Wittenberg,” said Katherine Cater, HHS principal. “It was a tough season for the Tornadoes and I appreciate all of Coach Wittenberg’s hard work. While he has stepped down from his coaching responsibility, he remains a valued member of our faculty.”

Wittenberg will remain with the Hickory High faculty as a history teacher.

Next season will mark the fifth head coach in six years for Hickory since John Worley stepped down as head coach after the 2011 season. Tom Harper was the head coach in 2012, then left for Fred T. Foard after one season. Mike Helms came in 2013 and resigned in 2014 seven games into the season. Forrest Blake took over as the interim coach for the final games of the 2014 season. Wittenberg took over in 2015. Hickory has made the playoffs only twice in that time period, most recently in 2013 with a 31-14 loss at Pisgah in the first round. Hickory has not advanced past the first round since they went undefeated in 2007, when they lost in the third round to eventual state runner ups, Charlotte Catholic.

Monday, 21 November 2016 11:25

App State Wrestling Finish 4th at Keystone Classic

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Appalachian State University wrestling competed in its second tournament of the season on Sunday at the Keystone Classic. The Mountaineers placed two wrestlers in the top two of their weight classes and eight in the top six..

Appalachian finished fourth as a team with 95.5 overall points behind only 4th ranked Penn State, Pittsburgh and Eastern Michigan in the tournament of 12.

The Mountaineers were led by senior heavyweight Denzel Dejournette (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds) and sophomore 149-pounder Matt Zovistoski (Paramus, N.J./St. Joseph Regional), who took second place in each of their respective weight classes.

Freshman Colby Smith (Wentzville, Mo./Holt), junior Forrest Przybysz (Jefferson, Ga./Jefferson) and sophomore Cary Miller (Greensboro, N.C./Northwest Guilford) each placed fifth, while senior Vito Pasone (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./E.L. Meyers), sophomore Irvin Enriquez (Aberdeen, N.C./Pinecrest) and sophomore Randall Diabe (Greensboro, N.C./James B. Dudley) took sixth place in their respective divisions.

No. 18 Zovistoski used three-straight victories that included a decision, major decision and a pin to reach the first place bout against the No. 1 149-pounder in the country Zain Retherford of Penn State. Zovistoski defeated Gino Fluri of Rider in a 10-4 decision before getting a 10-4 major decision over Stevan Smith of VMI. He then pinned Gary Dinmore of Penn State in a time of 8:30 to advance. Zovistoski then fell in the first place bout against Retherford by pin (2:46).

No. 8 Dejournette started off the day by downing Corey Kerkesner of Franklin & Marshall in a 19-8 major decision. He then got the 8-1 decision over Gage Hutchison of Eastern Michigan before getting the 6-0 decision over Nickolas Gajdzik of Harvard to advance to the first place matchup against No. 13 Nick Nevills of Penn State. There, the heavyweights battled, but Dejournette would fall 8-3 to finish second overall.

Smith finished 3-2 on the day to place fifth in the 133-pound division, featuring a 17-4 major decision over Jeffrey Ott of Harvard. No. 17 Przybysz went 3-2 on the day to finish fifth in the 165, featuring a 9-1 major decision over F&M’s Rob King and a 8-6 decision over Penn State’s Caleb Livingston. Miller ended 4-2 to finish fifth in the heavyweight, getting key wins over Gage Hutchison of Eastern Michigan and Dan Hayden of Sacred Heart.

Pasone got a key 14-6 major decision victory over Dalton Henderson of VMI to finish sixth in the 125-pound division, while Enriquez used a decisive pin (1:21) over No. 11 James Gulibon of Penn State to finish sixth at 141. Diabe went 3-3 on the day, placed sixth in the 197 division, getting a key 12-3 major decision over Logan Kirby of Harvard.

The Mountaineers return home for their third duals match of the season when they host ACC foe North Carolina on Sunday, Nov. 27. Action begins at 3 p.m.

For the first time in program history, the Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Tennis Team has a player regionally ranked in sophomore Julia Ponorameva.

Ponorameva, a sophomore from Smolensk, RUSSIA, is ranked No. 19 in the latest Oracle/ITA NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Rankings.

Ponorameva registered singles victories over players from Virginia Wise, Georgia College, Wingate, Lander and Belmont Abbey this fall. Last year, Ponorameva totaled 10 singles victories and eight wins in doubles action.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Tennis Team opens the Spring 2017 semester against UNC Asheville on Saturday, January 14, in an exhibition in Asheville, N.C., at 3:00 p.m. Meanwhile, the Bears’ men’s team faces UNC Asheville in an exhibition as well on Sunday, January 22, at 3:00 p.m., on the road.

Sunday, 20 November 2016 22:28

App State Women's Basketball Falls at Richmond

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Appalachian State University women’s basketball (2-2) suffered a 55-46 decision to Richmond (1-3) on Sunday evening at the Robins Center.

The Mountaineers and Spiders both struggled from the floor shooting 35.2 percent, but the home team held a 14-6 advantage from the free throw line and corralled 42 boards to App State’s 32, including a 14-8 edge on the offensive glass.

Joi Jones (Duluth, Ga./Duluth) scored a team-high 16 points on eight shots. After starting 2-of-10 from the floor, Jones shot 6-for-9 from the field. Ashley Bassett-Smith (Pickerington, Ohio/UT Martin) was one point shy of her career high with 14 points on four buckets and a perfect 6-of-6 performance from the line. The senior forward added to her stat line with four boards and a block. Bria Carter (Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania) led the team with a season-high seven boards and scored six points.

While trailing by 10, 48-38, with four minutes left in the game, Jones went on a personal 6-0 spurt in 54 seconds to cut the Apps’ deficit to four, 48-44. Jones went on to score 10 of her 16 points and 10 of the Apps’ 14 points overall in the fourth period. After forcing a Richmond turnover, Elizabeth Norregaard’s (Vedbaek, Denmark/Wisconsin) 3-point attempt to cut the lead to one went in-and-out. From that point on, the Spiders scored seven of the next nine points to clinch their first win of the season.

Appalachian got off to another slow start with Richmond starting the game on an 8-2 run over the first 5:06 of the contest. Over the final 4:54, Jones sparked a 7-1 run that tied the game going into the second quarter, 9-9. Madi Story (Maiden, N.C./Bandys) hit a trifecta to cut the deficit before Bayley Plummer (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) tied the game with a nifty reverse layup.

The game kept close throughout the rest of the first half where a total of seven ties and two lead changes took place. In the second quarter, the Apps tied the game on several different occasions but could never get over the hump. After Jones hit her second shot of the half to tie the game at 19-all, Richmond forced a turnover before scoring with three seconds left in the half to take a slight 21-19 edge into the break.

The Spiders took control of the game in the third quarter outscoring the Black and Gold, 14-4, over a 6:40 span to extend the lead to 12, 35-23. App State closed the game as Bassett-Smith scored six of the team’s final nine points and Amber Driver (Houston, Texas/Tyler JC) hit a big 3-pointer that cut the lead to just seven off one of one of Mikaya Wilson’s (Raleigh, N.C./Knightdale) four assists.

A free throw from Lauren Tolson pushed the score back up to eight, 40-32, going into the final period. App State committed nine of its 18 turnovers in the third quarter, leading to nine points off the miscues for the Spiders and eight points in the paint.

Jones began the quarter with a field goal, but App State couldn’t get stops on the other end thanks to the duo Janelle Hubbard and Micaela Parson who combined for 40 of the team’s points and 13 of Richmond’s 19 field goals. Richmond stretched the lead to 10, 48-38, before Appalachian’s valiant effort to get back into the game in the final minutes.

Appalachian will look to get back on track with a 7 p.m. contest against ETSU on Wednesday in Johnson City, Tenn.


- Bassett-Smith now has 95 career blocks and is five away from being one of seven Mountaineers with 100 blocks in their career.

- Wilson’s team-high four assists is a career-best for the freshman.

- App State shot a season-low eight free throws after averaging 34.3 free throw attempts coming into the game.

Running back Marcus Cox rushed for 153 yards and three touchdowns to become Appalachian State’s career rushing leader, lifting the Mountaineers past UL Monroe 42-17 on Senior Day at Kidd Brewer Stadium.

App State (8-3, 6-1 Sun Belt) piled up a season-high 637 yards of total offense – 429 yards rushing – to finish the home season at 5-1. App also ended ULM’s (4-7, 3-4) bowl hopes with the win.

Cox broke loose for a 25-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to set the record and was mobbed by his teammates in the back of the end zone. He now has 4,819 career rushing yards, passing Kevin Richardson (4,804) for App’s top spot.

The Mountaineers seized control early, scoring touchdowns on three of their first four drives to build a 21-3 lead. Cox had a 1-yard run to start the scoring on App’s opening possession.

Quarterback Taylor Lamb joined in on the assault on the App record books on Apps’ second score. Lamb found Ike Lewis wide open behind the ULM defense for 60 yards and his 60th career passing TD. Lamb passed Richie Williams for second on the App career list.

App held ULM to 361 yards of total offense and harassed Warhawks’ QB Caleb Evans into 13-for-32 passing for 136 yards and a sack. Linebacker Eric Boggs finished with a team-high nine tackles and a sack for the Apps.

App travels to New Mexico State next Saturday with a shot at finishing 7-1 in the Sun Belt on the line. Kickoff is at 4 p.m. ET in Las Cruces.

NJCAA DII Volleyball National Championship
3rd Place Match: #2 Owens CC vs. #4 Catawba Valley

Final Owens 3 - Catawba Valley 2 (25-23, 23-25, 17-25, 11-15)

Despite scoring more points than Owens the Red Hawks could not upset the #2 Owens CC (OH) in the third place match in Charleston, WV. The Red Hawks fell in the first set but rallied winning the second and third sets. In the fourth set momentum shifted back and forth with Owens able to out pace the Red Hawks in the end for a 25-23 set win. In the fifth set the Red Hawks held an 8-6 edge but Owens was able to outscore the Red Hawks 9-3 to win 15-11.

The Red Hawks were led by Megan Fair who connected with 18 kills, Mariah Wallace logged 15 kills as well as 17 digs. Ada Tompson posted 43 assists. The Red Hawks finished the tournament in 4th place the highest finish in program history. The team also finished with a 41-7 record which is a program record for most wins in a season.

Sunday, 20 November 2016 22:03

CVCC Men's Basketball Picks Up 17-Point Win

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Catawba Valely Community College men's basketball hosted Pasco Hernando on Saturday afternoon, with the Red Hawks won 85-68.

Leading Scorers for the Red Hawks were Derick Brewer with 15 points and Alex Ijames and Myles Williams with 13 points apiece.

The Conquistadors were paced by Charles Issac with 17 points and Darius Denton with 15 points.

The Red Hawks improve to 4-2 on the season. They will be back in action at home on December 3rd hosting Richard Bland College in conference action.

Mount Pleasant: 35
Maiden: 21
Blue Devils season ends at 8-4.

West Caldwell: 41
West Stokes: 0
Warriors advance to the second round hosting East Lincoln on Friday.

Hibriten: 56
McMichael: 28
Panthers advance to the second round hosting Burns on Friday.

Patton: 35
Forestview: 17
Panthers advance to the second round going to Pisgah on Friday

West Rowan: 33
Freedom: 17
Patriots season ends at 6-6.

Dudley: 52
Alexander Central: 8
Cougars season ends at 7-5.

NJCAA DII Volleyball National Championship
Semifinal Match: #1 Parkland College (IL) vs. #4 Catawba Valley

Final: Parkland 3 - CVCC 0 (25-16, 25-16, 25-19)

The Red Hawks played their first semifinal match against perennial power and season #1 team Parkland. The Red Hawks were unable to get past the #1 team falling 0-3. The Red Hawks were led by Megan Fair who had 7 kills, Savanah Dishman added 5. Ada Thompson posted 22 assists while Mariah Wallace had 12 digs.

The Red Hawks will play #2 Owens CC (OH) tomorrow in the third place match at 3:00pm. Owens fell to #3 Lincoln Land 3-0 in the other semifinal match.

After facing a first-half deficit, Appalachian State University women’s basketball (2-1) used a dominating second-half performance to pull out a 66-57 win at Liberty Friday evening at the Vines Center.
With the win, the Apps have won back-to-back non-conference road games for the first time since the 2013-14 season while handing Liberty it’s third-straight loss at home to start the season.

App State outscored LU (0-3), 43-25, in the second half while shooting 48.3 percent (22.2 percent in the first half).

Joi Jones (Duluth, Ga./Duluth) scored a game-high 18 points (16 in the second half) on an efficient shooting performance going 5-of-8 from the field and tying her career high with eight-made free throws. She also added four boards and two assists. Q Murray(Baltimore, Md./George Mason) and Ashley Bassett-Smith (Pickerington, Ohio/UT Martin) both added 12 two round out the leading scorers. Bassett-Smith corralled a team-best six boards and three swats, and Murray dished out three assists, grabbed four boards and two steals.

The trio took on the scoring load for App State combing for 42 of the team’s points, hit 13 of the team’s 20-made field goals and 15 of the 23 converted foul shots. Madi Story (Maiden, N.C./Bandys) had an all-around game scoring six of her eight points from the line while bringing down five boards along with three dimes.

App State held a dominating 23-7 advantage in free throws while turning Liberty over 22 times for 21 points. App State improved in the turnover column once again with just 10 miscues.

The Apps and Flames went back and forth in the opening quarter with Appalachian holding a 4-2 edge for its only lead until the fourth quarter. Liberty went on a 7-0 run over a 1:28 span to go in front, 9-4, before Appalachian scored 10 of the next 15 points to tie the game at 14-apiece.Trailing by three,14-11, Bria Carter (Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania) grabbed one of her five boards for a putback before Story went 1-for-2 at the line to tie things up. LU would score the final three points to go into the quarter with a 17-14 advantage.

The low scoring continued in the second period where LU would outscore the Black and Gold, 15-9, both teams shot a combined 19.3 percent from the field. Despite the Mountaineers’ woeful shooting, they managed to shoot 7-for-8 from the free throw line to stay within striking distance. After trailing by five, 19-14, the Black and Gold narrowed the gap to one thanks to a pair of free throw from Murray. However, the Flames’ 11-3 run over the final 5:20 of the half to go into the locker room with a 32-23 advantage.

After Liberty scored the first five points of the third quarter, it was a different story. Jones started and finished a 15-5 run over the final 8:07 of the third quarter to tie the game, 42-42, thanks to her jumper at the buzzer. Murray and Mikaya Wilson (Raleigh, N.C./Knightdale) had a hand in five of the final seven points and caused chaos on both ends of the floor with three steals in the process.

App State shot an impressive 8-of-15 (53.3 percent) while holding LU to 33.3 percent shooting from the floor.

Despite the bench scoring just 11 points, six of those couldn’t have a came at a bigger time when Brooklyn Allen (Canton, N.C./Pisgah) hit two of her fourth-quarter 3-pointers in the first 1:59 to put the Apps up by fix, 50-44. App State kept up the pressure on the struggling Flames extending the lead to as much as 11 (59-48) with 2:50 left in the game. Liberty sliced the deficit to six, but the Apps hit their last four foul shots to clinch the win.

App State will look for its first 3-1 start since the 2014-15 campaign when it plays its second game in four days on the road at Richmond. Tip-off is slated for 5 p.m.

“I love the fight and resiliency this team has shown this season when we’re down. We (the coaching staff) challenged them at halftime and they responded very well. I thought when we were able to force some turnovers, it led to easy transition baskets and it got our offense going. Our leaders stepped up in the second half and put the team on their back when we needed them. Our bench made some big plays late in the game as well with Mikaya (Wilson) leading us on the break and Brooklyn (Allen) hitting two big 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. The slow starts aren’t ideal, but we came away with a big win against a very good Liberty team.” - Angel Elderkin


- App State has averaged just 8.5 turnovers per game in the previous two contests against Liberty (19.2 TO/game versus other opponents).
- Carter led the team with a plus-21 in the plus/minus category while Bassett-Smith (15) and Story (11) followed suit.
- Bassett-Smith has scored in double figures in consecutive games for the first time in her career.
- Appalachian scored 1.194 points per possession in the second half while scoring on 61.1 percent of its possessions.

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